1              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING








            5                          HELD:




            7                  Tuesday, July 28, 2009




            9                        LOCATION:


           10                    Council Chambers


           11                 Scranton City Hall


           12              340 North Washington Avenue


           13                Scranton, Pennsylvania









































                (Not present.)


                MS. JANET E. EVANS



            9   MS. SHERRY FANUCCI



                MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT



           12   MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK






           15   MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR


























            1     (Pledge of Allegiance recited and moment of


            2        reflection observed.)


            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Roll call, please.


            4                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


            5                      MS. EVANS:  Here.


            6                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.  Ms.


            7              Fanucci.


            8                      MS. FANUCCI:  Here.


            9                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Here.


           11                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           12                      MR. MCGOFF:  Here.  Let the record


           13              reflect that Mrs. Gatelli called and will


           14              not be attending today's meeting due to a


           15              family illness.  Dispense with the reading


           16              of the minutes.  Any announcements -- or


           17              Third Order, I'm sorry.


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




           20              JUNE 24, 2009.


           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?


           22              If not, received and filed.


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




           25              JUNE 24, 2009.






            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?


            2              If not, received and filed.


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




            5              HELD ON JUNE 24, 2009.


            6                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?


            7              If not, received and filed.


            8                      MS. GARVEY: 3-D. AGENDA FOR THE




           10              HELD ON JULY 22, 2009.


           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?


           12              If not, received and filed.


           13                      MS. GARVEY: 3-E. TAX COLLECTION




           15              TAX OFFICE JULY 22, 2009.


           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?


           17              If not, received and filed.


           18                      MS. GARVEY: 3-F. CONTROLLER'S REPORT


           19              FOR THE MONTH ENDING JUNE 30, 2009.


           20                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?


           21              If not, received and filed.


           22                      Prior to Fourth Order are there any


           23              announcements?


           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I have one.


           25                      MS. EVANS: And I just have one, too.






            1              You go ahead.


            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay.  Sorry.  I


            3              just have one announcement, the Tripp Park


            4              Neighborhood Association picnic at the Tripp


            5              Park Community Center parking lot on Dorothy


            6              Street will be Friday, August 24, and


            7              Saturday August 22 from 6:00 p.m. until


            8              10:00 p.m.


            9                      MS. EVANS: What was that again?


           10              Friday, August --


           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Friday, August 21


           12              and Saturday, August 22 from 6 to 10, and


           13              that's going to be in the parking lot of the


           14              Tripp Park Community Center on Dorothy


           15              Street.


           16                      MS. EVANS: Please remember in your


           17              prayers all those who have died this past


           18              week, particularly Taevon and Michael Miles,


           19              two young brothers who died in a West


           20              Scranton arson fire also week and their


           21              mother, Mrs. Leary and brother Nigia who


           22              deeply suffer their loss.


           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Anything else?


           24                      MS. EVANS: No.


           25                      MR. MCGOFF: Citizens' participation.






            1              Nancy Krake.  Let me just -- because


            2              Mrs. Gatelli isn't here, there is no need to


            3              change the order, so we'll just go.


            4                      MS. FANUCCI: Yeah, we had switched


            5              the order.


            6                      MR. MCGOFF: We will just have a five


            7              minutes.


            8                      MS. KRAKE: Good morning, Council.


            9              I'm just going to be raising a few issues


           10              before you recess for the summer.  First


           11              would be why are we demolishing Holy Cross


           12              Church?  It is clearly not blighted and


           13              should be returned to the tax rolls


           14              especially in light of the budget shortfall


           15              this year.


           16                      Now, I guess the mayor could raise


           17              taxes again while he has still has a council


           18              majority.  The city's insurance company paid


           19              $30,000 for Mrs. Gatelli's private lawsuit


           20              and costs continued to mount.  When will


           21              Mrs. Gatelli reimburse the city for her


           22              private lawsuit?  Wouldn't a rational person


           23              agree that the taxpayers, the same ones that


           24              Mrs. Gatelli voted to increase their


           25              property tax 27 percent, pay for this same






            1              city's insurance costs?  So, in essence, she


            2              is suing city residents as a private citizen


            3              and using their own money, taxes, to do so.


            4                      Also, will Mrs. Gatelli drop her


            5              lawsuit or pay for it herself when she


            6              leaves office or will the taxpayers continue


            7              to pay for her lawsuit when she no longer


            8              sits on council?  Thank you.


            9                      MR. MCGOFF: Andy Sbaraglia.


           10                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,


           11              citizen of Scranton, fellow Scrantonians.  A


           12              little talk on 7-E on Holy Cross Church.


           13              What is the rush to tear that church down?


           14              That's the whole quirks.  I mean, you are


           15              giving 120 days rush order on tearing this


           16              church down.  What's the need for such a


           17              rush?  That church has been standing for


           18              near 100 years and all of a sudden now we've


           19              got to tear it really down real fast like.


           20              I have before me 20 pictures of homes that


           21              are derelict homes within the city, and


           22              believe me, they are worse than Holy Cross


           23              Church, that's obvious.  I don't understand


           24              the rush on that project.  Would you -- I


           25              guess you all see them, would you like to






            1              see them?


            2                      MS. EVANS: Yes, I would.  Thank you.


            3                      (Mr. Sbaraglia hands photos to Mrs.


            4              Evans.)


            5                      MR. SBARAGLIA: The city isn't


            6              rushing.  I live on Main Avenue.  We all


            7              know about that home on Main Avenue where we


            8              did it twice and they trashed it twice.


            9              It's still standing.  It has been standing


           10              for years, but yet we are in a rush to tear


           11              down Holy Cross Church.  I can't understand


           12              it and there must be a reason for it, maybe


           13              yous know of the reason for it.


           14                      MS. FANUCCI:  Because they want to


           15              use it as a parking lot.  I mean, that's the


           16              reason.  They want to use it for something.


           17              The other church they really didn't have a


           18              use for, so that is the reason.


           19                      MR. SBARAGLIA: It's not a good


           20              reason.


           21                      MS. FANUCCI:  Well, it might not be


           22              a good reason, but it is the reason.


           23                      MR. SBARAGLIA: That's the reason


           24              they gave.


           25                      MS. FANUCCI: You're saying that you






            1              don't know what the reason is.  That's the


            2              reason.


            3                      MR. SBARAGLIA: No, that's the reason


            4              they gave.  That's not necessarily in their


            5              planning.  There must be something more to


            6              it than that because they wouldn't be


            7              willing to spend all of that money when the


            8              West Side Boy's Club calls I didn't see the


            9              mayor come up with $50,000 or $100,000 to


           10              keep that open and that had a better


           11              basketball court if you are familiar with


           12              the West Side.


           13                      MS. FANUCCI: But don't they have


           14              property next door to the Boy's and Girl's


           15              Club that they were trying to sell that we


           16              could have bought as a city and then tore it


           17              down.  No.


           18                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Yes, there is if they


           19              put an effort to do it.  They could have.


           20                      MS. FANUCCI: Come on, Andy.


           21                      MR. SBARAGLIA: No, they could have.


           22              That street has been derelict, I grew up


           23              there.  If they wanted to do it they could


           24              have, but they didn't want to do it.


           25              Another thing is there have been basketball






            1              games at that court where you're talking


            2              about for the past what 20 years, 30 years?


            3                      MS. FANUCCI:  Absolutely.


            4                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Now all of a sudden


            5              we got to rush to tear the building down.


            6              It doesn't make sense.  I'll give you that.


            7              Whatever reason they gave they gave.  Like I


            8              said, I can give a lot of reasons to build a


            9              damn across from east to west mountain, too,


           10              but there is a lot of negatives that come


           11              with it and this whole city would be


           12              flooded, but I can give a lot of positives


           13              about cheaper electricity, a big lake that


           14              you can use.  I can give all kind of


           15              reasons, but they are not practical reasons


           16              and that's not a practical reason.


           17                      Let's go to the lease agreement for


           18              the OECD.  Did the city put in a bid for


           19              that by any chance?


           20                      MS. FANUCCI: I don't believe so.


           21                      MR. SBARAGLIA: I wonder why not?


           22                      MS. FANUCCI: I did ask and the


           23              answer I received was that the amount of


           24              space that was available within city hall,


           25              is that what you are talking, with them






            1              moving OECD back here was not sufficient for


            2              the office.  That's the answer I received.


            3              Whether or not you like it, that's what I


            4              got.


            5                      MR. SBARAGLIA: And that was the


            6              reason they moved out, too, all right?


            7              There wasn't enough reason --


            8                      MS. FANUCCI: Right, and they have


            9              100 employees now.


           10                      MR. SBARAGLIA: We have a museum in


           11              the basement, don't we, where the old police


           12              station was?


           13                      MS. FANUCCI: I think that that's


           14              even smaller than upstairs actually.


           15                      MR. SBARAGLIA: But you have two


           16              different areas.  I mean, you combine all


           17              them areas there might have been enough room


           18              for that.  I think they should have at least


           19              looked into it.  I mean, we got a museum


           20              downstairs that nobody gets to see, but it's


           21              there.  Oh, well, like I say, five minutes


           22              is going to run out there.  I'm not -- I


           23              don't understand "H" either, 7-H with the


           24              zoning officer effective 6-2-09.  They are


           25              going back a few things, I guess that's when






            1              he was hired, and they did all of a sudden


            2              that they need permission to do it or what?


            3              What's the reason we are going back to


            4              April 6?  7-H.


            5                      MS. FANUCCI: Yeah.  I have to read


            6              it here.


            7                      MR. SBARAGLIA: We seem to go


            8              backwards with the city.  Same when they put


            9              the insurance all the way back to January.


           10              Our liability insurance for the whole city


           11              we go back to January for it in June I think


           12              it was.  Thank you.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  Bob Bolus.


           14                      MR. BOLUS: Good morning, Council,


           15              Bob Bolus, Scranton.  This is an issue about


           16              7-E about Holy Cross Church, and I think we


           17              need to really pay attention what's going on


           18              here.  Do we need a parking lot to pay the


           19              taxpayers expense in the City of Scranton


           20              when there is abandoned tennis courts right


           21              down the street that could be utilized but


           22              nobody has thought about it or said we could


           23              use them, but yet we want to turn down this


           24              magnificent structure that you couldn't


           25              build today for $1 million.  You want to






            1              take away the heritage.  These were gateway


            2              churches.


            3                      Mr. Early, who is the chancellor of


            4              the Diocesan, authored a book about the


            5              Diocese, about the history of it.  Is this a


            6              turntail?  What he said isn't true?  What he


            7              meant in his book is untrue?  Is this what


            8              the Diocese considers a giveaway?


            9                      We offered $25,000 to the church and


           10              they never even came back and said, "Give us


           11              a counteroffer."


           12                       And ironically when the city isn't


           13              paying attention you are rushing the


           14              judgment.  You are calling it blighted


           15              because a tile fell off it God knows when.


           16              What if a tile fell off the courthouse?  How


           17              about city hall?  Are we going to consider


           18              it now blighted and tear it down?  I don't


           19              think so.


           20                      Lieutenant Robson died tragically


           21              yet you have not torn that building down


           22              yet.  What is your meaning of what you


           23              believe is blighted in this city?  Open your


           24              eyes and drive around.  Don't give me the


           25              nonsense we are going to make this a parking






            1              lot for public parking at taxpayers'


            2              expenses.  That's an absurdity.  It's the


            3              dumbest thing I have heard here in the many


            4              years I have come here, and I'm outraged to


            5              even hear a comment like that.  When that


            6              building next door, the hall, is so


            7              deteriorated, needs a roof, the foundations


            8              are cracked, windows are all broken around


            9              the basement of it, that's what should be


           10              torn down, yet you are enhancing that by


           11              tearing this church down and giving the


           12              Dioceses a free parking lot at our expenses.


           13                      MS. FANUCCI: Bob, you weren't the


           14              only one turned down in the sale of the


           15              building --


           16                      MR. BOLUS: No, let me tell you


           17              something --


           18                      MS. FANUCCI: They won't sell the


           19              building to anyone that --


           20                      MR. BOLUS:  Let me finish what I


           21              have to say, Sherry, and I'll be more than


           22              glad to listen to what you got to say at the


           23              end, please.  This Diocese sat there and


           24              said, "We have a short fall of 200 and some


           25              thousand dollars," yet they turned down






            1              $25,000 or they could have turned $100,000


            2              down.  They want us, the parishioners of the


            3              City of Scranton, to continue to pay for


            4              their foolishness and their foolhardy way


            5              they handle money.


            6                      My suggestion to every Catholic in


            7              this Diocese is don't put another bloody


            8              dime in the basket.  It's time to remove


            9              this Bishop once and for all and let people


           10              really know what he is about.  He has not


           11              paid attention there is money being put in


           12              the coffers and he has ignored it and yet


           13              they want us to pay, and I'm outraged that


           14              the council here would even entertain taking


           15              this on.


           16                      Remember, this could be under the


           17              heritage, architectural heritage, and you


           18              are going to be stopped from doing anything


           19              with this church once you take title to


           20              this.  This is a foolhardy rush to judgment


           21              when you have more important issues in this


           22              city to take care of especially with our


           23              money.  There is no reason you cannot table


           24              this, dwell on it, think about it as


           25              intelligent people and administrators of our






            1              money and our futures and the futures of


            2              future generations.  You allow millions and


            3              millions of dollars to be spent on


            4              Lackawanna Avenue to present what, an image


            5              to the city, yet we want to tear down a


            6              building like this that has use?  Whether


            7              it's gutted or not you could do anything


            8              creative with that building you want to do.


            9              People have been parking there for the last


           10              100 years.  Now they need a parking lot?


           11              They are too darn lazy after they have ran


           12              up and down the ball court playing


           13              basketball for hours to walk across to


           14              street to the tennis court and park?


           15                      That's the dumbest thing I have


           16              heard since I have been around this city


           17              that we want to tear a building to make this


           18              a parking lot and enhance the Dioceses at no


           19              expense to them.  That's an unjust


           20              enrichment.  That's a foolhardy spending of


           21              our money.


           22                      I took time from a business meeting


           23              I had today to come here.  I could have


           24              filed litigation and played this court and


           25              played the games today, but if this council






            1              and this administration is so ridiculously


            2              intent on tearing this building down I don't


            3              want to waste another dime in this city.


            4              I'm a developer, I'm a businessman, and I


            5              know the value of our heritage and you


            6              cannot sit here in conscience and justify a


            7              parking lot and think that was an


            8              intelligent thing to do.


            9                      This whole process smells and it


           10              smells very bad.  It does.  It really does,


           11              Mr. McGoff.  It stinks.  If you pass this


           12              for a parking lot you have not justified


           13              your position here and the best interest of


           14              this people in this city and I'm glad we


           15              made some changes.  You have to think about


           16              the people.


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


           18                      MR. BOLUS:  No, it isn't thank you


           19              today, Mr. McGoff, we have an issue today


           20              and I want one second more, you are putting


           21              bike racks in the city for free, let me them


           22              pay.  We got to pay to park our cars here,


           23              let them pay to use the bike racks.


           24              Generate income, increase the tax base --


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






            1                      MR. BOLUS: -- in this city.  There


            2              is an opportunity, let's not be bullied by


            3              this bishop any further.  Thank you.


            4                      MS. FANUCCI:  All you did was show


            5              irrational was, Bobby.  You want them to pay


            6              for bike racks?


            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Sherry, please.


            8                      MR. BOLUS:  What, Sherry?


            9                      MS. FANUCCI: I can't.


           10                      MR. BOLUS: Say what, Sherry, I


           11              didn't hear you?


           12                      MS. FANUCCI: (Inaudible.)


           13                      MR. BOLUS: Well, I didn't hear your


           14              comment.


           15                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Ron Ellman.


           16                      (Inaudible comments from Mr. Bolus.


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


           18                      MR. BOLUS: Well, I didn't appreciate


           19              the comment from a council person --


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


           21                      MR. BOLUS: That doesn't listen to


           22              what the people have to say if they don't


           23              like it.


           24                      MS. FANUCCI: I listened and I


           25              commented on your bike rack comment.






            1                      MR. MCGOFF: Please.


            2                      MR. BOLUS: You're an irrational


            3              person in the first place, trust me on that.


            4              (Inaudible comments.)


            5                      MR. FANUCCI: All right.


            6                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Bolus.  Thank you.


            7                      MR. ELLMAN: Ronnie Ellman, member of


            8              the Taxpayers' Association.  You know,


            9              sometimes you have this lunatic comes up


           10              here trying to entertain the troops and you


           11              give her 10 or 15 minutes before you can get


           12              rid of her, here is something important


           13              going on you won't let him have another


           14              minute.  That's not right.  It wouldn't have


           15              killed you.


           16                      MS. FANUCCI: The reason I commented


           17              was the bike racks.  I'm okay with listening


           18              about the church, I honestly believe his


           19              comments about the church are valid and I


           20              believe that, but when I listen to somebody


           21              saying we should charge people for bike


           22              racks, I don't believe they deserve another


           23              minute for that.  No.


           24                      MR. ELLMAN: No, I understand that.


           25                      MS. FANUCCI: No, Ronnie, really.






            1              The church I understand.  I believe that --


            2                      MR. ELLMAN:  I'm not being


            3              argumentative about it, I just stated a


            4              fact.  I don't see why you are trying to buy


            5              a building anyway when they can't afford it.


            6              They are losing it really.  It doesn't make


            7              sense, you know.  People go looking at a


            8              house or a car you don't give them the exact


            9              amount you try to dicker and get the price


           10              down or something, you don't give them --


           11              you know, they can't hold onto the church


           12              why are you talking about buying it?


           13                      And I did something anybody up there


           14              could have done, I phoned two demolition


           15              companies during the week, both of them said


           16              you cannot tear that building down for


           17              $50,000, and they can't give you a price


           18              because they don't know how much hazardous


           19              materials are in it to have to go to a


           20              landfill, but they said it's impossible to


           21              tear it down for $50,000.


           22                      And from what I hear that building,


           23              I was told this by somebody that works for


           24              the city, that building is probably in


           25              better shape than the new school is because






            1              the basement floods all of the time in the


            2              new school and I got that from the horse's


            3              mouth and nobody is supposed to know about


            4              it.  That basement has been flooded in the


            5              new school and I heard it from two different


            6              people.  Well, go investigate it.


            7                      I would have been here last week to


            8              bad mouth everybody except I went to


            9              Mr. Cox's office with my papers that from


           10              five or six years ago and the man spent two


           11              hours trying to find where my tax money is


           12              with all of his computers and everything and


           13              he cannot figure it out.  I spent $500 for


           14              an attorney he couldn't figure it out and


           15              couldn't find nothing.  I went -- I got a


           16              free attorney at the Bureau of the Aging or


           17              whatever you call it, that man gave up.  Why


           18              can't they find my money?  There is no


           19              account from -- that NCC, they charged me


           20              $2,400, it's not on the computer where that


           21              money went.  That whole place is such a mess


           22              I don't know what you want the job for.  I


           23              spent two hours and Mr. Cox is on that


           24              computer typing up a storm to no avail.


           25                      MS. FANUCCI: They couldn't find any






            1              of your payments?


            2                      MR. ELLMAN: You got your job cut out


            3              -- pardon?


            4                      MR. FANUCCI: They couldn't find any


            5              of your payments?


            6                      MR. ELLMAN: Yeah, it found out, you


            7              know, he'd type something up and it says


            8              where my mortgage paid it, it says,


            9              "Mortgage" next to it, and they fined me --


           10              I had to give them $1,900 when my mortgage


           11              paid it, then they turned that $1,900 over


           12              to that NCC and they and fined me $2,400


           13              because the sheriff come out there with the


           14              papers on the house and all of that, and


           15              Miss Rosey got all excited and ran over


           16              there and gave them $2,4,00 and none of that


           17              money is accounted for.  You can -- I got


           18              all of the paperwork.


           19                      MS. FANUCCI: Oh.


           20                      MR. ELLMAN: My bank made payments


           21              and payments and payments every year.  They


           22              sent it, you know, it's a -- they sent me a


           23              sheet.


           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Ron, what you are


           25              saying, there is no record of you making






            1              payment, that's what you are telling me,


            2              right?


            3                      MR. ELLMAN: That's what Mr. Cox -- I


            4              got all of the sheets --


            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  From your bank.


            6                      MR. ELLMAN:  I'll bring them to you


            7              to look at, you won't be here next week,


            8              will you?


            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  No. From your bank


           10              though?  You got them from your bank saying


           11              you paid your taxes?


           12                      MR. ELLMAN: Yeah, they got the years


           13              down, '95 and so forth, you know, what --


           14              what they paid in taxes, but it -- they have


           15              the interest, you know, on my money, they


           16              just show a little bit of the interest where


           17              they paid the taxes so it's different every


           18              year from the taxes.  I'll bring you


           19              everything by your business and leave it.


           20              If you can figure it out you are a better


           21              man that anybody over here at this tax


           22              bureau because --


           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Just bring them


           24              here to city hall because I'll be in there


           25              every day even though we're on break.






            1                      MR. ELLMAN:  Over here?


            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Right here, just to


            3              our office over here.


            4                      MR. ELLMAN: Right over there?


            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah.


            6                      MR. ELLMAN: Thank you.


            7                      MS. FANUCCI:  Funny they couldn't


            8              find your name when they are sending out the


            9              bill though, right?  Wouldn't that be nice


           10              for a change?


           11                      MR. ELLMAN: I don't know.


           12                      MS. FANUCCI:  They seem to be able


           13              to do that well.


           14                      MR. ELLMAN: I should have let them


           15              have the house, it would have been easier.


           16                      MS. FANUCCI: That's terrible.


           17              Terrible.


           18                      MR. ELLMAN: Thank you.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF: David Dobrzyn.


           20                      MR. DOBRZYN: Good morning, Council.


           21              Dave Dobrzyn, member of the Taxpayers'


           22              Association, resident of Scranton.  On 7-E I


           23              have a different approach and I'm going to


           24              read off our Article III of the Pennsylvania


           25              State Constitution:  All men have a natural






            1              and indiffusable right to worship God


            2              almighty according to the dictates of their


            3              consciences.  No man of right can be


            4              compelled to attend, erect or support any


            5              place of worship or maintain any ministry


            6              against it's consent.  No human authority


            7              can in any case whatsoever control or


            8              interfere with the rights of conscience and


            9              no preferences shall ever be given by a law


           10              to any religious establishments or mode of


           11              worship."


           12                      And the reason I read this off is


           13              because I feel that the situation is a


           14              little too cozy and I think that eventually


           15              it will wind up -- the property will wind up


           16              back in the hands of the church at


           17              taxpayers' expense which I contend is


           18              requiring us taxpayers to support the church


           19              and the Diocese of Scranton.  Thank you and


           20              have a good morning.


           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Nancy Bisignani.


           22                      MS. BISIGNANI: I'm Nancy Bisignani


           23              with the Architectural Heritage Association


           24              of Northeastern Pennsylvania and I'm here


           25              about Holy Cross, and in our group's






            1              opinion, and we don't have this opinion from


            2              the state historic preservation office yet,


            3              but this building is national register


            4              eligible because of it's history, it's got a


            5              very strong history, and it's an


            6              architecturally significant building, and to


            7              use federal funds to demolish it will


            8              require 106 process from the National


            9              Historic Preservation Act, and we would like


           10              to respectfully request council to table


           11              this to give us a little bit more time to


           12              get some experts in here and to come up with


           13              some other ideas.


           14                      These churches are being used all


           15              over the country and the same thing is


           16              happening all over the country that's


           17              happening here, congregations are being


           18              combined, and they are doing very


           19              interesting things with churches.  They are


           20              doing community centers with basketball


           21              courts.  They are doing libraries, they are


           22              doing restaurants, they are doing apartment


           23              complexes.  There is many, many creative


           24              things that can be considered for this and


           25              what I'm worried about, and I'd like to ask






            1              council this, is this says, "To execute any


            2              and all other documents necessary for


            3              closing this transaction," does that include


            4              demolition?  Is there in the sale's


            5              agreement a requirement that it be


            6              demolished?


            7                      MS. EVANS: I guess there is, that it


            8              be demolished within a period of 120 days or


            9              the church will revert to the ownership of


           10              the Diocese.


           11                      MS. BISIGNANI: Well, what I would


           12              like council to do is table this until your


           13              fall schedule comes back up and by that time


           14              we could have a little bit more preparation


           15              work, and I'm speaking on behalf of the


           16              Architectural Heritage Association which is


           17              the only historic preservation organization


           18              in town.  Thank you.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Marie Schumacher.


           20                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Marie Schumacher,


           21              city resident and taxpayer.  I, too, would


           22              like to ask what's the rush with respect to


           23              7-E.  Has anyone considered any other uses


           24              for this structure?  Surely if the 500 block


           25              of Lackawanna Avenue is historic, this 100






            1              year old church is the same.


            2                      Sunday afternoon WNEP news showed a


            3              Wilkes-Barre library that had been displaced


            4              by a fire several years before and was now


            5              moving into an empty church.  If Scranton


            6              needs a library in the South Side area, why


            7              not save a historic building and possibly


            8              consider it for the library.  It looks as


            9              though there is a lot of space there.


           10                      Also, Lackawanna County advertises


           11              the place where innovation starts, so let's


           12              take the month of August to use some


           13              innovation and find another use for this


           14              structure.  There is an empty lot across on


           15              Fifth -- across pretty much across from the


           16              hall that perhaps could be used for parking.


           17              And I guess that's -- well, the other thing


           18              is I would like to show you pictures, if


           19              this is not a building that should be


           20              condemned -- Neal, maybe you could take --


           21              these show pictures of the roof of the


           22              current building.  I wouldn't let a child or


           23              a grandchild of mine in that building with a


           24              roof in this condition and I question -- I


           25              question the health of that structure, and






            1              if the Diocese can't afford $50,000 to


            2              demolish their church without coming through


            3              council then I would also think that perhaps


            4              they can't afford to put a new roof on that


            5              building, but that all needs to be


            6              investigated plus I would like to know if


            7              you have considered the added liability and


            8              maintenance for the parking lot.  That also


            9              ads to the ongoing expenses of the city.


           10                      I'd also like to ask about last


           11              week's 5-D.  Did anyone find out if Bruce


           12              Miller is certified to be a zoning officer?


           13              He is?  Yes, he is or --


           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: There is all kinds


           15              of qualifications.


           16                      MS. SCHUMACHER:  Okay, later, and


           17              does he -- I notice it wasn't on today's


           18              agenda, does he continue to work as a zoning


           19              officer until council returns in September?


           20              You can answer that one in motions.


           21                      And something that's troubled me


           22              ever since the light went off when Nancy


           23              Krake spoke of this months and months ago,


           24              maybe even years ago, and that is the fines


           25              that are charged property tax owners.  I






            1              don't understand why only property tax


            2              owners are -- are there any fines if a wage


            3              -- if a person doesn't pay their wage taxes


            4              on time?  I don't think so.  Any of these


            5              other fees, are there any late fees


            6              assessed?  I don't think so. So why is it


            7              only the poor property owner and in many


            8              cases the elderly who are living on fixed


            9              incomes?


           10                      I would like to share with you


           11              something from the Fairfax County, Virginia,


           12              what they do for their elderly, which is 62


           13              -- or excuse me, 65 or older or if you are


           14              disabled.  If the gros household income is


           15              $52,000 or less you get 100 percent property


           16              tax relieve.  If it's between $52,001 and


           17              $62,000 it's 50 percent.  If it's between --


           18              if your gross household income is $62,000 to


           19              $72,000 you get 25 percent relief, and up to


           20              $6,500 may be subtracted from the total


           21              combined income calculations for each


           22              relative residing in the household, and


           23              there are more.  You are allowed to have net


           24              assets limits up to $340,000, not including


           25              the value of the home and it's furnishings.






            1                      Now, I think this is what we should


            2              be doing for our seniors, obviously the


            3              amounts would have to be adjusted for the


            4              property values here, but I think it's


            5              something that should be looked at.  Thank


            6              you.


            7                      MR. MCGOFF:Mike Lapalla.


            8                      MR. LAPALLA: Mike Lapalla, resident


            9              of North Scranton.  I first want to say


           10              thank you for Mr. Courtright and Ms. Garvey


           11              for going out last week and getting the


           12              Parks Department to come out and fix the


           13              park.  They put a new swing in.  They fixed


           14              that wire, thankfully that wasn't live.  I


           15              don't know why they just concreted that


           16              sidewalk over the wire, but now it's gone,


           17              which is good, and also they picked up the


           18              trash in the area which is even better.


           19                      The main reason I came here last


           20              week was for that house.  The abandoned


           21              house is, you know, it's a hazard there, and


           22              that's the main concern that I had as well


           23              as the families there in the area.  I would


           24              hope that this is home is razed before the


           25              church does.  Several others also in the






            1              area are deplorable and need work before


            2              that church.


            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I don't know, Kay,


            4              do you know -- the house is bad and they


            5              haven't boarded up those windows that you


            6              talked about0.


            7                      MR. LAPALLA: I went up there this


            8              morning.


            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Kay, did they tell


           10              us where that was on the list?  Didn't Mark


           11              Seitzinger say he was going to check it out


           12              and see where it was on the list?


           13                      MS. GARVEY: He was go to check it


           14              out and hopefully move it up wherever it


           15              was, but I haven't heard anything since


           16              then.


           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I got to be honest


           18              with you, Mike, after we spoke and I went


           19              there and then it was either that day or the


           20              next day I saw Mark Seitzinger and


           21              Mr. Oleski going in that direction so --


           22                      MR. LAPALLA:  I'm glad because -- -


           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll keep on that


           24              because it's bad.


           25                      MR. LAPALLA: So am I, and I'm going






            1              to keep on it because I gave my word and I


            2              don't go back on my word.  The parents and


            3              the families that are around there saw them


            4              out there that day and they were very proud


            5              of that and thankful for them coming out, so


            6              I'm very happy about that.


            7                      But the one point I want to make


            8              clear that I don't believe that the Parks


            9              Department or the Department of Public Works


           10              are fully responsible for the blight in the


           11              park.  As a citizen, I believe it is our


           12              right to keep the neighborhoods clean and


           13              safe.  Picking up trash and not littering is


           14              something we can all do to make our


           15              community better.  We should not have to


           16              wait for someone else to come and do


           17              something that we should be doing already.


           18              We should have more pride in ourselves and


           19              our community.  We, as citizens, should


           20              stand up against those that do not take care


           21              of our community, whether that's trash,


           22              graffiti or vandalism.


           23                      If we as citizens do not do anything


           24              or say something then it would just get


           25              brushed under the carpet.  For instance, the






            1              last week the gentleman came about the grass


            2              that fell on the road and complained about


            3              it, but didn't pick it up.  We could be kind


            4              and say, "Excuse me, the grass dropped," or


            5              better yet, just pick it up and throw it


            6              away yourselves.  If we did that, every


            7              citizen in our community, our community


            8              would be a lot better off.


            9                      I was one of those individuals that


           10              was on the TV -- watching the city council


           11              on TV, sitting on the couch reading the


           12              newspaper or whatever it may be, and I


           13              always said, "I wish somebody would do


           14              something.  I wish somebody would stand up


           15              and fight for these people or try to get


           16              that project done."


           17                      Well, I got off the couch and I'm


           18              here.  I'm going to fight for the people,


           19              I'm going to fight for my community that I


           20              love, that I just got here and became


           21              adorned to.  I believe in the city and I


           22              want to improve it for my family and the


           23              families in the future and in this


           24              community.  Thank you for your time and


           25              thank you for listening to my concerns.






            1                      MS. FANUCCI: Looks like we met our


            2              new councilman, huh?


            3                      MR. LAPALLA:  No.


            4                      MR. MCGOFF: Any other speakers?


            5              Mr. Quinn?


            6                      MR. QUINN:  Morning.  Ozzie Quinn,


            7              president of the Scranton/Lackawanna County


            8              Taxpayers' Association.  I was hoping that


            9              Mrs. Gatelli was going to be here today


           10              because of the Holy Cross Church demolition


           11              and the 120 day stipulation to knock it


           12              down.  This building is over on Cedar Avenue


           13              I guess in the -- her South Side


           14              renaissance, it's the old former Bistro.


           15              It's been there vacant since 2002, okay?  I


           16              guess you all saw it, okay?  I'll give it to


           17              the news if they would like to see it, I


           18              mean, there is something for ten years and


           19              it's still existing.


           20                      The City of Scranton Administrative


           21              Code states in part:  At any time during the


           22              budget year the business administrator shall


           23              ascertain the possibility of a cash deficit


           24              he shall reconsider the work program and the


           25              allotments of the several office,






            1              departments and agencies.


            2                      Upon such consideration and with the


            3              approval of the mayor and council, the


            4              business administrator shall revise the


            5              allotments so as to forestall so far as


            6              possible the making of commitments and


            7              expenditures and expenses of revenue to be


            8              realized during the official year.


            9                      The mayor is going -- has said he is


           10              going to use federal community block grant


           11              money intended for removing blighted


           12              properties will be used for the project.


           13              The mayor also said city employees will be


           14              performing the work of the demolition.  The


           15              project that would be authorized by the


           16              council is a capital project though not


           17              presented as an amendment to the 2009


           18              capital budget which did not include this


           19              project, therefore, it must constitute an


           20              urgent need under the CDBG program.


           21                      Well, it doesn't meet that criteria


           22              for urgent need.  You really have to have


           23              something urgent, okay?  Holy Cross does not


           24              pose a serious and immediate threat to the


           25              health or welfare of the community.  I have






            1              had several calls myself from people who


            2              even in the winter about the rats and the


            3              snow, cleaning the snow and whatnot, okay?


            4              Misusing HUD funds could draw such sanctions


            5              which would reduce future CDBG allocations


            6              which are critically needed to assist low/


            7              moderate income residents.  The revenue


            8              portion of the city's budget is in jeopardy


            9              due primarily to an assumed 5.5 infusion


           10              from the Single Tax Office which


           11              increasingly looks as though it will not


           12              come to fruition at the budget amount.


           13                      The city is de facto increasing the


           14              expenditure portion of the budget.  If they


           15              approve this ordinance, approval of this


           16              ordinance will remove a portion of the


           17              flexibility provided to business


           18              administrators to control a year's end cash


           19              deficit.  This would likely result either in


           20              a tax increase or an increased debt, both of


           21              which would be determined, it would be


           22              detrimental to the taxpayers who are already


           23              facing another school tax increase of


           24              6.5 percent.


           25                      I urge you people to table this as






            1              the member of the AHA said and consider it


            2              again because when you look a picture like


            3              that that's hanging around for ten years and


            4              you want to knock down something in 120


            5              days, as Mrs. Evans always says, it doesn't


            6              pass the smell test.  Thank you.


            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  How's the dog,


            8              Jeannie?


            9                      MS. SUETTA:  The tail is good.  My


           10              tail is good.  My name is Jean Suetta.  Bob,


           11              I come up about the weeds.  They did -- when


           12              you're done talking, Bill.


           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Go ahead.


           14                      MS. SUETTA: I mean, if I'm


           15              interfering just let me know.


           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: No at all.


           17                      MS. SUETTA: All right.  They did the


           18              Lace Works and they did that corner.  The


           19              jungle is still across the street on


           20              Greenridge Street and Vanic VIP,


           21              Incorporated, owns the lots.


           22                      MS. FANUCCI: Who does?


           23                      MS. SUETTA: Vanic, V-A-N-I-C.


           24                      MS. FANUCCI: Okay.


           25                      MS. SUETTA: I have the phone number






            1              and the fax number for you, too.


            2                      MS. FANUCCI:  Would you give that to


            3              Neil.  I hate that -- I mean, I know that


            4              you love to do that.  Give it to Neil.


            5                      MS. SUETTA: I know.  They are not


            6              doing nothing.  You know what, you are


            7              looking for revenue, the Cordaro owns the


            8              Lace Works, I went down to Bethlehem to the


            9              casino.  Why don't they put a casino in the


           10              Lace Works or Laminations, that's big


           11              enough?


           12                      MS. FANUCCI: Jean, do you really


           13              need a casino that close to you.  Now, come


           14              on.


           15                      MS. SUETTA:  Once I get my legs


           16              fixed I'll be all right, I can walk, but


           17              right now I can't.  But really to get the


           18              revenue.


           19                      MS. FANUCCI: It would be revenue,


           20              but it's a lot of private --


           21                      MS. MCGOFF:  You can't --


           22                      MS. FANUCCI: Yeah, you can't just


           23              open a casino.


           24                      MS. SUETTA:  No, you have to get a


           25              realtor, blah, blah, blah, but rather than






            1              see it sit there idle.


            2                      MS. FANUCCI: I do believe there is a


            3              project in the works and nothing can be done


            4              until the levy project is finished with that


            5              building.


            6                      MS. SUETTA: Yeah, because now they


            7              just took down the Greenridge Lanes and all


            8              of the rodents from there are coming over to


            9              that little patch, and if I see any rats,


           10              okay, you can't arrest me for protecting


           11              myself by shooting one.


           12                      MS. FANUCCI:  Right.  We will make


           13              sure we get that taken care of now that we


           14              know who to contact.


           15                      MS. SUETTA: Because it's been a


           16              month already.


           17                      MS. FANUCCI: Yeah.


           18                      MS. SUETTA: They had ample time.


           19                      MS. EVANS: We put the request in for


           20              you.


           21                      MS. SUETTA: Yeah, I know, but they


           22              had ample time.  Give them a fine.


           23                      MS. FANUCCI: I agree.  I totally


           24              agree.


           25                      MS. SUETTA: You know.  All right.






            1              Leave the church there, will ya?  Okay.


            2              Thank you.  Hey, have a good vacation.


            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?


            4                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: I'm the last one,


            5              Bobby.


            6                      MR. MCGOFF: All right, Chris.


            7                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: Hi, Bill.


            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Hi.


            9                      MR. SLEDENZSKI: Billy, you guys have


           10              a good vacation, Billy.  Thank you.


           11                      MS. EVANS: Thanks.


           12                      MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Evans?


           13                      MS. EVANS: Good morning.  To begin,


           14              I wish to explain my absence from last


           15              week's council meeting.  My third grandchild


           16              surprised us by arriving early at an


           17              out-of-state hospital, and my son and


           18              daughter-in-law, God bless them, are the


           19              proud parents of a beautiful baby girl.  I


           20              thank all who sent congratulatory cards and


           21              e-mails.


           22                      Next, we turn our attention to


           23              several financial matters.  The 2008


           24              independent audit apparently has hit some


           25              roadblocks caused by the city administration






            1              and the Scranton Tax Office.  A memo was


            2              sent on July 14 requesting nine pieces of


            3              information and receipt of the Redevelopment


            4              Authority report.  On July 21, the identical


            5              memo was sent again requesting the same


            6              information.  Clearly, council will not


            7              receive the audit prior to it's recess


            8              despite the constant and commendable efforts


            9              of Rossi & Company.


           10                      However, I would like the complete


           11              audit furnished to council before it resumes


           12              regular council meetings in September.


           13              Therefore, with my colleague's agreement, I


           14              ask that another letter be sent to the


           15              business administrator, Jeff Brazil, the


           16              Redevelopment Authority, and the Single Tax


           17              Office urging each to forward the required


           18              information to Rossi & Sons no later than


           19              August 7, 2009.  Is that agreeable?  Thank


           20              you.


           21                      Council also received a response


           22              from Attorney McGovern, Scranton Tax Office


           23              solicitor regarding the remaining


           24              $4.5 million which appears to be due to the


           25              city in which the mayor and council majority






            1              approved in the 2009 budget.  Attorney


            2              McGovern states:  This was a problem that


            3              took six years to accumulate and, therefore,


            4              it will take substantial time to distribute


            5              properly.  Rest assured progress is being


            6              made.


            7                      The disbursement of these tax


            8              dollars seems, therefore, to have no


            9              guaranteed timeline and it behooves the


           10              mayor and business administrator who created


           11              the 2009 budget and council members who


           12              approved it to draft a plan now to fill the


           13              potential $4.5 million budget hole.


           14                      In addition, council received the


           15              July 15, 2009, tax collection numbers for


           16              the Scranton Tax Office.  Attorney McGovern


           17              states that the numbers are down compared to


           18              2008.  Further, he suspects the economy and


           19              the fact that 2008 included several back


           20              years for numerous taxpayers who had not


           21              participated in tax payments may account for


           22              this decline.


           23                      Year to date tax collections are as


           24              follows:  Real estate:  $11,202,240, a


           25              decrease of 1.47 percent.






            1                      Wage tax:  $10,345,328, a decrease


            2              of 13.9 percent.


            3                      The Local Services Tax:  $867,039,


            4              an increase of 51.1 percent.


            5                      The Business Privilege Mercantile


            6              tax:  $1,521,385, a decrease of 4.2 percent.


            7                      The total year-to-date tax


            8              collections, $23,935,991, with a total


            9              decrease of $1,613,939 as compared to 2008.


           10                      Should the decrease become a trend


           11              through year-end, coupled by the ongoing


           12              wasteful administrative spending and


           13              possibly the $4.5 million budget hole which


           14              I addressed a minute ago, the city will find


           15              itself in serious financial straights in


           16              2009.


           17                      Next, council received a response


           18              from DA Jarbola regarding it's motion for an


           19              investigation of the Single Tax Office and


           20              former tax collector Ken McDowell.  He


           21              indicated that a meeting was conducted on


           22              May 19, 2009, at which the FBI, Attorney


           23              John McGovern, solicitor of the Single Tax


           24              Office, an auditor from Nihill and Ridley,


           25              the firm who failed to conduct a forensic






            1              audit or any manner of audit, and an


            2              assistant US attorney as well as the DA were


            3              present.  He states that all parties present


            4              at the meeting concluded that there is no


            5              evidence that would indicate that a crime


            6              occurred and as such, there would be no need


            7              to conduct any further investigation into


            8              the Single Tax Office by either the federal


            9              or the local authorities.


           10                      Moreover, the Pennsylvania


           11              Department of Treasury also found no


           12              evidence of criminal activity.


           13                      DA Jarbola further adds:  It appears


           14              that the problems in the Single Tax Office


           15              were the result of a perfect storm.  There


           16              was inadequate training and supervision of


           17              employees and inadequate computer software


           18              equipment was utilized.


           19                      Consequently, it appears that the


           20              federal and local authorities have no


           21              concern for the $2 million in missing taxes


           22              and the numerous violations of state law


           23              made by former tax collector, Ken McDowell.


           24              It is a pathetic perception of local and


           25              federal authority that the citizens of






            1              Scranton and Lackawanna County are facing


            2              and the inability and/or refusal of


            3              authorities to get to the bottom of this


            4              victimization of citizens and taxpayers


            5              causes them to lose all faith in their


            6              government which they look to for justice


            7              and protection.


            8                      I have always had a very strong


            9              sense of right and wrong and an unwavering


           10              belief in government representing and


           11              working for the people and like so many of


           12              you I find my confidence and faith in


           13              authority now shaken and I understand the


           14              majority of citizens who do not vote.  Their


           15              silence speaks volumes.  I hear you and I


           16              get it.


           17                      However, the only redress citizens


           18              appear to be guaranteed is the right to vote


           19              which thereby removes from office those who


           20              failed to represent and protect them.  Until


           21              citizens find the renewed desire to exercise


           22              their only recourse, a harmful and alarming


           23              status quo will continue on many levels of


           24              government in our state.


           25                      On a brighter note, I would like to






            1              wish a very safe and enjoyable summer to


            2              everyone and a tremendous start of a new


            3              school year to all of our young people.


            4                      Finally, I have citizens' requests


            5              and updates for the last week:


            6                      A letter to the Scranton Sewer


            7              Authority:  After authority workers repaired


            8              a sewer line in the 800 block of Willow


            9              Street, they restored homeowner's sidewalks


           10              which had been damaged during the project.


           11              However, there is one property located at


           12              835 Willow Street that did not receive


           13              sidewalk repairs.  A Sewer Authority


           14              supervisor claims that the property owner --


           15              or, excuse me, that the property sits on a


           16              mine and thus will not be restored by the


           17              Sewer Authority.  However, the property


           18              owner states with certainty this is not


           19              correct.  Please repair the sidewalk of the


           20              city taxpayer as soon as possible as was


           21              performed for the adjacent homeowner,


           22              particularly since the current status


           23              suggests a perception of selectivity and


           24              impropriety.


           25                      Please send an inspector to the area






            1              of a restaurant located in West Scranton to


            2              investigate the presence of smoke on


            3              Lafayette Street.  Homeowners complain of


            4              health problems resulting from wood burning


            5              equipment and are unable to open their


            6              windows and screen doors during summer


            7              months as a result.


            8                      Repair a large pothole located at


            9              the corner of Greenridge Street and Dickson


           10              Avenue.


           11                      Pave Arnold Avenue.  Pothole repairs


           12              have proved useless.


           13                      The garbage dumpster located at


           14              429-431 Prescott Avenue has not been removed


           15              and relocated to the back of the property


           16              despite the fact that a certified letter was


           17              mailed on July 6 giving the property owner


           18              ten days in which to comply.  I have not


           19              received any response from Licensing and


           20              Inspections regarding this problem and I


           21              hope that the department has also contacted


           22              the local apartment building manager who can


           23              certainly reach the owner for instructions.


           24              At this point, it seems a citation should be


           25              issued.  Perhaps if the owner must pay to






            1              break the law, he may decide to relocate the


            2              dumpster properly.


            3                      In the 100 block of Meadow Avenue in


            4              front of the Clarion Hotel and Penn Star


            5              Bank are numerous potholes, several city


            6              residents and most recently a resident of


            7              East Mountain have requested the paving of


            8              Meadow Avenue.  If this cannot occur


            9              residents ask that potholes on this heavily


           10              traveled road would be properly repaired by


           11              the city.


           12                      One additional request, Kay, I had


           13              spoken with Mr. McMullen last week about a


           14              "No parking" sign that was removed by his


           15              department on Harrison Avenue and I have in


           16              my possession an ordinance passed by city


           17              council in 2008 granting that "No parking"


           18              sign in compliance with the regulations of


           19              PennDOT and Mr. McMullen requested that if


           20              we had that ordinance if we would please get


           21              it to him immediately and he will then


           22              repost the "No parking" sign, and my


           23              apologies to Mr. O'Neill on behalf of the


           24              city for any inconvenience and any grief


           25              that this unfortunate situation has caused






            1              you.


            2                      I am very happy to report that


            3              progress was made on other requests made


            4              this month.  After many years Cooper Avenue


            5              and Ward Place were paved and the residents


            6              are quite pleased with the results.


            7                      Also, the University of Scranton has


            8              agreed not to install streetlights in front


            9              of a Hill Section resident's home, rather,


           10              lights will be installed on either end of


           11              the homeowner's property.  I hope the


           12              University will continue to keep direct


           13              lines of communication open with their


           14              residential neighbors as their projects


           15              continue, and that's it.


           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Fanucci?


           17                      MS. FANUCCI: I want to speak on two


           18              things:  First of all, these meetings never


           19              cease to amaze me.  Mrs. Krake coming up and


           20              speaking of the lawsuit with Mrs. Gatelli


           21              for $30,000.  Funny to me that Nancy Krake,


           22              who has been working with -- used to work in


           23              the office where the money has been


           24              collected for taxes didn't complain that


           25              Mr. Pilcheski didn't pay his taxes for






            1              years, but now is worried about the fact


            2              that the taxpayers are paying for a lawsuit


            3              in which he started and many lawsuits in


            4              which he started on behalf of himself and


            5              you are paying for every single day within


            6              the city, within state.  For some reason


            7              that's okay to spend the money there, but


            8              not to defend yourself against someone who


            9              is a serial suer and downright person who


           10              does not nothing but rip apart people in


           11              this city.


           12                      I think it's time that the citizens


           13              start connecting the dots.  One thing I


           14              agree with Mrs. Evans on, it's time to


           15              connect the dots.  When you see Nancy Krake


           16              get up here and defend someone as


           17              Mr. Pilcheski and you see what they have


           18              created in this city and the division that


           19              they have created and how they have gone


           20              about going about what they believe and how


           21              they wanted to obtain it and at anyone's


           22              cost, I believe it's time to connect the


           23              dots, and anyone who is not doing that and


           24              not seeing what is out there you are missing


           25              a very important part of what has happened






            1              to your government.  That is actually


            2              appalling and if nothing else it is pulling


            3              the wool over your eyes to benefit special


            4              interest groups and certain people and to


            5              get up here and act like you are trying


            6              defend the taxpayers when you are actually


            7              one of the people who are duping them behind


            8              the scenes is appalling to me, so I wanted


            9              to say that.  Funny how people get here in


           10              time just to make their points which are


           11              totally appalling.


           12                      As far as Holy Cross hall, I


           13              actually believe that this building is a


           14              beautiful building and certainly do not want


           15              to see it be demolished if it is not


           16              necessary.  There was some talk about


           17              actually moving that and letting that be the


           18              rec center, which I think would be a


           19              wonderful idea, and if that is feasible then


           20              the amount of money we are going to spend to


           21              demolish it maybe we can put in to making it


           22              a rec center.  I think that would be


           23              wonderful and probably best use for the


           24              taxpayers' money, so on behalf of that I'm


           25              going to ask my colleagues that we table






            1              item 7-E for now so that we can spend the


            2              next four weeks over the summer, our


            3              vacation, I'm going to make a motion that we


            4              table 7-E and we can discuss this over the


            5              summer and see if we could come to better


            6              alternatives and better use for the building


            7              itself.


            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.


            9                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?


           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  On the question,


           11              the idea of turning the church into the


           12              basketball court, I didn't know about it.  I


           13              got a call from a gentleman last night, I


           14              wasn't able to return his call.  If that's


           15              feasible I would like to see that happen and


           16              then maybe they could tear down the hall


           17              once they have the court done and they could


           18              make a parking lot there because the hall


           19              needs work.  I'm in favor of them having a


           20              parking lot down there, there is no two-ways


           21              about it.  I know it's been like that for


           22              years, but that doesn't make it right.  They


           23              need parking down there, but if they can do


           24              that, if they can turn the church into the


           25              basketball hall and keep the structure I






            1              would be all for it.


            2                      MS. FANUCCI: And I'm going to ask


            3              that we keep the lines of communication open


            4              and not come with two barrels loaded as


            5              certain people do all the time and try to


            6              come to a conclusion that's best for the


            7              taxpayers instead of trying to bully people


            8              into what they believe.


            9                      One thing to have an idea, but the


           10              Diocese and the city has to come together


           11              and agree, and the only which you are going


           12              to do that is actually sitting down at a


           13              table and deciding what's best not trying to


           14              create legislation or to, you know, threaten


           15              to stop progress, you need to sit down and


           16              figure out a better way, and I believe we


           17              have an opportunity to try to do that.


           18              Whether or not it's feasible or not, you


           19              know, I don't believe we should spend


           20              $200,000 to do it either, so we need to come


           21              to a conclusion that is maybe better for the


           22              citizens, and that's all I have on that.


           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Um --


           24                      MS. EVANS:  You go ahead.  No, no,


           25              you started.






            1                      MR. MCGOFF: I was just going to --


            2              for four years this church has been closed


            3              and the Diocese has done nothing to take


            4              care of it other than to leave it sit there.


            5              Attempts to sell it have proven to be a


            6              failure.  There are other churches that have


            7              been closed that the Diocese is attempting


            8              to sell with very little satisfaction.


            9              Attempts to improve or to change the nature


           10              of other churches, I know of one in


           11              particular was defeated by the or thrown out


           12              by the zoning board.


           13                      Yes, these churches are great


           14              structures, but it seems to me that for four


           15              years somebody could have been doing


           16              something and nothing was being done.  Now


           17              when somebody has a plan, albeit, it may not


           18              be a plan that you like, now as soon as


           19              there is a plan all of a sudden there are


           20              complaints and save the church.  Where have


           21              people been for the last four years in


           22              attempts to save the church?


           23                      And I also -- and maybe there are


           24              people that want to see this church stay,


           25              but as of now I have heard no complaints






            1              from any of the neighbors or former


            2              parishioners in that area saying that they


            3              want to keep the structure there.  All I


            4              have heard is from people that frequent Holy


            5              Cross Hall that they like the idea of a


            6              parking lot being placed there, so I admire


            7              people who, you know, want to save


            8              structures and all, but at the same time,


            9              again, as I said last week, there is a


           10              balance that we have to look at as well and


           11              would it be of greater value to take down


           12              the church?  I don't know.  Would it be of


           13              greater value to leave it there and hope


           14              that somebody will do something with it?  I


           15              don't know.


           16                      This is something that we have to


           17              question and right now there is a plan to do


           18              something and people want to do something in


           19              this property and it seems as though the


           20              neighbors and former parishioners want to


           21              see this carried through, so I personally


           22              would like to -- I will vote "no" to table


           23              it.


           24                      MS. EVANS: I had the opportunity


           25              yesterday to speak with another member of






            1              the Architectural Heritage Association and


            2              we both agreed that this is a magnificent


            3              stone structure which is a sin to demolish,


            4              and rather the church hall could be


            5              demolished and the association could


            6              renovate the Holy Cross Church as it's new


            7              facility.  I fail to see the church hall and


            8              a parking lot exceeding the beauty of this


            9              irreplaceable church building.


           10                      Second, the church is not blighted


           11              and to my knowledge there is no declaration


           12              of blight on record just as there was no


           13              declaration of blight for the church on


           14              Prescott Avenue which last summer received


           15              first $10,000 and then an additional funding


           16              for blight elimination in it's basement for


           17              temporary use by ECTV and, of course, these


           18              funds came through the federal government


           19              and the City of Scranton.  I will not be a


           20              party to inappropriate use of federal funds


           21              to demolish buildings that are not blighted.


           22                      Third, I have seen countless


           23              condemned properties throughout our city on


           24              my travels.  Structures destroyed by fire


           25              which sit within feet of other homes and






            1              others which have sat on untouched for many,


            2              many years.  How did this agreement just


            3              jump to the top of the priority list?  And


            4              very coincidentally, Mr. Sbaraglia provided


            5              council today with, well, I haven't even


            6              counted the number of photos of condemned


            7              and abandoned delipidated blighted


            8              properties in this city that have never been


            9              taken care of, and I'm going to pass these


           10              along for my colleagues to see.


           11                      Finally, it defies logic for the


           12              financially troubled Dioceses to refuse the


           13              $25,000 sale and for the equally financially


           14              mired city to lose realty transfer taxes and


           15              annual tax revenue on a sale of this church


           16              in favor of incurring costs for the


           17              demolition, particularly, through the


           18              inappropriate use of the federal monies.


           19                      Further, I would not be surprised if


           20              demolition costs exceed the $50,000 figure


           21              proposed by the mayor.  This is a sound


           22              stone structure that will not fall as easily


           23              as wood or brick structures.  Yes, Holy


           24              Cross Basketball Association should have a


           25              parking lot, but it should not occur in this






            1              appropriate manner -- in this inappropriate


            2              manner, I should say.


            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the motion to table


            4              Item 7-E.  All in favor signify by saying


            5              aye.


            6                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


            7                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


            9                      MR. MCGOFF:  Opposed?  No. The ayes


           10              have it and so moved.


           11                      MS. FANUCCI: Actually, that is all I


           12              have and everybody have a great summer and


           13              I'm certainly going to miss being here for


           14              the next few weeks, but I will manage and


           15              hang out with my daughter and do all the


           16              wonderful things that we should be doing in


           17              the summer, and that is all I have.  Thank


           18              you.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Courtright?


           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  The summer has


           21              brought several calls to me about people


           22              placing calls to the police department and


           23              then they are not getting there in a timely


           24              fashion, and I think the only answer is


           25              this, is that when they are inundated with






            1              calls they put them in priority, and I


            2              understand everyone feels their call is the


            3              priority, but what happens when that happens


            4              you might have a south car and north end and


            5              north end up in Minooka and by the time they


            6              are getting back to their area they are


            7              being sent to another call and it's just a


            8              matter of not enough officers.


            9                      My understanding is that we possibly


           10              could be getting three officers from a


           11              federally funded program that's going to be


           12              coming up, I would hope that it would be


           13              more than three, but my understanding is


           14              possibly three, but it's just due to the


           15              fact that they prioritize the calls and if


           16              yours seems to fall to the bottom of the


           17              priority list that's just the way it goes


           18              because that's the answer for why it's


           19              taking sometimes so long for them to get to


           20              your call.


           21                      We did get the clippings picked up


           22              on Slager Street so we are happy about that,


           23              I couldn't believe it took all that to get


           24              it done, but it's done.


           25                      I did go to Fellows Park and the one






            1              wire that the gentleman had brought up there


            2              was a wire that wasn't live, it wasn't a


            3              wire as an electrical wire, it was a wire


            4              that was holding something together.  The


            5              other one was a wire coming out of the


            6              ground that I believe might have been live,


            7              it was capped, but I think there is a light


            8              on it and the light was knocked off.  That


            9              day my understanding is they went and they


           10              put it in and it looks like to be like an


           11              injunction box so it's safe.


           12                      When I was there, and I'll -- again,


           13              you know, we go on break for August, but


           14              believe me we all continue to work, it's


           15              just that we are not here at a meeting, I


           16              will continue to watch that house that's


           17              behind Fellows Park and the court because it


           18              is really bad and the thing that concerns me


           19              the most is it's next to a park where all of


           20              the kids are playing and you know they are


           21              inside of there because when I took a look


           22              inside, I wouldn't even go in because the


           23              porch was so bad I was afraid to step on it,


           24              but you can look through because the windows


           25              are all opened up and there is graffiti all






            1              over on the inside of there, and I don't


            2              know whether it's just kids or gangs, but


            3              there is people going in there and it's bad,


            4              and I think that alley sometimes is


            5              forgotten because I drive by there every day


            6              several times a day and, you know, you don't


            7              tend to think about what's going on in the


            8              alley, you see the park, so I will keep on


            9              it and hopefully that will be one of the


           10              first ones we can get torn down.


           11                      Also, Kay in the alley behind the


           12              park when I was there some of the neighbors


           13              came out to talk to me, there is a hole that


           14              I'm thinking is 20-foot long by about


           15              ten-foot wide and I don't now how deep it


           16              was filled with water, but it's got to be


           17              several inches deep.  If the DPW could take


           18              a look and maybe they can fill that in with


           19              something.


           20                      I'm anxious to hear what the


           21              Heritage Society will bring back to us about


           22              Holy Cross Hall.  I want to see a parking


           23              lot down there one way or the other and in a


           24              very beginning I was all for this.  I was


           25              all for tearing it down and putting the






            1              parking lot there until so many issues were


            2              brought forward to me.  I don't know what


            3              the cost would be to renovate the church and


            4              put the hall in there, if that cost would


            5              exceed the cost of, you know, doing it the


            6              other way.  I don't know if it is deemed on


            7              the -- if the Architectural Heritage Society


            8              deems it, you know, to be a treasured


            9              building are we able to get money to


           10              preserve it and to put the hall in there,


           11              but I would like to see in some way, shape


           12              or form something be done down there to


           13              alleviate the parking problem and something


           14              that I consider is a danger.


           15                      I don't know if children have been


           16              hit with cars down there or not, I'm not


           17              sure.  I know it might have been Andy or


           18              somebody that spoke about it, maybe it was


           19              Mr. Bolus that they have been there for


           20              years and there has been no parking lot for


           21              years, but that doesn't make it right.  They


           22              need something down there.  I'm hoping that


           23              with Mrs. Fanucci and Mrs. Evans brought up


           24              about turning the church into the basketball


           25              hall, I'm hoping that's what would happen






            1              and then I think to demolish the hall itself


            2              wouldn't be anywhere near the task of


            3              demolishing the church.  The hall needs


            4              repairs and sometimes things jump to the


            5              head -- you know, the head of the list and,


            6              obviously, people get mad.  I think that not


            7              just for -- you know, I'm not saying that


            8              the church is blighted, but if it was


            9              blighted if you are tearing down the church


           10              because it was blighted, and I'm not saying


           11              it is, but if you were not just the fact


           12              that you would be tearing down a blighted


           13              property, but then you would helping the


           14              neighborhood to alleviate the problems that


           15              they have lived with for years in the


           16              parking there and the danger of the children


           17              running out.


           18                      So I'm hoping that this is something


           19              that -- maybe this is something that all of


           20              us can agree on and the city and the


           21              Catholic church can agree on for the good of


           22              everybody concerned, so I'll be anxious to


           23              see what the Heritage Society brings back to


           24              us and hopefully something can be done down


           25              there, and I believe that's all I have.






            1              Thank you.


            2                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you,


            3              Mr. Courtright.  Just very briefly, the tax


            4              reduction plan that Mrs. Schumacher talked


            5              about I know it was approximately two years


            6              ago when I was running for election somebody


            7              had given me similar information about these


            8              types of tax reduction programs.  At that


            9              time I -- rather than use it as some type of


           10              campaign material, I did give some


           11              information to Mrs. Evans who was the


           12              finance chair at the time and I think that's


           13              a good idea.  At the time I thought it was a


           14              good idea and something that should be


           15              looked into.  We didn't -- I didn't move


           16              forward with it, but perhaps something to


           17              look into for the future.


           18                      And perhaps during this coming


           19              month, and we probably shouldn't even be


           20              talking about it since it was tabled, but


           21              perhaps it would be a good idea to meet with


           22              concerned parties and see if there is some


           23              other solution to the situation at Holy


           24              Cross.  Perhaps between the Diocese, the


           25              city, the Holy Cross Association and any






            1              other interested parties perhaps something


            2              can be accomplished there that would be


            3              beneficial to all, and that's all.  5-B.


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




            6              NEW ACCOUNT FOR THE CITY OF SCRANTON'S






            9              PROGRAM ("NSP") ACCOUNT NO. 9A.0101 FOR THE




           11              RECEIVED FROM THE COMMONWEALTH OF




           13              ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ("DCED").


           14                      MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll


           15              entertain a motion that Item 5-B be


           16              introduced into it's proper committee.


           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.


           18                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All


           20              in favor signify by saying aye.


           21                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


           22                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


           24                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The


           25              ayes have it and so moved.






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




            3              NEW ACCOUNT FOR THE CITY OF SCRANTON'S




            5              ("OECD") TITLED ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND




            7              10A.0101 FOR THE RECEIPT AND DISBURSEMENT OF




            9              DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY ("DOE").


           10                      MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll


           11              entertain a motion that Item 5-C be


           12              introduced into it's proper committee.


           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.


           14                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.


           15                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All


           16              in favor signify by saying aye.


           17                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


           18                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.


           20                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The


           21              ayes have it and so moved.


           22                      MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER.  NO


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




           25              SAFETY -  FOR ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO.






            1              74, 2009 -  TO LIMIT THE TURNING MOVEMENT




            3              MULBERRY STREET FROM THE 400 BLOCK OF




            5              COURT TO RIGHT TURN MOVEMENT ONLY.


            6                      MR. MCGOFF:  What is the


            7              recommendation of the Chair for the


            8              Committee on Public Safety?


            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  As Chair for the


           10              Committee on Public Safety, I recommend


           11              final passage of Item 7-A.


           12                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll


           14              call, please?


           15                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


           16                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


           17                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.  Ms.


           18              Fanucci.


           19                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


           20                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


           22                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           23                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


           24              Item 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.


           25                      MS. GARVEY: 7-B. FOR CONSIDERATION






            1              BY THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY - FOR


            2              ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 75, 2009 -


            3              ESTABLISHING "NO PARKING" ZONES ALONG THE




            5              STREET (S.R. 3027) FOR TURNING LANES AT




            7              AVENUE AND NORTH WEBSTER AVENUE, AS MORE




            9              HERETO, TO ALLOW FOR SAFE SITE DISTANCE AS




           11              TRANSPORTATION.


           12                      MR. MCGOFF:  What is the


           13              recommendation of the Chair for the


           14              Committee on Public Safety?


           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: As Chair for the


           16              Committee on Public Safety, I recommend


           17              final passage of Item 7-B.


           18                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll


           20              call, please?


           21                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


           22                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


           23                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.  Ms.


           24              Fanucci.


           25                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.






            1                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


            3                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


            4                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


            5              Item 7-B legally and lawfully adopted.


            6                      MS. GARVEY: 7-C. FOR CONSIDERATION


            7              BY THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY - FOR


            8              ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 76, 2009 -


            9              AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 129 OF 1995,


           10              (AS AMENDED), ENTITLED "ESTABLISHING FINES




           12              DEVICE WHICH IS DETERMINED TO BE A FALSE






           15              FINES; AND PRESCRIBING PENALTIES FOR






           18              ORDINANCE, SPECIFICALLY SECTIONS 1D. AND


           19              1E.; SECTION 2; SECTION 3; SECTION 4;


           20              SECTION 6 AND SECTION 7.


           21                      MR. MCGOFF:  What is the


           22              recommendation of the Chair for the


           23              Committee on Public Safety?


           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT: As Chair for the


           25              Committee on Public Safety, I recommend






            1              final passage of Item 7-C.


            2                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.


            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll


            4              call, please?


            5                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


            6                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


            7                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.  Ms.


            8              Fanucci.


            9                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


           10                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


           12                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


           14              Item 7-C legally and lawfully adopted.


           15                      MS. GARVEY: 7-D. FOR CONSIDERATION


           16              BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -


           17              FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 77, 2009 - AUTHORIZING


           18              THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY


           19              OFFICIALS TO DESIGNATE $4,999.52 FROM


           20              PROJECT NO. 09-400.41 REPAYMENTS OF URBAN


           21              DEVELOPMENT ACTION GRANTS (UDAG), FOR THE


           22              PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF TEN (10) BIKE


           23              RACKS ON CITY OWNED PROPERTY.


           24                      MR. MCGOFF:  As Chair for the


           25              Committee on Rules, I recommend final






            1              passage of Item 7-D.


            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.


            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll


            4              call, please?


            5                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


            6                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


            7                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.  Ms.


            8              Fanucci.


            9                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


           10                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


           12                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


           14              Item 7-D legally and lawfully adopted.


           15                      MS. GARVEY: 7-E has been tabled.


           16              7-F.  FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON


           17              COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT -  FOR ADOPTION -


           18              RESOLUTION NO. 168, 2009 - AUTHORIZING THE




           20              FOR THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO ENTER INTO A


           21              LOAN AGREEMENT AND MAKE A LOAN FROM THE




           23              PROJECT NO. 150.24 IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO


           24              EXCEED $50,000.00 TO MARTINI GRILL, LLC TO


           25              ASSIST AN ELIGIBLE PROJECT.






            1                      MR. MCGOFF:  What is the


            2              recommendation of the Chair for the


            3              Committee on Community Development?


            4                      MS. FANUCCI: As Chairperson for the


            5              Committee on Community Development, I


            6              recommend final passage of Item 7-F.


            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.


            8                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?


            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question, I


           10              voted to move it forward last week.  I'm not


           11              going to be voting for it this week, and my


           12              reason is that I'm not opposed to giving


           13              them a loan, but I'm opposed to the loan


           14              being forgiven after a couple of years


           15              because then it's not a loan, it's a grant,


           16              so I'll be voting "no".


           17                      MS. EVANS: Yes.  The interest rate


           18              for this loan is 5 percent fixed and the


           19              monthly payment is $530.33, however, the


           20              first payment begins 36 months after the


           21              date of closing, and as Mr. Courtright said,


           22              if after three years following the date of


           23              closing the borrower has strictly complied


           24              with and fully completed all conditions of


           25              the job creations required as described in






            1              Section four of the agreement, then in such


            2              event the borrower shall not be required to


            3              repay said loan and it shall be forgiven by


            4              the city, and I don't believe the city is in


            5              any financial position currently to be given


            6              away money and to be promising loan


            7              forgiveness.


            8                      In addition, OECD failed to respond


            9              to the question of any possible tax liens


           10              against this business, so for all of these


           11              reasons I'll be voting "no".


           12                      MS. GARVEY: Mrs. Evans, if I could


           13              just jump in there, I believe -- I didn't


           14              get the message it might have come when I


           15              wasn't there, they did call back and say


           16              that there wasn't a tax lien on that


           17              property, so that was after I had given you


           18              that information.


           19                      MS. EVANS: Well, thank you for that


           20              update, Kay.


           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else on the


           22              question?  Roll call, please?


           23                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


           24                      MS. EVANS:  No.


           25                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.  Ms.






            1              Fanucci.


            2                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


            3                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  No.


            5                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


            6                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  Item 7-F is


            7              defeated.


            8                      MS. GARVEY: 7-G. FOR CONSIDERATION


            9              BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -


           10              RESOLUTION NO. 169, 2009 - AUTHORIZING THE




           12              FOR THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO EXECUTE AND




           14              CO., INC. TO PROVIDE OFFICE SPACE FOR THE


           15              CITY OF SCRANTON OFFICE OF ECONOMIC AND


           16              COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT.


           17                      MR. MCGOFF:  As Chair for the


           18              Committee on Rules, I recommend final


           19              passage of Item 7-G.


           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.


           21                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?


           22                      MS. EVANS: The rent for OECD office


           23              space will be $4,200 per month beginning in


           24              August 1, 2009, and ending July 31, 2012.


           25              There is an option to extend the term for an






            1              additional three years at $4,450 per month.


            2              The owner of the building is Scranton Life


            3              Realty Company, president Anthony Rinaldi,


            4              who was the lower of two bidders.  At this


            5              time there seems to be the governor's room


            6              on the second floor of city hall, which is


            7              currently used infrequently for job


            8              interviews and luncheons that can certainly


            9              be conducted elsewhere, and on the third


           10              floor a lunchroom which previously was the


           11              office of the executive director of OECD,


           12              another room previously used by the deputy


           13              director of OECD, a storage room and a


           14              payroll office which used to house another


           15              OECD office.  The payroll office was created


           16              by the mayor when he halted in-house payroll


           17              and contracted payroll services with ADP


           18              using additional tax dollars.  Such services


           19              were not necessary.


           20                      In the current economy and the


           21              financial distress facing Scranton, the city


           22              can ill-afford the rental cost for


           23              extravagant OECD offices and should be


           24              looking to curb it's expenditures by


           25              returning OECD to city hall, so I will be






            1              voting "no."


            2                      MS. FANUCCI:  I'd like to -- if you


            3              have been there, and if anybody has ever


            4              walked in, I'm not sure if Mrs. Evans has


            5              been to the office.


            6                      MS. EVANS: Yes, I have.


            7                      MS. FANUCCI: It's certainly not


            8              extravagant --


            9                      MS. EVANS: On more than one -- oh,


           10              it's lovely.  I loved the magnificent


           11              paintings that hang on the wall.


           12                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, paintings are


           13              painting, they will bring them here if they


           14              come, but I wouldn't call them --


           15                      MS. EVANS: No, I think they were on


           16              loan.


           17                      MS. FANUCCI: I'm on my question, I


           18              believe, to keep offices intact I do believe


           19              it's important to keep them running as is


           20              all to be together.  To piecemeal an OECD


           21              office in this city hall would be almost


           22              absurd, plus there is not the room even


           23              putting them in coat closets or hanging them


           24              off of hooks in other people's offices I


           25              don't believe that that would be prudent for






            1              what is going on.


            2                      We are very proud of the fact that


            3              we are developing and we are the only city


            4              doing that if you look around.  OECD has


            5              taken on a whole new meaning in this city in


            6              the last few weeks and they are doing a


            7              wonderful job.  There are many, many facets


            8              of that office that I am excessively proud


            9              to be even the chair or know what they have


           10              been doing in the city, so I do not believe


           11              that taking them from a place where they are


           12              being excessively productive and doing a


           13              wonderful and piecemealing them around as if


           14              they are nonimportant to us as a city is


           15              prudent for the amount of money, but to call


           16              their offices extravagant is almost funny.


           17                      Maybe we can open up -- we could


           18              throw them up in the balcony if maybe we can


           19              get them somewhere else to go, but I don't


           20              think that that's accurate, and that is all


           21              I have.


           22                      MS. EVANS: Well, despite


           23              Mrs. Fanucci's ludicrous exaggerations, city


           24              hall adequately housed OECD for many years--


           25                      MS. FANUCCI: There wasn't as many --






            1                      MS. EVANS:  -- and they functioned


            2              quite effectively as such, and I do the not


            3              believe it is the quality of an office or a


            4              building that constitutes the productivity


            5              of the department, just as I do not believe


            6              it is the new school building that provides


            7              the excellence of quality education, rather


            8              it is the teachers, the administrators and


            9              the student body.


           10                      As such, in OECD it is the quality


           11              of the workforce, of the leadership within


           12              that department, that produces the admirable


           13              results that Mrs. Fanucci has alluded to and


           14              certainly that will not change by a movement


           15              to city hall.


           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm going to speak,


           17              I wasn't going to, but now I am.  I have


           18              never been over to OECD, I don't know what


           19              it looks like in there, whether it's nice or


           20              not nice.  As Mrs. Evans said, they were the


           21              lower of the two bidders, I'm going to vote


           22              "yes", but what I would like to see is that


           23              come January when there is a new council


           24              sitting here that maybe they could sit down


           25              with the mayor and go through this building






            1              and try to reorganize the offices in this


            2              building so that if -- I think there is


            3              enough space to put OECD in here, but it's


            4              fragmented now, so if they were to move one


            5              office into another and consolidate I think


            6              it could house them again and I think it


            7              should be housed here again.


            8                      I wouldn't want to see one party


            9              office on one floor and one on the other,


           10              but I think it should be done and maybe it's


           11              something when the new council comes in they


           12              can get together with the mayor and work on


           13              that.


           14                      MS. EVANS: Well, unfortunately, at


           15              that point as much as the new council I'm


           16              sure would hope to do so, the contract will


           17              be signed, sealed and delivered and it would


           18              be quite expensive to try to violate or


           19              break that contract, so in effect the city


           20              would be locked in for a minimum of the next


           21              three years.


           22                      MR. MCGOFF: Roll call, please.


           23                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


           24                      MS. EVANS:  No.


           25                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.  Ms.






            1              Fanucci.


            2                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


            3                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


            5                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


            6                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


            7              Item 7-G legally and lawfully adopted.


            8                      MS. GARVEY: 7-H. FOR CONSIDERATION


            9              BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -


           10              RESOLUTION NO. 170, 2009 - APPOINTMENT OF


           11              BRUCE MILLER, 609 RACE STREET, SCRANTON,


           12              PENNSYLVANIA, 18509, TO THE POSITION OF


           13              ASSISTANT ZONING OFFICER OF THE CITY OF


           14              SCRANTON, EFFECTIVE APRIL 6, 2009.


           15                      MR. MCGOFF:  As Chair for the


           16              Committee on Rules, I recommend final


           17              passage of Item 7-H.


           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.


           19                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll


           20              call, please?


           21                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


           22                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


           23                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.  Ms.


           24              Fanucci.


           25                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.






            1                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


            3                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


            4                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


            5              Item 7-H legally and lawfully adopted.


            6                      MS. GARVEY: 7-I.  FOR CONSIDERATION


            7              BY THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY - FOR


            8              ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 171, 2009 -






           11              AGREEMENT WITH THE COMMONWEALTH OF






















           22              IN THE UNIVERSITY'S MULBERRY STREET


           23              STREETSCAPE PROJECT.


           24                      MR. MCGOFF:  What is the


           25              recommendation of the Chairperson for the






            1              Committee on Public Safety?


            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: As Chair for the


            3              Committee on Public Safety, I recommend


            4              final passage of Item 7-I.


            5                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.


            6                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll


            7              call, please?


            8                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


            9                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


           10                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.  Ms.


           11              Fanucci.


           12                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


           13                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


           15                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           16                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


           17              Item 7-I legally and lawfully adopted.


           18                      MS. GARVEY: 7-J.  FOR CONSIDERATION




           20              FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 172, 2009-






           23              BEHALF OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON A




           25              DUFFIELD ASSOCIATES, INC. TO UNDERTAKE








            2              CITY.


            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  What is the


            4              recommendation of the Chair for the


            5              Committee on Community Development?


            6                      MS. FANUCCI: As Chairperson for the


            7              Committee on Community Development, I


            8              recommend final passage of Item 7-J.


            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.


           10                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll


           11              call, please?


           12                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.


           13                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


           14                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.  Ms.


           15              Fanucci.


           16                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.


           17                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.


           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.


           19                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.


           20                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare


           21              Item 7-J legally and lawfully adopted.


           22              Motion to adjourn.


           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.


           24                      MR. MCGOFF: See you in September.








            1                      C E R T I F I C A T E




            3        I hereby certify that the proceedings and


            4   evidence are contained fully and accurately in the


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


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


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


            8   ability.







                                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR

           12                       OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER