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            1              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

 

            2

 

            3

 

            4

 

            5                          HELD:

 

            6

 

            7                Tuesday, September 8, 2009

 

            8

 

            9                        LOCATION:

 

           10                    Council Chambers

 

           11                 Scranton City Hall

 

           12              340 North Washington Avenue

 

           13                Scranton, Pennsylvania

 

           14

 

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           23

                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR - OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

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            1

 

            2   CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:

 

            3

 

            4

                MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT

            5

 

            6   MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT

 

            7

                MS. JANET E. EVANS

            8

 

            9   MS. SHERRY FANUCCI

 

           10

                MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT

           11

 

           12   MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK

 

           13

                MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK

           14

 

           15   MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR

 

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            1                      (Pledge of Allegiance recited and

 

            2              moment of reflection observed.)

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  Roll call, please?

 

            4                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.

 

            5                      MS. EVANS:  Here.

 

            6                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.

 

            7                      MS. GATELLI:  Here.

 

            8                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI:  Here.

 

           10                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.

 

           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Here.

 

           12                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  Here.  Dispense with

 

           14              the reading of the minutes.

 

           15                      MS. GARVEY: 3-A. AGENDA FOR THE

 

           16              ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING HELD ON AUGUST

 

           17              12, 2009.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

           19              If not, received and filed.

 

           20                      MS. GARVEY: 3-B. TAX COLLECTION

 

           21              COMPARISON REPORTS RECEIVED FROM THE SINGLE

 

           22              TAX OFFICE ON AUGUST 11, 2009.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

           24              If not, received and filed.

 

           25                      MS. GARVEY: 3-C. APPLICATIONS AND


 

 

                                                                       4

 

 

            1              DECISIONS RENDERED BY THE ZONING HEARING

 

            2              BOARD MEETING HELD ON AUGUST 12, 2009.

 

            3                       MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

            4              If not, received and filed.

 

            5                      MS. GARVEY: 3-D. MINUTES OF THE

 

            6              COMPOSITE PENSION BOARD MEETING HELD ON JULY

 

            7              22, 2009.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

            9              If not, received and filed.

 

           10                      MS. GARVEY: 3-E. MINUTES OF THE

 

           11              NON-UNIFORM MUNICIPAL PENSION BOARD MEETING

 

           12              HELD ON JULY 22, 2009.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

           14              If not, received and filed.

 

           15                      MS. GARVEY: 3-F. MINUTES OF THE

 

           16              FIREMEN'S PENSION COMMISSION MEETING HELD ON

 

           17              JULY 22, 2009.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

           19              If not, received and filed.

 

           20                      MS. GARVEY: 3-G. MINUTES OF THE

 

           21              POLICE PENSION COMMISSION MEETING HELD ON

 

           22              JULY 22, 2009.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

           24              If not, received and filed.

 

           25                      MS. GARVEY: 3-H. AGENDA FOR THE


 

 

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            1              NON-UNIFORM MUNICIPAL PENSION BOARD MEETING

 

            2              HELD ON AUGUST 26, 2009.

 

            3                       MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

            4              If not, received and filed.

 

            5                      MS. GARVEY: 3-I. AGENDA FOR THE

 

            6              ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING TO BE HELD ON

 

            7              SEPTEMBER 9, 2009.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

            9              If not, received and filed.

 

           10                      MS. GARVEY: 3-J. CONTROLLER'S REPORT

 

           11              FOR THE MONTH ENDING JULY 31, 2009.

 

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

 

           13              Are there any comments?  If not, received

 

           14              and filed.  Thank you, Mrs. Garvey.  Any

 

           15              announcements from members of counsel?  Mrs.

 

           16              Gatelli?

 

           17                      MS. GATELLI: Yes.  The first thing I

 

           18              would like to announce is the Night Out

 

           19              against crime will be held Tuesday,

 

           20              September 15 at the Tripp Park Complex from

 

           21              5 to 9.  It's unfortunate that it's being

 

           22              held on a Tuesday evening when there is

 

           23              council meeting going on because I'm sure

 

           24              most of us go to that fair, and I'm very

 

           25              disappointed that we won't be able to be


 

 

                                                                       6

 

 

            1              there.  Hopefully the meeting will be over a

 

            2              little early next week and we can take a

 

            3              scoot over after the meeting, but I'm glad

 

            4              to see that they are having it.  There will

 

            5              be a canine demonstration and parade, the

 

            6              smokehouse from the fire department, free

 

            7              hot dogs and drinks and Tommy the DJ

 

            8              sponsored by the Scranton Police Department.

 

            9                      Also, on Sunday, September 20, from

 

           10              noon to seven, will be Lebanese Heritage Day

 

           11              at St. Ann's Marian Church.  They will have

 

           12              all kinds of Lebanese food and things for

 

           13              the children, Sumner Avenue and West Price

 

           14              Street in West Scranton, and that's the only

 

           15              announcements I have.  Thank you.

 

           16                      MS. EVANS: Please remember in your

 

           17              prayers all those who are died in the last

 

           18              month, particularly retired lieutenant Ben

 

           19              Davis, a firefighter who served our city

 

           20              with dedication and professionalism and his

 

           21              dear family and friends he leaves behind.

 

           22              May God show his tender mercies to the Davis

 

           23              family, and especially his son Mark, who is

 

           24              also a Scranton firefighter.

 

           25                      This Friday as a nation we


 

 

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            1              commemorate the 9/11 attacks against

 

            2              America.  I ask you to remember in your

 

            3              prayers all of the victims of this tragedy

 

            4              and their family members who forever suffer

 

            5              their loss.  A memorial service will be held

 

            6              at McDade Park at 8 a.m., and a brief

 

            7              service will be held at St. Ann's Basilica

 

            8              at noon.

 

            9                      The annual St. Paul's church picnic

 

           10              will be conducted this Friday, Saturday and

 

           11              Sunday, September 11, 12 and 13 on the

 

           12              church grounds at the corner of Marian

 

           13              Street and Penn Avenue.  The picnic offers

 

           14              great food, games, raffles and fun for all

 

           15              ages.

 

           16                      An AIDS walk will be conducted on

 

           17              September 19 at Nay Aug Park.  Registration

 

           18              is $10 and it opens at 10 a.m., and the walk

 

           19              itself begins at 11:30 a.m.  All proceeds

 

           20              benefit the Scranton Temple Health Center.

 

           21              Please come out and support this very worthy

 

           22              cause.

 

           23                      On Sunday, September 20, from 12 to

 

           24              6 p.m., the Polish Food Festival will be

 

           25              held at St. Stanislaus Youth Center at 530


 

 

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            1              East Elm Street in Scranton.  The food is

 

            2              out of this world, so treat yourself to some

 

            3              Polish delicacies.

 

            4                      Also, I wish to commend all those

 

            5              who worked on the Latino Pride Parade of

 

            6              Events and the Italian Festival in the City

 

            7              of Scranton.  Both events were highly

 

            8              successful and Scranton is most proud to

 

            9              serve as their host city.

 

           10                      Council received a petition from the

 

           11              residents of Taylor Avenue, Linden Street

 

           12              and North Irving Avenue which opposes the

 

           13              installation of a 40-foot dumpster compactor

 

           14              by the University of Scranton at 322

 

           15              Wenzelli Court.  The Court lies between

 

           16              Taylor and North Irving Avenues.  Residents

 

           17              object to the odor, noise, and unsightly

 

           18              appearance of the dumpster/compactor.  As a

 

           19              council, I believe it is our duty to

 

           20              safeguard the welfare, safety, and peace of

 

           21              mind of Scranton residents, therefore, I

 

           22              would like a letter from Scranton City

 

           23              Council to the University of Scranton with a

 

           24              petition attached requesting the removal of

 

           25              the dumpster compactor with my colleague's


 

 

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            1              agreement.

 

            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Fine by me.

 

            3                      MS. GATELLI: Agree.

 

            4                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.

 

            5                      MS. EVANS:  Thank you.  And if, Kay,

 

            6              we might also send a letter to licensing and

 

            7              inspections to make sure that they're in

 

            8              contact with the University as well, and

 

            9              this should be moved as soon as possible.

 

           10                      Finally, I hope everyone enjoyed a

 

           11              wonderful Labor Day weekend and recognized

 

           12              the significance of our hardworking labor

 

           13              unions both past and present whose sacrifice

 

           14              and commitments to fair labor practices for

 

           15              all working Americans are the backbone of

 

           16              our great country.  If you traveled the

 

           17              courthouse square area during the Italian

 

           18              festival, I hope you admired the statute of

 

           19              our ground breaking labor leader John

 

           20              Mitchell who was largely responsible for

 

           21              this American holiday, and that's all.

 

           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. McGoff, I -- I

 

           23              discussed this with Mr. McGoff earlier, I

 

           24              wanted to do this in the beginning of the

 

           25              meeting so maybe we can get out in front of


 

 

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            1              something.  Right before we took our break

 

            2              for the summer there was an issue that came

 

            3              up about two grants actually that went out

 

            4              to the Justice Department.  What had

 

            5              happened was there was a letter sent to the

 

            6              Justice Department that council was unaware

 

            7              of, I want to read one to you because they

 

            8              are either exactly the same or similar, I

 

            9              should say.  This is to Traci Williams from

 

           10              the Justice Department, and the letter is

 

           11              sent by the grant writer the City of

 

           12              Scranton has.  Now, keep in mind, the grant

 

           13              writer is part-time for the City of Scranton

 

           14              and full-time for the county.

 

           15                      "Let this correspondence serve as

 

           16              official notification that the memorandum of

 

           17              understanding between the City of Scranton,

 

           18              Moosic, South Abington, Carbondale, and

 

           19              Lackawanna County pursuant to the 2009 JAG

 

           20              nonfederal grant was offered into the

 

           21              Scranton City Council Committee on Public

 

           22              Safety, Tuesday, April 7, 2009, and was

 

           23              unanimously approved per Chief David

 

           24              Elliott.

 

           25                      Additionally, the memorandum of


 

 

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            1              understanding was introduced in the regular

 

            2              minutes of Scranton City Council and made

 

            3              available for the public comment.  To date,

 

            4              all public comment has been overwhelmingly

 

            5              positive about the programs intentions per

 

            6              Chief David Elliott.  Thank you for your

 

            7              consideration in this manner and please do

 

            8              not hesitate to contact with me with any

 

            9              questions."

 

           10                      And it's sent by the grant writer,

 

           11              part-time grant writer for the City of

 

           12              Scranton.  That letter was dated May 18th of

 

           13              2009.  We have the same letter July 8th of

 

           14              2008.  When was discovered through members

 

           15              of the public that asked questions of me,

 

           16              also members of council asked questions of

 

           17              me, I believe it was discovered by the

 

           18              business administration office, what

 

           19              happened was none of this actually happened.

 

           20              We never saw any of this legislation.  We

 

           21              didn't see the legislation for 2008.  We did

 

           22              not see the legislation for 2009.  We did

 

           23              not vote on it.  It was not passed

 

           24              unanimously.  There was no public comment

 

           25              and they did not receive it overwhelmingly


 

 

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            1              because it just simply did not happen.

 

            2                      So I went and I spoke with them, and

 

            3              bear with me because it's a little bit

 

            4              lengthy explanation here, I went and I spoke

 

            5              to Mary Theresa Patterson, who is the city

 

            6              solicitor, and she called in Stu Renda, who

 

            7              is the business administrator, and we

 

            8              discussed it and we had a phone conversation

 

            9              with Dave Elliott.  Because of the phone

 

           10              conversation that we had with Dave Elliott

 

           11              we had a meeting with Mr. McGoff, myself and

 

           12              Ray Hayes, who is the Director of Public

 

           13              Safety, Mary Theresa Patterson and Dave

 

           14              Elliott and we discussed how could something

 

           15              like this happen.

 

           16                      That meeting spawned another meeting

 

           17              which is a meeting, so as you can see we

 

           18              weren't just doing nothing during the break,

 

           19              another meeting with Mr. McGoff, myself,

 

           20              Dave Elliott and the grant writer, again,

 

           21              the part-time grant writer for the county,

 

           22              full-time with the county.  That in turn had

 

           23              another meeting resulted from it, and that

 

           24              was with the grant writer, her supervisor

 

           25              from the county, Mr. McGoff, and myself.


 

 

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            1                      And the reason I bring it up now is

 

            2              because I know there was people from the

 

            3              public that asked questions, and I believe

 

            4              people from the people sent letters to the

 

            5              JAG office, the federal government, and sent

 

            6              letters to our office and I thought I could

 

            7              just give you some information now.  So what

 

            8              appears is there was a colossal

 

            9              misunderstanding between the grant writer

 

           10              and Dave Elliott.  If there is any further

 

           11              questions I would most certainly be happy to

 

           12              answer them from anybody if you just want

 

           13              explanation when you come to the podium or

 

           14              anybody on council here, but I want to get

 

           15              this out front now so that you know we are

 

           16              not trying to hide anything.

 

           17                      Well, the grant is going to be given

 

           18              to us, all right.  I believe we need to have

 

           19              an account opened up for it.  We didn't have

 

           20              any of the proper procedures done because we

 

           21              did not know about it.  We didn't know what

 

           22              they were.

 

           23                      MS. EVANS: Mr. Courtright, yes, as

 

           24              you just mentioned there is legislation on

 

           25              tonight's agenda that pertains to the JAG


 

 

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            1              grant and I'm very grateful that the city is

 

            2              receiving this money, and I'm going to vote

 

            3              "yes" to introduce it tonight because I know

 

            4              we sorely need these funds.  The police

 

            5              department needs more than is even available

 

            6              to us at this point in time, particularly in

 

            7              light of what occurrences have been revealed

 

            8              in the last month, but I'm not -- I realize,

 

            9              okay, there were two letters, you have had -

 

           10              you and Mr. McGoff have had now what was

 

           11              that three meetings over --

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I have had four.

 

           13                      MS. EVANS: Four meetings, okay, and

 

           14              can you explain to me though you said there

 

           15              is a colossal misunderstanding, what is this

 

           16              big misunderstanding?  I mean, what is the--

 

           17              please, if you can in detail tell us what

 

           18              this misunderstanding is because my concern

 

           19              since you brought this out publically now is

 

           20              the fact that false information was provided

 

           21              to the Justice Department with regard to

 

           22              Scranton City Council and someone has to be

 

           23              held responsible for that.  Do we know, I

 

           24              mean, what's been the end result of the four

 

           25              meetings?


 

 

                                                                      15

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay.  I'll be happy

 

            2              to explain it, and again, this is the reason

 

            3              I brought it up because we don't want to

 

            4              look like we are hiding anything, but I

 

            5              would ask Mr. Minora if in my explanation do

 

            6              you think I'm giving information that's

 

            7              confidential and I shouldn't be giving would

 

            8              you jump in?

 

            9                      MR. MINORA:  I will, but I don't see

 

           10              that this is a personnel matter or

 

           11              litigation.  I mean, it's --

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay.

 

           13                      MR. MINORA: It's legislation, so if

 

           14              there is a problem --

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll also ask

 

           16              Mr. McGoff if I'm on base then or incorrect

 

           17              because the only meeting he wasn't on was

 

           18              the first one when I spoke to the attorney

 

           19              with the city and Mr. Renda, and I'll try to

 

           20              summarize it and then I will be more than

 

           21              happy to give you more detail if you need it

 

           22              and then further after the meeting give you

 

           23              more detail.

 

           24                      My understanding of what has

 

           25              happened is that, and again, please correct


 

 

                                                                      16

 

 

            1              me if I'm wrong because this is a little bit

 

            2              of a touchy situation, the grant writer was

 

            3              told by the police department that on

 

            4              April 7 we -- council was going to be

 

            5              receiving legislation, all right?  And I

 

            6              have to assume that this is the same thing

 

            7              that the grant writer was told in 2008.

 

            8              This happened two years, we didn't catch it

 

            9              the first year and we caught it in 2009.  So

 

           10              she was told by Dave that the legislation is

 

           11              going to go before us.

 

           12                      What she did was she took an old

 

           13              letter to the Justice Department, I believe

 

           14              maybe 2007, and she merely copied it and put

 

           15              it in the dates, all right?  And I asked her

 

           16              in the last meeting that we had, you know,

 

           17              why would you do that, you know, and she

 

           18              said, "Well, that's what I was told.  I was

 

           19              told it was going in there."

 

           20                      I said, okay, you know, you sent

 

           21              that to the Justice Department -- she sent

 

           22              it to the Justice Department assuming that

 

           23              it went to us because they have told -- Dave

 

           24              Elliott told her it was coming to us.  She

 

           25              had no reason to believe otherwise.


 

 

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            1                      MS. EVANS: Mr. Courtright, just one

 

            2              quick question in case I forget -- or

 

            3              Mr. McGoff, is it the grant writer's job

 

            4              then to notify city council that this

 

            5              legislation should be coming or is it the

 

            6              job of the legal department or the job of

 

            7              the police department, who typically

 

            8              contacts city council to put the legislation

 

            9              on?

 

           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I checked into this,

 

           11              this was a question brought up and, Kay, now

 

           12              you can correct me if I'm incorrect, what

 

           13              had happened in the past is the police

 

           14              department would send a letter to the law

 

           15              department, the law department would write

 

           16              legislation that would come to us, and then

 

           17              we always passed it and I think the grant

 

           18              writer, you know, assumed we would this

 

           19              time, which I'm sure we would have.

 

           20                      MS. EVANS: Oh, yes.

 

           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  But that didn't

 

           22              happen.  It went to the law department on

 

           23              2008 and I guess again in 2009, and somehow

 

           24              the business administrator caught it this

 

           25              time.  So she had no reason to believe that


 

 

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            1              it didn't go to us.  I said, well, did you

 

            2              not have to have someone sign off on this?

 

            3              She said it went electronically.  I believe,

 

            4              and correct me if I'm wrong here, Bob, the

 

            5              last thing I think she said Dave Elliott got

 

            6              a copy and then a copy goes electronically

 

            7              and then he has access to her e-mail.  I

 

            8              don't know, you know, she assumed that it

 

            9              went to us.  No one told her differently, so

 

           10              I guess that raises another question.

 

           11                      MS. EVANS: Well, Mr. Courtright, I

 

           12              was wondering, as I said, the legislation is

 

           13              included on tonight's agenda and I do know

 

           14              that the city sorely needs this money.

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Right.

 

           16                      MS. EVANS: And it's not my intention

 

           17              to stand in the way of the creation of the

 

           18              account or the acceptance of the grant, but

 

           19              I still have questions about last year's

 

           20              grant, for example, how much was received,

 

           21              where was that money placed and what I am

 

           22              wondering though is before we cast our final

 

           23              vote on this legislation to accept the JAG

 

           24              grant and create the new account for

 

           25              placement therein, would you be able to set


 

 

                                                                      19

 

 

            1              up a meeting for me with this grant writer

 

            2              and yourself as Chair of the Public Safety

 

            3              Committee because there are a few questions

 

            4              I would like to ask her myself?

 

            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: And maybe that would

 

            6              be a good idea then there would be no

 

            7              miscommunication.  I tried to call everyone.

 

            8              I did talk to Judy and Bob was there, I

 

            9              talked to you, Sherry.  I didn't get a

 

           10              chance to talk to you.  Yeah, I think she

 

           11              is -- would be more than willing to speak

 

           12              with you, I'll ask if --

 

           13                      MS. EVANS: Could you set that up for

 

           14              me?

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: When you would be

 

           16              available and I would call her and get the

 

           17              story firsthand.

 

           18                      MS. EVANS: Okay.

 

           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I just know there

 

           20              are people from public, that's why I got

 

           21              people from the public asking questions and

 

           22              I think Bob would agree with me we did not

 

           23              want to look like we were doing anything

 

           24              wrong.

 

           25                      MS. EVANS: But we did nothing wrong.


 

 

                                                                      20

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Right, we didn't.

 

            2                      MS. EVANS: We had no part in this.

 

            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: We were unaware of

 

            4              this, and that's one of the great concerns

 

            5              that we had --

 

            6                      MS. EVANS: I'm just looking to get

 

            7              to the bottom of it and to --

 

            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Absolutely.

 

            9                      MS. EVANS: -- find out where all of

 

           10              the money is or how the money has been

 

           11              dispersed and --

 

           12                      MS. FANUCCI: We did get that.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Can I -- the 2000 -- the

 

           14              2008 JAG money was approved.  There has --

 

           15              it has to the been drawn upon as of yet, so

 

           16              there is no money -- it's still --

 

           17                      MS. EVANS: Sits somewhere.  Do you

 

           18              know where?

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF: It's still with the

 

           20              Department of Justice.  There has been no

 

           21              money -- she has not drawn down that amount

 

           22              from 2008.

 

           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  She needs to start

 

           24              the --

 

           25                      MS. EVANS: We received a grant, the


 

 

                                                                      21

 

 

            1              Justice Department maintains those funds and

 

            2              as we need them they are --

 

            3                      MS. GATELLI:  Drawn now.

 

            4                      MS. EVANS: -- applied for or drawn

 

            5              down.

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF: Right.

 

            7                      MS. EVANS: And we are saying that in

 

            8              a whole year the police department didn't

 

            9              need to use those funds for any reason?

 

           10              That doesn't seem to hold water.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: I'm telling -- you know

 

           12              what, I don't know whether they needed it or

 

           13              not.  That money has -- and this is from the

 

           14              grant writer since she is the one that draws

 

           15              the funds --

 

           16                      MS. EVANS: Right.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF:  She said that there has

 

           18              been no money drawn from that 2008.

 

           19                      MS. EVANS: Well, that's certainly

 

           20              a--

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Can I also add to this,

 

           22              that when it was discovered that this

 

           23              letter -- the letter that Mr. Courtright

 

           24              read, when it was discovered that that was

 

           25              part of the application a retraction was


 

 

                                                                      22

 

 

            1              sent, communication from the grant writer

 

            2              and through Chief Elliott's Office was sent

 

            3              to the Department of Justice.  The

 

            4              Department of Justice responded saying

 

            5              basically that fine, procedural error, there

 

            6              was no problem, that it should be presented

 

            7              to council and --

 

            8                      MS. EVANS: They were aware we have

 

            9              done this for two consecutive years?

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF: Yes.

 

           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  There should be two

 

           12              letters sent.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF: For want of a better

 

           14              term, there was a letter of retraction and

 

           15              it did say it was 2008-2009 and the

 

           16              Department of Justice simply said, you know,

 

           17              follow through, make sure it goes to council

 

           18              like there was no -- so we did not lose any

 

           19              funds.  There is no recriminations, you

 

           20              know, through the Justice Department.  As

 

           21              far as the Justice Department is concerned

 

           22              the situation has been rectified so, that

 

           23              you know, that part of it is, I'm going to

 

           24              say kind of no harm, no foul type-thing.

 

           25              Now, I understand your concern over the


 

 

                                                                      23

 

 

            1              procedural part of it, but I want --

 

            2                      MS. EVANS: Well, the procedural part

 

            3              of it in addition to the fact that monies,

 

            4              let us say, approved by the Justice

 

            5              Department remain untouched for this amount

 

            6              of time had we need Scranton police officers

 

            7              on the street and they need better equipment

 

            8              and we are not touching a grant that was

 

            9              approved for the 2008 year.

 

           10                      MS. FANUCCI: There is a lot of

 

           11              reasons for that though, because when we

 

           12              draw federal funds and funds from the state

 

           13              we are only allowed to max out a certain

 

           14              percentage per yea, so just because we were

 

           15              approved doesn't mean that you're able to

 

           16              take it out, we might have been using it in

 

           17              other areas, for instance, they are only

 

           18              certain amount of percentage, in fact, you

 

           19              should write a letter to Stu, maybe Kay can

 

           20              write a letter to Stu, find out what the

 

           21              reason for funding not being used was, and

 

           22              how much we are allowed percentagewise to

 

           23              draw on from the federal government and also

 

           24              from the state for the police officers

 

           25              yearly.  That might clear a lot of that up


 

 

                                                                      24

 

 

            1              because I know -- the same thing happens

 

            2              from the state with us.  We can only do so

 

            3              much with this CDBG or want to use for them

 

            4              or any of the cops on the street or --

 

            5                      MS. EVANS: I see what you are saying

 

            6              and how that can --

 

            7                      MS. FANUCCI: Right, but that's what

 

            8              I mean --

 

            9                      MS. EVANS: And maybe if we --

 

           10                      MS. FANUCCI: --if you understand

 

           11              that if get from them at your different

 

           12              levels you can't use them because you

 

           13              already used how many --

 

           14                      MS. EVANS: And will the Justice

 

           15              Department continue to grant additional

 

           16              funding when they are in possession of

 

           17              information that says, "You have not used a

 

           18              penny of what was granted to you the prior

 

           19              year because you were unable to do so,

 

           20              "because in effect I guess what we're saying

 

           21              is we are overfunded.

 

           22                      MS. FANUCCI: No, no, no.

 

           23                      MS. EVANS: According to the --

 

           24              according to the formulas that happened --

 

           25                      (Whereupon council members began


 

 

                                                                      25

 

 

            1              speaking on top of on another.)

 

            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: One more thing

 

            3              because I know we off track here, there is

 

            4              some paperwork from the council and -- I

 

            5              think one thing is that I don't know how we

 

            6              would have used the money because there was

 

            7              not a special city account opened to put it

 

            8              into, right, we always make special city

 

            9              account so there has been no legislation.

 

           10              There is no legislation asking us to open a

 

           11              special city council so how could we have

 

           12              drawn down on it, so that's number one.

 

           13                      But when I sat this there and asked

 

           14              Stu there was confusion because there are

 

           15              checks being written and I'm telling you

 

           16              there is a pile of stuff here, a pile of

 

           17              stuff here.  And maybe just the answer is to

 

           18              have this meeting with this young lady and

 

           19              speak to her and then maybe can you list the

 

           20              questions.

 

           21                      MS. EVANS: Yes.

 

           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Because every time

 

           23              we speak I learn something new and --

 

           24                      MS. EVANS: Well, I would like the

 

           25              opportunity I think just to clarify --


 

 

                                                                      26

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll call her

 

            2              tomorrow and see --

 

            3                      MS. EVANS: -- for myself that I take

 

            4              it seriously anyway.

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF:  Just as an addendum,

 

            6              the stenographer was having a difficult time

 

            7              when were are talking at the same time if we

 

            8              could have a little bit of sympathy for her

 

            9              plight.

 

           10                      MS. GATELLI: I think you should

 

           11              schedule her so we can all be there.

 

           12                      MS. FANUCCI: Yeah.

 

           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay.

 

           14                      MS. GATELLI: If she should come to a

 

           15              caucus.

 

           16                      MS. EVANS: If she could attend the

 

           17              public caucus.  But, Mr. Courtright, I would

 

           18              still like to continue with --

 

           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll give her a

 

           20              call.

 

           21                      MS. EVANS: I'll come into a meeting

 

           22              prior to next week.

 

           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I go to be honest

 

           24              with you, I'm sorry, I was told, I don't

 

           25              know how comfortable she would be being on


 

 

                                                                      27

 

 

            1              TV.  She was rather nervous when we met with

 

            2              her.

 

            3                      MS. GATELLI: We can meet in the

 

            4              office.  It doesn't have to be on the TV.

 

            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Again, I just want

 

            6              to say, this girl works full-time for the

 

            7              county, she is only part-time for us, and I

 

            8              don't want to see her get a bad wrap.

 

            9                      MS. EVANS: Mr. Courtright, we have a

 

           10              grant writer.  The city employs a grant

 

           11              writer, why was our grant writer not

 

           12              involved in this process.  It would seem --

 

           13              if that individual had been -- maybe none of

 

           14              this would have happened because there

 

           15              aren't the actual city procedures in the

 

           16              processes, so --

 

           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT: You are right.  You

 

           18              right.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF: May I -- on this one, at

 

           20              least in 2009, and I won't speak for the

 

           21              2008 because I don't know, but the 2009

 

           22              application also included two other -- two

 

           23              or three other municipalities.

 

           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Right.  This is the

 

           25              first one.


 

 

                                                                      28

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF: So it was more of a

 

            2              countywide or -- it was outside of the City

 

            3              of Scranton so that it was done through the

 

            4              grant writer in the county.  I know that

 

            5              from the 2009, again, I can't speak for the

 

            6              2008.

 

            7                      MS. EVANS: Oh, okay.  Thank you.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: All right.

 

            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll set it up.

 

           10                      MS. EVANS: Thank you.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Sorry for the --

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I apologize, I just

 

           13              wanted to get that out there.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Citizens' participation.

 

           15              Andy Sbaraglia.

 

           16                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,

 

           17              citizen of Scranton, fellow Scrantonians.

 

           18              There is two articles in the Times that

 

           19              affects your pocketbook.  We got a man in

 

           20              charge of the DCED is writing up this

 

           21              revised Recovery Plan, but some of the

 

           22              things that we don't know what's in it, but

 

           23              they did put two articles in the paper what

 

           24              this man was thinking.  It proposes

 

           25              expanding the business payroll tax to


 

 

                                                                      29

 

 

            1              nonprofits, one thing or increasing, this is

 

            2              us, our tax, our 52 tax, the $52 we pay in

 

            3              tax an hour from people working in the city

 

            4              to $145.  This is where these man is

 

            5              thinking, so what's happening is under this

 

            6              new revised recovery plan, which I was told

 

            7              we don't get to vote on for some dumb

 

            8              reason, we should write a new one and we

 

            9              should put a new one in, but for some reason

 

           10              we don't get a right to vote on this one.

 

           11              This one just comes, I don't even know if

 

           12              you get to vote on it.  I guess we get the

 

           13              Czar in here and he is going to tell us how

 

           14              much taxes we to pay and who has to pay it,

 

           15              but whatever it is people open your eyes.

 

           16              Open your ears and try to get as much

 

           17              information as you can out of this Recovery

 

           18              Plan because it don't come from you.  It

 

           19              really don't.  It's come out of the paper

 

           20              and affects everybody's pocketbook in this

 

           21              city.  What I could say is we are going to

 

           22              get burned.

 

           23                      Now, we got another article in here,

 

           24              which is this is bad, six municipal pension

 

           25              plans.  I spoke about pension plans maybe


 

 

                                                                      30

 

 

            1              two years ago that were underfunded, and I

 

            2              guess we are more underfunded now than we

 

            3              were when I spoke two years ago.  I quoted

 

            4              something like a loss of 23 million, I

 

            5              believe, and the point is with this recovery

 

            6              for this fixed municipal pension plan,

 

            7              someone has to makeup the pension plans.

 

            8                      If they decide that we have to keep

 

            9              this fund at 80 percent, 85 percent, that

 

           10              means someone has to pay, and who is going

 

           11              to pay?  Us.  All of us.  All of us in this

 

           12              city is going to have to pay toward this

 

           13              pension plan.  Now, if this is only the city

 

           14              we might be able to take it, but it's also

 

           15              all of the municipal employees, which is a

 

           16              whole different ballgame.  I don't know how

 

           17              they are down, but this is the crux.  If we

 

           18              get hit trying to bring up all of the state

 

           19              worker's pension plans up, we might as well

 

           20              all declare bankruptcy because we won't be

 

           21              able to afford it, and these are things that

 

           22              should be brought up to all of the people,

 

           23              you should have our state representatives

 

           24              actually come before us and explain to us

 

           25              what they can do and this.  As you know,


 

 

                                                                      31

 

 

            1              some of them are out of work, we all get

 

            2              pensions, at least, okay, I got one.  Most

 

            3              of yous I think got one except

 

            4              Mr. Courtright I don't know if he has one,

 

            5              but anyway, we all have to -- we need the

 

            6              pension, there is no question about it.  The

 

            7              only question is how much do we have to keep

 

            8              in reserve for these pensions and that's the

 

            9              important thing, to get to your state

 

           10              representatives and you should do it for us.

 

           11              You should contact Mr. Smith or Kevin Murphy

 

           12              and ask them to try to get a formula that we

 

           13              can live with because that's the most

 

           14              important thing we can do because if we get

 

           15              hit with this, plus God knows what our

 

           16              budget is going to be like, who knows.

 

           17              Maybe sky is the limit, who know.

 

           18                      Well, I guess I got a few more

 

           19              minutes, you are about to subordinate

 

           20              another loan.  You know what I think about

 

           21              subordination.  I have been saying that for

 

           22              years and years and years.  All you do is

 

           23              protect the banks and they definitely need

 

           24              protection, but the federal government is

 

           25              helping them all, so I don't know why we


 

 

                                                                      32

 

 

            1              have to protect them, too.  Your duty is to

 

            2              protect the taxpayers of the city.  We lost

 

            3              millions of dollars already.  I don't know

 

            4              if this is a good loan or not a bad loan.

 

            5              The A-Park building is a nice building, I

 

            6              always said it, but when the new owner

 

            7              bought it they kicked out the museum, which

 

            8              is in our basement.  Thank you.

 

            9                      MS. EVANS: Mr. Sbaraglia, can I see

 

           10              that article that you reading from for a

 

           11              moment, please?

 

           12                      MR. SBARAGLIA: You mind if I give it

 

           13              to her?

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Please.

 

           15                      MR. SBARAGLIA: You can have both of

 

           16              them if you want.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF: Ozzie Quinn.

 

           18                      MR. QUINN:  Ozzie Quinn, Taxpayers'

 

           19              Association.  First of all, the Taxpayers'

 

           20              Association submitted an application for the

 

           21              tenth year Community Development Block Grant

 

           22              for $7,000 for kids for swim, and I saw the

 

           23              ones that came over from OECD and their

 

           24              recommendation and it wasn't included, okay?

 

           25              I would appreciate it if you would look at


 

 

                                                                      33

 

 

            1              it.  I looked at the Scranton School

 

            2              District numbers and there is 5,200 families

 

            3              that would be able to benefit from this here

 

            4              program.  Would someone please consider

 

            5              looking at this here?

 

            6                      MS. EVANS:  We will doing just that

 

            7              --

 

            8                      MR. QUINN: Thank you very much.

 

            9                      MS. EVANS: -- Mr. Quinn, in fact,

 

           10              our president tonight asked after tonight's

 

           11              introduction of the proposed CDBG grants

 

           12              that each council member would go through

 

           13              very carefully those that have been selected

 

           14              by the administration versus all of the

 

           15              applicants.

 

           16                      MS. FANUCCI: Mrs. Evans, I just want

 

           17              to say it's here.  It is here.  It's part of

 

           18              our packet.  So it's on our list.

 

           19                      MS. EVANS: That's what I was saying

 

           20              to you.

 

           21                      MR. QUINN:  It's what?

 

           22                      MS. FANUCCI: It is -- the

 

           23              application it is part of our packet, so it

 

           24              is still active.

 

           25                      MR. QUINN:  Yeah, but our


 

 

                                                                      34

 

 

            1              application is not on there.

 

            2                      MS. FANUCCI: These are the

 

            3              applications and yours is part of the

 

            4              application process, so it is here.

 

            5                      MS. EVANS: Yes, but what he is

 

            6              saying --

 

            7                      MS. FANUCCI: We can still vote on it

 

            8              for him.

 

            9                      MS. EVANS: Yes, it doesn't matter --

 

           10                      MS. FANUCCI: We can still vote on

 

           11              it.

 

           12                      MS. EVANS: You were included,

 

           13              indeed, in that the applicants, but between

 

           14              now and final passage of this legislation

 

           15              council will meet and will go over the list

 

           16              presented by the administration, make

 

           17              deletions, additions, in other words, I

 

           18              would be very hesitant to say that what you

 

           19              see on tonight's agenda is what the final

 

           20              passage will include.  There will be changes

 

           21              to this made by council I'm sure.

 

           22                      MR. QUINN:  I appreciate that.

 

           23                      MS. EVANS: And I will certainly

 

           24              consider the Kids Swim Free Program.  I have

 

           25              appreciated your efforts all of these years


 

 

                                                                      35

 

 

            1              and I do believe it should be part of the

 

            2              package.

 

            3                      MR. QUINN: Thank you very much.  The

 

            4              other thing is I wanted to discuss the fact

 

            5              that 5-i in regard to that subordination.

 

            6              You know, Mrs. Fanucci and Mrs. Gatelli, you

 

            7              know, I'm not going to say I gotcha, but I

 

            8              gotcha.  You said here publically, okay,

 

            9              that there wasn't any -- everybody was up

 

           10              the snuff in regards to business loans and

 

           11              over since the recess we come up with four

 

           12              or five that have been back two years

 

           13              delinquent, 700 and some thousand dollars

 

           14              total.  Now, you people should have known

 

           15              that.

 

           16                      MS. FANUCCI: Actually, I believe I

 

           17              did say that Whistles was one, but they did

 

           18              catch up, so that's not true so there was

 

           19              one.  I do agree that all indications in the

 

           20              letters we got stated otherwise so --

 

           21                      MR. QUINN:  Well, you may have been

 

           22              right on Whistle's, I don't know.

 

           23                      MS. FANUCCI:  We all asked together

 

           24              actually.  We sent a letter every time as a

 

           25              body, three times, so we were giving the


 

 

                                                                      36

 

 

            1              information we were provided with.

 

            2                      MR. QUINN: You may be right on that

 

            3              Whistle's, but I'm just saying that there is

 

            4              four properties that's causing $700,000,

 

            5              that's two years and you as the head of the

 

            6              CDBG should have been on top of that.

 

            7                      Now, I want to know, give me an

 

            8              explanation why is this bank getting the

 

            9              money and why is the taxpayers again going

 

           10              to be left out?  Can somebody explain that

 

           11              on this?

 

           12                      MS. EVANS: I can give you a brief

 

           13              run down on -- you are addressing on what's

 

           14              tonight's legislation?

 

           15                      MR. QUINN: Yes, please.

 

           16                      MS. EVANS: Originally OECD and city

 

           17              council had approved a business loan for

 

           18              this entity for $250,000.  It was a

 

           19              mortgage, the city holds that mortgage.  At

 

           20              the same time this business had received a

 

           21              $500,000 loan from a bank.  Since then I

 

           22              suppose there if we want to call it

 

           23              refinancing they have approached a new bank,

 

           24              they intend to pay off in full their loan

 

           25              with the first bank and in addition to that


 

 

                                                                      37

 

 

            1              they are going to borrow $300,000 above and

 

            2              beyond the $500,000.  So what had once been

 

            3              $500,000 with bank one will now become

 

            4              $800,000 with bank two.  The $250,000, I

 

            5              think it might have been a commercial

 

            6              revolving business loan through OECD, still

 

            7              stands, and the city, of course, takes a

 

            8              second position behind the bank in terms of

 

            9              repayment.  So it is, you know, just as an

 

           10              aside, it is my belief that the city should

 

           11              be paid for it's loan just as the bank is

 

           12              being paid for it's loan rather than our

 

           13              being carried over endlessly and placed in

 

           14              second and sometimes, not in this event, but

 

           15              sometimes third positions on repayment

 

           16              because, as we can see, the city has been

 

           17              losing miserably on a number of these loans

 

           18              at that were not identified to city council.

 

           19              So actually I'm going to I think be asking

 

           20              under my motions that this piece of

 

           21              legislation is tabled.

 

           22                      MR. QUINN:  Thank you, I appreciate

 

           23              that.  And I just want to mention that there

 

           24              is going to be a sale of property taxes by

 

           25              the county September 21 and there is 600


 

 

                                                                      38

 

 

            1              from the city.  Now, a property owner

 

            2              attached -- contacted me regarding the civil

 

            3              complaint -- could I have a couple -- Mrs.

 

            4              Evans, you spoke, could I have a final say?

 

            5              A civil complaint was filed and ruled on by

 

            6              the SRA as the assignee and the NCC

 

            7              Abrahamsen, who is the lawyer, the person

 

            8              owes $1,584.07 and they are asking for a

 

            9              judgment of $4,586.21.  That means that NCC

 

           10              is going to get a profit of $3,214.

 

           11                      MS. EVANS: Exactly.

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Quinn --

 

           13                      MR. QUINN: Now, I called the other

 

           14              district justices and magistrates -- she

 

           15              gave me time.

 

           16                      MS. EVANS: Yes, I told him because I

 

           17              devoured his time.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF: Well --

 

           19                      MR. QUINN:  I called them up and

 

           20              they told me that they were also inundated

 

           21              by complaints from the city for collecting

 

           22              taxes.  Now, we are not dealing with bricks

 

           23              and mortar here, we are dealing with people.

 

           24              You know, you understand the stress that

 

           25              these people are under or don't you?


 

 

                                                                      39

 

 

            1                      MS. EVANS: I do.

 

            2                      MR. QUINN:  I know you do.  You

 

            3              know, and Mr. Courtright --

 

            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.

 

            5                      MR. QUINN: I know you didn't vote

 

            6              for NCC, did you?

 

            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I'm sorry, I didn't

 

            8              hear you.

 

            9                      MR. QUINN: Did you vote for NCC?

 

           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  For these fees?

 

           11                      MR. QUINN:  Yeah.

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT: No.

 

           13                      MS. FANUCCI: I did.

 

           14                      MR. QUINN:  This is ridiculous, you

 

           15              know.  This is utterly ridiculous, and how

 

           16              you can let this go on.  Mr. McGoff, you

 

           17              should take the bull by the horns and do

 

           18              something about it.  Don't you have any

 

           19              empathy?  Not compassion, they don't want

 

           20              compassion, they want empathy.  Now, they

 

           21              are getting hit double whammy from the

 

           22              county and the city.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Quinn, thank you.

 

           24                      MR. QUINN:  You know, some people, I

 

           25              agree, some people should pay their taxes,


 

 

                                                                      40

 

 

            1              but there is people out there that are

 

            2              hurting.  Thank you.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Les Spindler.

 

            4                      MR. SPINDLER:  Good evening,

 

            5              Council, Les Spindler.  Well, I was going to

 

            6              speak about Chief Elliott, but he was low on

 

            7              my list of priorities tonight, but he moved

 

            8              right to number one after what

 

            9              Mr. Courtright said tonight.  It just goes

 

           10              to prove what I've been saying and what a

 

           11              lot of other people have been saying, we

 

           12              have an incompetent police chief.  I brought

 

           13              it up a long time ago, he is holding back a

 

           14              report that has the two names of city

 

           15              employees who stole Gary DiBileo's signs,

 

           16              he's not doing anything about that, and he

 

           17              doesn't know how to schedule a national

 

           18              night out.  Everybody knew it was

 

           19              August 4th.  I knew, council knew, the Tripp

 

           20              Park Neighborhood Association knew, he

 

           21              scheduled it on the wrong night, and this is

 

           22              the police chief we've got?  No wonder this

 

           23              city is in shambles.

 

           24                      Moving on, talked about KOZ's',

 

           25              since I wasn't here in July I want to read


 

 

                                                                      41

 

 

            1              something from the July 10 Doherty

 

            2              Newsletter about KOZ's, "What little data

 

            3              are available suggests that Keystone

 

            4              Opportunity Zone Program has produced few

 

            5              jobs and economic development promised by

 

            6              proponents and participants the report

 

            7              reveals."

 

            8                      And this is contrary to what

 

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

 

           10              feel and we have said it all along the KOZ's

 

           11              are a waste and you people just keep voting

 

           12              for them.

 

           13                      Next thing, Holy Cross.  A Dioceses

 

           14              that's always complaining they need money

 

           15              and they turned down a $25,000 offer from

 

           16              Bob Bolus.  Well, to me there is more than

 

           17              meets the eye with this.  I think there is a

 

           18              deal being made between the city and the

 

           19              Diocese, just like the deal that was made

 

           20              for the Genesis Wildlife Center between the

 

           21              city and Lackawanna College, so I don't

 

           22              think you should pass this legislation, it's

 

           23              not right.

 

           24                      MS. GATELLI: Mr. Spindler, you

 

           25              weren't here before, but we are voting


 

 

                                                                      42

 

 

            1              against that.  Mr. McGoff, we had a meeting

 

            2              beforehand and --

 

            3                      MR. SPINDLER: Okay.  And another

 

            4              thing, Mr. McGoff say on the July 28 meeting

 

            5              where the people been for four years.  Well,

 

            6              they weren't threatening to demolish it for

 

            7              four years, Mr. McGoff, they were just

 

            8              threatening to demolish it now.  That's why

 

            9              nobody was here for the last four years.

 

           10                      On August 2 Channel 16 reported a

 

           11              dumpster filled in the alley out back with

 

           12              documents with people social security

 

           13              numbers and other classified information and

 

           14              Ray Hayes says, "We are learning from our

 

           15              mistakes."

 

           16                      Well, obviously, they didn't because

 

           17              Ann Marie Stulgis found a load of index

 

           18              cards years ago with social security numbers

 

           19              on it and they didn't learn from that

 

           20              mistake.  So, you know, this city

 

           21              administration is just a joke.  Oh, and

 

           22              Chris Doherty blamed the summer help.  Well,

 

           23              wasn't the summer help supervised or did

 

           24              they just go in the room and throw

 

           25              everything out on their own?


 

 

                                                                      43

 

 

            1                      Okay, on what Ozzie said.  I

 

            2              remember specifically not long ago Mrs.

 

            3              Gatelli said all the loans are up-to-date.

 

            4              Well, here is a headline from the Doherty

 

            5              Newsletter: Brannigan's tab $557,000.  The

 

            6              city is getting stuck on that, and right

 

            7              after that Michael's Luxury Eyewear and

 

            8              Vidas Tapas Bar also that they owe $214,000.

 

            9              So where is the city going to get this

 

           10              money?  We are a distressed city and you

 

           11              three give out loans like you are giving out

 

           12              candy, but what do you do for the taxpayers?

 

           13              You just screw the taxpayers over.  You vote

 

           14              for fees and penalties so people lose their

 

           15              houses, you vote for a 25 percent tax hike

 

           16              and yet you vote for these loans for all of

 

           17              these millionaires.  You should -- you three

 

           18              are a disgrace.

 

           19                      Next on the list.  Again, in the

 

           20              Doherty Newsletter", Doherty, Act 47 helps

 

           21              city.  Chris Doherty went to Reading and he

 

           22              is giving them financial advice we are over

 

           23              $250 million in long-term debt and he is

 

           24              giving financial advice?  What a joke.

 

           25              That's like having an arsonist give advice


 

 

                                                                      44

 

 

            1              to a fire safety class.

 

            2                      Moving on --

 

            3                      MS. GATELLI:  He's the star tonight.

 

            4                      MR. SPINDLER: Okay moving on.

 

            5                      MS. GATELLI: You are going to be on

 

            6              YouTube now, Les.

 

            7                      MR. SPINDLER: On a serious note,

 

            8              myself and other people have come here for

 

            9              years saying there is gangs in this city,

 

           10              Chief Elliott and Chris Doherty denied it.

 

           11              It took a murder on State Road for Chris

 

           12              Doherty to admit there is gangs in the city,

 

           13              and two of these people came from the high

 

           14              school my daughter is going to which scares

 

           15              me to death.  Who knows if there is not more

 

           16              in that school.

 

           17                      Can I continue this?  Oh, there is

 

           18              article in the paper, the mayor is putting

 

           19              more police officers at the high school

 

           20              games and he says we are being proactive.

 

           21              No mayor, putting more cops the high school

 

           22              games isn't being proactive, proactive would

 

           23              have been if you'd listened to what we said

 

           24              three or four years ago and maybe this

 

           25              murder could have been prevented, and I have


 

 

                                                                      45

 

 

            1              more but I'll continue on next week.  Thank

 

            2              you.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Bob Bolus.

 

            4                      MR. BOLUS:  Good evening, Council,

 

            5              welcome back.  Bob Bolus.  I guess we are

 

            6              going to talk about 7-A, so the council I

 

            7              believe is fully aware I had sent a fax that

 

            8              we raised our offer on Holy Cross from

 

            9              $25,000 to $35,000.  People said why did you

 

           10              bother to do that?  What is our history and

 

           11              our heritage in this city worth?  We can't

 

           12              put a dollar sign on it.  I don't believe

 

           13              anybody with any common sense seeing our

 

           14              city and where we are going will want to

 

           15              destroy and continue to destroy places that

 

           16              are house of worships or gateways to the

 

           17              city.  Gateway churches where people

 

           18              actually starting building around in this

 

           19              city and in communities nationally.

 

           20                      The Diocese sits here and cries,

 

           21              they are broke, they have no money, we can't

 

           22              do this and do that, but they want us to be

 

           23              their scapegoats.  Scrantonians to be their

 

           24              scapegoat to take over a church.  Why?

 

           25              Because their fiscal mismanagement of their


 

 

                                                                      46

 

 

            1              own funds.  They can't run their churches

 

            2              properly, they don't know what to do with

 

            3              their money, yet the Roman Catholic Churches

 

            4              is one of the richest businesses in the

 

            5              world starting from Rome across.

 

            6                      Why should we take this church and

 

            7              allow our heritage to be torn down and make

 

            8              a blacktop parking lot to satisfy a few?  To

 

            9              take over and worry about a basketball team

 

           10              the season.  There is parking down the

 

           11              street at the old tennis courts that are

 

           12              part of the University or whatever they may

 

           13              have been.  Give them that to park.  They

 

           14              can run up and down the court for hours,

 

           15              they can't walk a half a block to park the

 

           16              car?  I think it's absurd.

 

           17                      My intent is to keep this church,

 

           18              this facility, in it's entirety as it is

 

           19              today, to restore it.  Mr. McGoff, you made

 

           20              comments in the Scranton Times, oh, it's

 

           21              going to cost this or tear it down might be

 

           22              feasible.  It's not your problem.  It's my

 

           23              problem or it's whoever's problem with the

 

           24              Diocese that buys it.  We are going to put

 

           25              it on the taxrolls.  We not going to give it


 

 

                                                                      47

 

 

            1              a free parking lot, if you are going to do

 

            2              that for these people down there then how

 

            3              about we have one up on East Mountain and

 

            4              somewhere else in the city, and South Side

 

            5              and North Scranton, we just start making

 

            6              free parking lots out of every blighted

 

            7              parking lot in this city.

 

            8                      And what determines blight?  What

 

            9              determines how it gets from here to there

 

           10              ahead of everybody else.  How does it jump

 

           11              the line?  I would like to know that,

 

           12              please.  There is none.  There is no common

 

           13              sense behind it.  You cannot take burned out

 

           14              buildings that have been sitting for years

 

           15              that should have been torn down, put up for

 

           16              auction, with the contingency you buy it you

 

           17              must build on it.  You put it on the

 

           18              taxrolls.  It's about making money in this

 

           19              city.

 

           20                      Not the nonprofits who give nothing

 

           21              like the University, you know, sure they

 

           22              give great educations, but they don't pay

 

           23              their fair share.  All of them.  I don't

 

           24              care if it's a church, rectory, it should

 

           25              pay taxes because it's not a house of


 

 

                                                                      48

 

 

            1              worship.  These are the things that we are

 

            2              missing here and we are missing it big.

 

            3                      We lost how much from Molly

 

            4              Brannigan's and how much more with all of

 

            5              the other hundreds or hundreds and millions

 

            6              of dollars?  We should never take a second

 

            7              position to anyone.  We should always be

 

            8              first.  They go down, we get paid, and the

 

            9              banks don't want to do business with them

 

           10              then pay us off and give them 100 percent of

 

           11              their money.  We are their scapegoats and

 

           12              it's got to stop.  You got to confirm this

 

           13              is a business.  I don't know care how you

 

           14              look at it.

 

           15                      You must take a hardcore look at

 

           16              this, and tonight I'm asking you, this

 

           17              contract is probably null and void because

 

           18              to the benefits of some of us Catholics

 

           19              Martino is no longer in charge, and I

 

           20              applaud that, because I have seen the

 

           21              Catholic church destroying the house of

 

           22              worship where people were baptized, they

 

           23              grew up in, they were married in and they

 

           24              died and were buried in now destroyed.  We

 

           25              can't continue to do this.  Let them run


 

 

                                                                      49

 

 

            1              their own house.  They're big boys and

 

            2              girls, let them pay their fair share.  Not a

 

            3              dollar from the City of Scranton to pull

 

            4              them out of the fire.  I'm asking tonight

 

            5              that this be tabled, put on the back burner,

 

            6              because Martino is no longer involved.  He

 

            7              signed this contract, the solicitor probably

 

            8              would be better suited for this, but I

 

            9              believe the contract is now null and void

 

           10              because there is new head of the Diocese and

 

           11              he needs that opportunity.  We sent him a

 

           12              letter and we addressed it to him and asking

 

           13              him now to pay attention to this because

 

           14              Martino isn't here, and I believe Mr. Minora

 

           15              would agree with me that contract is now

 

           16              null and void.

 

           17                      MS. GATELLI: Mr. Bolus, I don't know

 

           18              if you heard me tell Mr. Spindler, but we

 

           19              discussed this in caucus with the

 

           20              Architectural Heritage Association and we

 

           21              have all agreed that we are voting "no."

 

           22                      We aren't going to table it, we are

 

           23              voting "no."

 

           24                      MS. BOLUS: I heard that,

 

           25              Mrs. Gatelli, but I want to be here tonight,


 

 

                                                                      50

 

 

            1              I took the time to come here, I wanted this

 

            2              on the record, I want the sincerity of what

 

            3              we are saying and what the Heritage

 

            4              Association is saying and council and

 

            5              everybody in the city to understanding.  We

 

            6              are Scrantonians and that's what comes

 

            7              first.  Not greed or misconceptions and

 

            8              little ideas and backdoor deals.  It has to

 

            9              stop and stop now, and I thank you for your

 

           10              consideration.  I'm sure everybody else

 

           11              will, too.

 

           12                      MS. GATELLI: I hope you are around

 

           13              when St. Francis is closed --

 

           14                      MR. BOLUS:  We'll buy them all.  It

 

           15              doesn't make a difference.  You could have

 

           16              Sister Gatelli, Sister Fanucci, Reverend --

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF: And Bishop Bolus.  Jean

 

           18              Suetta.  Sorry.  I'm sorry, Fay Franus.  My

 

           19              apologies.

 

           20                      MS. FRANUS:  Fay Franus.  I would

 

           21              like to applaud you for voting "no" for Holy

 

           22              Cross Church, but one thing, Mr. McGoff, I

 

           23              saw who you mentioned many times that the

 

           24              neighbors in Bellevue don't mind this

 

           25              parking lot.  I lived in Bellevue all my


 

 

                                                                      51

 

 

            1              life, the neighbors, over 30 of them that I

 

            2              spoke with, do not want a parking lot there

 

            3              and they very much so object.  I don't know

 

            4              who you spoke to, I'd love to know the

 

            5              names, because I don't know one person that

 

            6              wanted that torn down.  Not one.  So you

 

            7              don't speak for the neighbors in Bellevue.

 

            8                      Another thing, Mr. Courtright, was

 

            9              there a letter from the Department of

 

           10              Justice saying basically this is an

 

           11              oversight and they are just going to let

 

           12              this go?

 

           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT: They acknowledged a

 

           14              letter from the city, they had a set of two,

 

           15              one from 2008 and one from 2009 telling the

 

           16              City of Scranton to correct the letters that

 

           17              were sent erroneously or in error.

 

           18                      MS. FRANUS:  Well, I definitely feel

 

           19              there should be an investigation because I

 

           20              believe from what I understand there was

 

           21              grants from 2002 up until now that Chief

 

           22              Elliott may have applied for -- or whoever

 

           23              the police chief might have been by then,

 

           24              but I think there should be an investigation

 

           25              of all of the grants that were asked for and


 

 

                                                                      52

 

 

            1              did they come in front of council for

 

            2              approval.

 

            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: They are the only

 

            4              two I'm aware of.

 

            5                      MS. FRANUS:  Pardon me?  No, I'm not

 

            6              talking about -- maybe you are only aware of

 

            7              two years, I'm saying check back and see

 

            8              exactly how many grants --

 

            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I can do that.

 

           10                      MS. FRANUS:  How many grants went in

 

           11              front of the Justice and got approval, even

 

           12              received the money without council's

 

           13              approval.  It might take some digging, but

 

           14              it's certainly worth checking into.  I'd

 

           15              like to know if Chief Elliott deliberately

 

           16              said this without council's approval

 

           17              knowing, fully knowing that council didn't

 

           18              approve this.  That's what I would like to

 

           19              know.

 

           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT: All right.  I will

 

           21              absolutely check that.

 

           22                      MS. FRANUS:  And I hope that you

 

           23              have a public meeting with the person, the

 

           24              grant writer.

 

           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT: My fear is -- I just


 

 

                                                                      53

 

 

            1              told her time for a second.  My fear is that

 

            2              when this girl met with us, right, I don't

 

            3              want to point any fingers, I think she was

 

            4              mislead and I wouldn't want her to be

 

            5              persecuted for something that she really

 

            6              didn't do --

 

            7                      MS. FRANUS:  Bill, excuse me.  I

 

            8              don't mean for the people to speak with her,

 

            9              I just mean for the public to be in

 

           10              attendance like a caucus or anything.  I

 

           11              don't mean for the public to ask questions I

 

           12              just meant the public to be there.

 

           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I will ask for Mrs.

 

           14              Evans' meeting, I will ask for a meeting

 

           15              with all of us.

 

           16                      MS. FRANUS:  Because if there is

 

           17              nothing to hide there is not a question that

 

           18              could be asked to her that she shouldn't

 

           19              be --

 

           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I agree.

 

           21                      MS. FRANUS:  Like I said, this is

 

           22              very important, just not 2008-2009.

 

           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Do you know, Fay,

 

           24              what you said, I told everybody at the

 

           25              meetings, this is exactly what would happen


 

 

                                                                      54

 

 

            1              and this is exactly what is happening.  The

 

            2              people want to know and they have every

 

            3              right to know.

 

            4                      MS. FRANUS:  We have a right to

 

            5              know.

 

            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT: They have every

 

            7              right to know.

 

            8                      MS. FRANUS: And maybe somebody will

 

            9              squirm and they do not want to answer the

 

           10              questions, but we have a right to know.

 

           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes, you do.

 

           12                      MS. FRANUS:  And we also want to

 

           13              know how many of these grants did not come

 

           14              in front of city council for approval and

 

           15              who authorized it and I don't think this is

 

           16              just an oversight.

 

           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I will absolutely

 

           18              check.  I will go back to 2002.

 

           19                      MS. FRANUS:  Yes, please.  Like I

 

           20              said, it might take some digging to go over

 

           21              all of the minutes, but --

 

           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: No, I'll do it.  I

 

           23              think you are 100 percent --

 

           24                      MS. FRANUS:  I'd like to know how

 

           25              many grants, what are the amounts, what were


 

 

                                                                      55

 

 

            1              though for and how many came in front of

 

            2              council for approval and how many did not

 

            3              come in front of council for approval and

 

            4              how much money was given to this police

 

            5              department.  Thank you very much.

 

            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT: You are welcome.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF:  Jean Suetta.

 

            8                      MS. SUETTA: Are you sure?

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF: I'll double-check it.

 

           10                      MS. SUETTA: I came spiffy, huh?  You

 

           11              know how far I chased him for them?

 

           12                      MS. FANUCCI: Nice.

 

           13                      MS. SUETTA: Jean Suetta.

 

           14                      MS. FANUCCI: I'm going to tell her

 

           15              you said that.

 

           16                      MS. SUETTA: What did he say?

 

           17                      MS. FANUCCI: He said nice legs.

 

           18                      MS. SUETTA: Nice.  I am nicey nice.

 

           19              I just got a couple of questions:  One,

 

           20              whatever happened to the lighted ballfield

 

           21              for our softball players?

 

           22                      MS. FANUCCI: We don't know.

 

           23                      MS. SUETTA:  Is there a grant coming

 

           24              for that?

 

           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know.


 

 

                                                                      56

 

 

            1                      MS. SUETTA:  And you know this lady

 

            2              that was mislead, get the jackass that

 

            3              mislead her here.

 

            4                      MS. FANUCCI: We can't curse.

 

            5                      MS. SUETTA: I'm not cursing.  That's

 

            6              an animal or a donkey.  Get the donkey down

 

            7              here, all right?  I have to say hello to

 

            8              Ziggy Levandowski.  I met him in the

 

            9              hospital, we were getting tests.  Hi, Zig, I

 

           10              hope you are feeling better.  Thank you very

 

           11              much.  You don't know who he is.

 

           12                      The weeds.  The jungle is still on

 

           13              Greenridge Street.

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: You're right.

 

           15                      MS. FANUCCI: You are right.  I saw

 

           16              it the other day.

 

           17                      MS. SUETTA: I know.  Are they

 

           18              getting fined?

 

           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Didn't they cut a

 

           20              little bit?

 

           21                      MS. FANUCCI: They did a little bit

 

           22              in the beginning, but that was right in the

 

           23              beginning.

 

           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  They did do

 

           25              something way back.


 

 

                                                                      57

 

 

            1                      MS. SUETTA: Look it, even Corrugated

 

            2              Box is letting their place go to hell now.

 

            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Who?

 

            4                      MS. SUETTA: Corrugated Box.

 

            5                      MS. FANUCCI:  That's new though.

 

            6              You never told us that before.

 

            7                      MS. SUETTA: No, today, yeah.  Now,

 

            8              my house was robbed Sunday.

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI: No, it wasn't.

 

           10                      MS. SUETTA:  Yes, it was.  Now I'm a

 

           11              victim.  He better start giving our cops

 

           12              some kind of help because we got hooligans

 

           13              our neighborhood.  You can't say nothing

 

           14              to them.  If you do, the one called me

 

           15              something.  You want to tell me what he

 

           16              called you?

 

           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT: No.  No.  Please

 

           18              don't.

 

           19                      MS. SUETTA: Twenty years ago I would

 

           20              have caught him on that skateboard.  I

 

           21              couldn't catch him, but if I catch them I

 

           22              can't hit them anyway because they are 14

 

           23              and 15 years old.  All my life my doors went

 

           24              open, that's how crazy.  I got three dogs

 

           25              and a cat and they robbed my house.


 

 

                                                                      58

 

 

            1              Nothing?

 

            2                      MS. FANUCCI: Sorry.

 

            3                      MS. SUETTA: They invaded my privacy,

 

            4              you know?  I'm investing I.  Got a couple of

 

            5              the banks looking -- a couple of the

 

            6              changers checking their videos, and God

 

            7              forbid if I find out, you know?  Two days I

 

            8              ain't slept.  It's no fun when somebody goes

 

            9              in your house and you are not there, and I

 

           10              have three dogs.  They ain't afraid of

 

           11              nothing, you know?  And I had -- they took a

 

           12              jug of money, a gallon jug of money, one of

 

           13              those pretzel ones, those big one,

 

           14              three-quarters full.  How they got it out of

 

           15              the house I don't know, but they did it on a

 

           16              Sunday, broad daylight.  I was gone from 1

 

           17              to 5.

 

           18                      Now, why?  What would I do if they

 

           19              come in my house and I'm there after bed?

 

           20              Hit them while they are there don't hit them

 

           21              with they are leaving; right?  Am I right or

 

           22              wrong?

 

           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm not going to

 

           24              give any advice, Jean, because if you do

 

           25              that --


 

 

                                                                      59

 

 

            1                      MS. SUETTA: No.  Well, I'll tell you

 

            2              what, the officer that came to my house was

 

            3              very nice, Anthony Redna?  Redner?

 

            4                      MS. GATELLI: Renda.

 

            5                      MS. SUETTA: Renda.  Very nice

 

            6              officer.  He couldn't say how I was holding

 

            7              my composure, but then I lost it.

 

            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT: He must have got a

 

            9              kick out of you.

 

           10                      MS. SUETTA: Well, then he got a

 

           11              little scared then after awhile, you know?

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't blame him.

 

           13                      MS. SUETTA:  But that's all.  You

 

           14              got to get more cops.

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I agree.

 

           16                      MS. SUETTA: I mean, I got the

 

           17              scanner on, they are getting run ragged.

 

           18              All right.  Thanks.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Lee Morgan.

 

           20                      MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.

 

           21              The first thing I have here is I think that

 

           22              the city, council and the mayor should

 

           23              consider turning over the city's pension

 

           24              plan to the state.  We have wrestled with

 

           25              this demon many times, and to be honest with


 

 

                                                                      60

 

 

            1              you, I don't know see how the City of

 

            2              Scranton is ever going to meet the

 

            3              obligations we are going to have with that

 

            4              pension plan.  I mean, we keep talking about

 

            5              it and councils have changed, administrators

 

            6              have changed, it's been millions off dollars

 

            7              short, and my personal opinion is that

 

            8              Mellon Bank in the beginning when I first

 

            9              came to council a long time ago may have

 

           10              been doing a fairly good job, but to be

 

           11              honest with you all of the pensions are just

 

           12              collapsing and when we look at the city and

 

           13              the amount of pressure that the residents

 

           14              are under, I don't see any possible way that

 

           15              the residents should keep bleeding them the

 

           16              way they are being bled.

 

           17                      I really think it's time for

 

           18              leadership in this council.  I'm wondering

 

           19              has council ever sat down with Austin Burke

 

           20              and maybe considered a plan for the Scranton

 

           21              Lace building that Mr. Boscov owns?  I have

 

           22              had an opportunity to speak to him and the

 

           23              developer about green technology jobs when

 

           24              the KOZ's were being killed by the Scranton

 

           25              School District, and believe me that was a


 

 

                                                                      61

 

 

            1              great thing for the city.

 

            2                      You know, I just -- I had to leave

 

            3              here before, I mean, I just couldn't sit

 

            4              here because I sit here week after week and

 

            5              I watch politics spin completely out of

 

            6              control and everybody wants the upper hand

 

            7              in politics, but the people in this city

 

            8              don't have the upper hand because this city

 

            9              has been so mismanaged that it's beyond

 

           10              belief, and council has the obligation to do

 

           11              investigations and in my opinion it's just

 

           12              not happening, and I don't know if it's ever

 

           13              going to happen.  We have cashed out

 

           14              blighted properties all over the city.  We

 

           15              have tore a lot of them down, we don't even

 

           16              maintain the lots they are on.  After we

 

           17              ripped the property down who is maintaining

 

           18              those lots?  Who is doing anything?  Nobody

 

           19              is doing anything.

 

           20                      Today a lot of people came here I

 

           21              think with the focus of the Scranton Times

 

           22              put on it that what was happening the Holy

 

           23              Cross was the most important issue in this

 

           24              city.  The most important issue in this city

 

           25              is the survival of the city itself and it's


 

 

                                                                      62

 

 

            1              residents.  Unemployment is 17 percent.  I

 

            2              mean, when you look at all of the numbers,

 

            3              the discouraged workers that stop looking,

 

            4              and my question for this council is do you

 

            5              have the answers?  Because you know

 

            6              something, I think everybody should -- I

 

            7              appreciate anybody who runs for a public

 

            8              office even, Mrs. Gatelli, there is talk you

 

            9              may run a write-in, and you know what?  I

 

           10              think you should.  And, Mrs. Fanucci, if you

 

           11              feel you should I think you should.  And I

 

           12              think that any resident in this city who

 

           13              thinks they should do a write-in should do a

 

           14              write-in, but we need some solutions to the

 

           15              problems that we have and we are just not

 

           16              getting them.  We are playing politics here

 

           17              with people's lives and it's just not right.

 

           18              Thank you.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Jim Talerico.

 

           20                      MR. TALERICO: Good evening, Council

 

           21              members.  My name is Jim Talerico.  I want

 

           22              to speak about the church on the corner of

 

           23              Fifth and Broadway.  Give you some

 

           24              background on me, I'm Catholic, I go to

 

           25              church every Sunday.  I went to Mother


 

 

                                                                      63

 

 

            1              Cabrini School for eight years, which is now

 

            2              closed.  I was an altar boy and served mass

 

            3              7:00 every day and at this time you had to

 

            4              Latin to be an altar boy.  My brother was

 

            5              the maintenance man at St. Lucy's Church,

 

            6              his wife sang in the choir, his

 

            7              mother-in-law was the sacristan, my mother

 

            8              helper her out once in awhile and I worked

 

            9              for her on Saturday.  She paid me 50 cents

 

           10              for the whole day.

 

           11                      I'm a commercial real estate

 

           12              appraiser and a real estate broker.  I'm the

 

           13              President of Scranton Appraisal Group and

 

           14              Scranton Development Group.  I have been in

 

           15              real estate for over 40 years, completed

 

           16              many appraisals on churches in Lackawanna

 

           17              and Luzerne Counties.  I have spoken with

 

           18              Bishop Joseph F. Martino, Chancellor James

 

           19              P. Early, Father Francis Torsick and many

 

           20              other priests.

 

           21                      I have completed an appraisal of St.

 

           22              John's Baptist Catholic Church which is

 

           23              located right around the corner at 1314-1316

 

           24              Broadway Street.  We have completed many

 

           25              detailed narrative commercial reports 50 to


 

 

                                                                      64

 

 

            1              100 pages from the sales comparison

 

            2              approach, the income approach, and we don't

 

            3              usually do the cost approach because

 

            4              churches are very old, but we do estimate

 

            5              what the land value is.  Most Catholic

 

            6              churches are masonry structures and are of

 

            7              Superior quality and in excellent condition.

 

            8              Most churches are in residential zones which

 

            9              does not allow commercial uses.

 

           10                      However, city council and the zoning

 

           11              board agreed to rezone Catholic churches to

 

           12              commercial uses, the Diocese can lease these

 

           13              churches to lend a commercial use such as a

 

           14              DayCare center, office use, nursing home or

 

           15              other limited commercial uses.  In this

 

           16              economic downfall, Scranton Diocese is

 

           17              losing parishioners and are going to sell

 

           18              the structure below market value.  If the

 

           19              Diocese leases the churches for limited

 

           20              commercial use they can benefit by

 

           21              collecting additional income and maybe in

 

           22              the future there will be an increase in

 

           23              parishioners and the city can collect taxes

 

           24              on those properties.

 

           25                      Also, I did a church in Lynburg,


 

 

                                                                      65

 

 

            1              Byzantine Catholic Church of Lynburg located

 

            2              on Gravel Pond Road.  What they did was they

 

            3              converted that into a bank a couple of years

 

            4              ago.

 

            5                      The church on Fifth and Broadway may

 

            6              have other uses available, what is the value

 

            7              of the church as it is now?  I will do an

 

            8              appraisal on this structure at no charge

 

            9              just to see what the value is.  I would like

 

           10              to save the Catholic churches and schools

 

           11              and offer my experience in appraising

 

           12              churches.  That's all I have to say.  Thank

 

           13              you very much.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Charlie

 

           15              Newcomb.

 

           16                      MR. NEWCOMB:  Good evening, City

 

           17              Council.  I am here this evening on two

 

           18              topics.  One is has become over the last

 

           19              couple of months a personal mission of mine.

 

           20              This past April we lost my grandmother, but

 

           21              the worst part is we had to bury her in the

 

           22              Washburn Street Cemetery.  Why I say the

 

           23              worst part is that we had to bury her in the

 

           24              Washburn Street Cemetery is, if any one of

 

           25              you drive by this overgrown deplorable


 

 

                                                                      66

 

 

            1              cemetery, you will see how sad it truly is.

 

            2              My mother had to bury her mom in this

 

            3              deplorable place.  This past weekend it was

 

            4              so bad that my own mother couldn't get out

 

            5              of my vehicle to pay respects to her mom

 

            6              because the cemetery is in such a disgraced

 

            7              condition.  There is overgrown grass all

 

            8              summer.  We have to cut the grass around the

 

            9              tombstones ourselves.  I'm not the only

 

           10              person that goes there.  You go over there

 

           11              on a weekend you will find 10, 20 people

 

           12              doing the same thing.

 

           13                      There is no phone number listed for

 

           14              the cemetery.  I had to get a phone number

 

           15              from our funeral director.  I called the

 

           16              gentleman on his cell phone to voice my

 

           17              complaint and he told me there is no money

 

           18              to do anything.  That's not my problem,

 

           19              that's not your problem, that's not

 

           20              anybody's problem that is buried in that

 

           21              cemetery that paid money to take care of

 

           22              their graves.  It truly has become a

 

           23              disgusting condition to put it bluntly.

 

           24                      If my home, your home, anybody's

 

           25              home looked like this cemetery did you would


 

 

                                                                      67

 

 

            1              be cited for blight, so I ask this city to

 

            2              cite these people for blight and give them

 

            3              30 days to clean up the cemetery and cite

 

            4              them every day because I should not have to

 

            5              go over there and clean up for something

 

            6              that we paid for and neither should anybody

 

            7              else have to.

 

            8                      There is hundreds, upon thousands of

 

            9              people in this city that have loved ones

 

           10              buried in that cemetery and it's truly a

 

           11              disgrace.  Not only is the gras overgrown,

 

           12              but there is tombstones toppled all over the

 

           13              place.  I was told by a gentleman that fixes

 

           14              the tombstones that these are not cause of

 

           15              vandals, it's because the poor drainage in

 

           16              the cemetery and not properly maintained.

 

           17                      We buried my grandmother on April 3

 

           18              and it took until July 2 for somebody to

 

           19              come over and fill in the grave because it

 

           20              had sank so bad.  It's truly sad.  I have

 

           21              family members buried in both Cathedral and

 

           22              Dunmore cemeteries and if you go to those

 

           23              cemeteries you leave there in peace.  You

 

           24              cannot do this at that Washburn Street

 

           25              Cemetery.  I drive by there ever day going


 

 

                                                                      68

 

 

            1              and coming from work and this summer truly

 

            2              is the worst it's ever been.

 

            3                      To move onto other topic that I have

 

            4              come here time and time again, I ask did

 

            5              anybody receive my e-mails that I sent two

 

            6              weeks ago for the water problem?

 

            7                      MS. EVANS: Yes.

 

            8                      MR. NEWCOMB:  If you can see from

 

            9              these e-mails, this past spring my wife and

 

           10              I put thousands of dollars into our property

 

           11              and 35 tons of soil and dirt to bring up our

 

           12              property.  Our foundation costs us $4,000 to

 

           13              fix to stop the water from coming in.

 

           14              Fortunately, for me we solved the problem

 

           15              with the exception that when the water comes

 

           16              up over the street and there is no where

 

           17              else to go it's going to come in the yard.

 

           18              The flooding this summer has just been

 

           19              unreal.  There is mosquitos right in front

 

           20              of my house.  You can't even let the kids go

 

           21              outside because the water just ponds there.

 

           22                      Nobody seems -- Mrs. Gatelli, I know

 

           23              you had the city come over and they put in a

 

           24              drain, that works to get rid of some of the

 

           25              problem, but it doesn't help it.  I know


 

 

                                                                      69

 

 

            1              Mrs. Evans you have tried and time and time

 

            2              again to help, but it's just getting bad and

 

            3              neighbors are actually come outside and they

 

            4              cry because they say, "Why doesn't anybody

 

            5              want to do anything about this problem?"

 

            6                      No offense, Mr. McGoff, but I'm

 

            7              still waiting for you to come over because I

 

            8              know you said about two years you would come

 

            9              over and look at the problem and you'd take

 

           10              personal interest in it and nothing has

 

           11              happened.  Like I said, I think I helped the

 

           12              problem to stop the water from coming into

 

           13              my home, but unfortunately the rest of the

 

           14              neighborhood is just -- is getting hit

 

           15              pretty hard.

 

           16                      MS. GATELLI: Did you get any relief

 

           17              from Keyser Avenue?

 

           18                      MR. NEWCOMB: No.

 

           19                      MS. GATELLI:  You know, that there

 

           20              is no storm drains up there?

 

           21                      MR. NEWCOMB:  No, that's the problem

 

           22              the water needs to be stopped from Keyser

 

           23              Avenue --

 

           24                      MS. GATELLI: I know.

 

           25                      MR. NEWCOMB: And it comes from


 

 

                                                                      70

 

 

            1              Keyser Avenue and we are the lowest point

 

            2              and that's were where it settles, so you

 

            3              either need to put drains right across

 

            4              Keyser Avenue or at the bottom of us you

 

            5              need to make some kind of gully system or

 

            6              something to stop the water because when the

 

            7              engineers came over from the Sewer Authority

 

            8              they said there is a 18-inch pipe that goes

 

            9              into a 24-inch pipe -- or, I'm sorry, I have

 

           10              it backwards, a 24-inch pipe that goes into

 

           11              a 18-inch pipe.  That's not going to hold

 

           12              that type of water.  You are talking about

 

           13              thousands of gallons of water that comes

 

           14              down within a matter of ten minutes.  It's

 

           15              really, really sad.

 

           16                      And one other quick question I have

 

           17              if I can, do we know if we charge insurance

 

           18              companies for the use of Rescue 1 in car

 

           19              accident?  Did we use to?

 

           20                      MS. FANUCCI: I don't know that.

 

           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  We might have in

 

           22              the past, I don't think we do now.

 

           23                      MR. NEWCOMB:  I think that's

 

           24              something that we look into to make revenue

 

           25              for the city.  You see them all of the time


 

 

                                                                      71

 

 

            1              responding to accidents and the ambulance

 

            2              charge for their services, I can't see why

 

            3              Rescue 1 of the city can't charge for their

 

            4              services as well.  But, personally, I ask

 

            5              you to please look into the Washburn Street

 

            6              Cemetery because it really is a sad

 

            7              situation.  It's really, really bad.  Thank

 

            8              you.

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF: Marie Schumacher.  Or,

 

           10              excuse me, I'm sorry, I keep jumping ahead.

 

           11              Chris Hughes.

 

           12                      MR. HUGHES: Good evening, Council.

 

           13              Thanks for giving me the chance to speak

 

           14              tonight.  My name is Chris Hughes.  I'm 25,

 

           15              I'm a lifelong resident of the city.  I want

 

           16              to come tonight because I see a problem in

 

           17              the city, but I don't hear anybody

 

           18              presenting any kind of positive solutions

 

           19              and any positive alternatives.  The problem

 

           20              I see is blighted properties and what

 

           21              happens to blighted properties once the

 

           22              bricks, the mortar and the tenants are gone

 

           23              for months and possibly years at a time.

 

           24                      Right now where I live, in the

 

           25              section of West Side where I live, there are


 

 

                                                                      72

 

 

            1              two vacant properties completely vacant, no

 

            2              buildings whatsoever within two blocks of

 

            3              each other.  One of those properties sits he

 

            4              at the intersection of Oram Street and North

 

            5              Bromley Avenue, that site apparently owned

 

            6              by a group called 1222 Oram Street, LLC.

 

            7              I'm hoping from what I have been told by

 

            8              neighbors that's a group of neighbors that

 

            9              bought the property.  I'm hoping they do

 

           10              something to develop it.

 

           11                      The property that I'm more concerned

 

           12              with because it doesn't seem like anybody is

 

           13              doing anything with it sits at the corner of

 

           14              North Bromley and Pettibone Street just up

 

           15              from the Turkey Hill on Main Avenue in West

 

           16              Side.  I don't know if anybody -- if you are

 

           17              familiar with that.  Mr. Courtright is

 

           18              giving me a nod.  I'm coming here because I

 

           19              want to learn a few things.  I would like to

 

           20              see the property positively developed

 

           21              probably to the chagrin of many, but

 

           22              possibly as a neighborhood community garden.

 

           23              A project like this would probably solve at

 

           24              least two problems in the city, it would

 

           25              develop a blighted property and something


 

 

                                                                      73

 

 

            1              positive and it could foster a sense of

 

            2              community that I think is missing in the

 

            3              City of Scranton these days.

 

            4                      There is a couple of preliminary

 

            5              questions that I have, and I'm sure that if

 

            6              I got any kind of approval for this kind of

 

            7              a project there would be many more that

 

            8              would come forward down the road.  I guess

 

            9              the first question would be, could I as a

 

           10              civilian obtain any kind of community

 

           11              development grant, block development grant

 

           12              for this kind of project?  If I could where

 

           13              could I go to apply for that kind of grant?

 

           14              What office, whether it be in the city or

 

           15              the county level.  Could somebody who owns

 

           16              the property, how much it's worth, how to

 

           17              obtain it.  And I guess the final

 

           18              preliminary question would be what kind of

 

           19              approval what I need to get from

 

           20              neighborhoods, there is two schools in the

 

           21              community, Charles Sumner and John Marshall,

 

           22              would I need any kind of approval from the

 

           23              zoning boards to get this kind of project

 

           24              moving forward.  If there is any kind of

 

           25              correspondence, I could deal with the


 

 

                                                                      74

 

 

            1              members of council.  I'd be happy to give

 

            2              you my e-mail address off camera, my cell

 

            3              phone number, whatever I could give you to

 

            4              keep moving forward.

 

            5                      If you don't have answers tonight I

 

            6              understand because it's probably something

 

            7              you didn't expect, but I appreciate any kind

 

            8              of information you can give me because I'd

 

            9              like to see, like I said, something positive

 

           10              happening with the sites.

 

           11                      MS. FANUCCI: Certainly I can help

 

           12              you with the contact OECD to try to obtain

 

           13              type of funding, but I think your first

 

           14              source is trying to find out who owns the

 

           15              property, so I think we should start there

 

           16              to see if it's available.

 

           17                      MR. HUGHES: Would be from the County

 

           18              Assessor's Office?

 

           19                      MS. GATELLI: The Assessor's.

 

           20                      MS. FANUCCI: The Assessor's Office

 

           21              would be where you would go for that, and

 

           22              then after that it would be OECD and you

 

           23              would want to contact them and tell them

 

           24              what it is that you looking for, but you

 

           25              would have to acquisition of the property


 

 

                                                                      75

 

 

            1              first.

 

            2                      MR. HUGHES: Sure.

 

            3                      MS. FANUCCI:  So that's your first

 

            4              step.

 

            5                      MR. HUGHES: And this is probably

 

            6              more of an opinion question, but would that

 

            7              be better served as like a civilian thing or

 

            8              would it be better --

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI: What are you trying to

 

           10              do, you want to do a community center?

 

           11                      MR. HUGHES: No, no, like --

 

           12                      MS. FANUCCI: Community gardens.

 

           13                      MR. HUGHES: Like an outdoor

 

           14              community garden.  My vision is to have it

 

           15              fenced in, to use a Scranton based business

 

           16              which would be the Earth Box business to

 

           17              have container gardens set up so I wouldn't

 

           18              have to worry about tilling land or anything

 

           19              like that, and use existing parking on the

 

           20              sides of the streets.

 

           21                      MS. FANUCCI:  Well, you could

 

           22              probably start a nonprofit then, right?

 

           23                      MR. HUGHES: That would be my guess,

 

           24              but --

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI: I would think that


 

 

                                                                      76

 

 

            1              nonprofit would be your best route.

 

            2                      MS. GATELLI: And there is a

 

            3              gentleman that came here, I don't recall his

 

            4              name, that was doing community gardens.

 

            5                      MR. HUGHES:  Really?

 

            6                      MS. FANUCCI:  He has been here for

 

            7              awhile.  Actually, I do have his e-mail.

 

            8                      MS. EVANS:  It's Mr. Murphy.  I

 

            9              think he resides in Greenridge.  He was

 

           10              interested in that.  I don't know that it

 

           11              came to fruition.  I know I had sent some

 

           12              volunteers to attend his meetings and sadly

 

           13              the meetings weren't conducted.  But I

 

           14              think, you know, also it would to your

 

           15              advantage when applying for a CDBG grant,

 

           16              for example.  First of all, you have to

 

           17              ascertain and if this is a low to moderate

 

           18              income area; and then secondly, your chances

 

           19              are improved if you are a group that is

 

           20              applying rather than an individual and, of

 

           21              course, the current round of CDBG's are now

 

           22              in process and that is for funding within

 

           23              the 2010 fiscal year, so that in terms of a

 

           24              CDBG grant they are going to need to wait

 

           25              until next summer for application and


 

 

                                                                      77

 

 

            1              receipt of funds then probably in 2011.

 

            2                      MR. HUGHES: Okay.  Do have an

 

            3              estimated time as to when the grant would

 

            4              have be to sent in?

 

            5                      MS. FANUCCI: Just in response, I

 

            6              want to say this first, we don't believe

 

            7              it's in a low to moderate income area.

 

            8                      MR. HUGHES: I don't believe it is

 

            9              either.

 

           10                      MS. FANUCCI: So you would not be

 

           11              able to apply for that funding, but there

 

           12              would be other sources depending on what it

 

           13              is you are looking for.  If you leave your

 

           14              e-mail with Neil I certainly will contact

 

           15              you and see what we can do.

 

           16                      MR. HUGHES: Thank you.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF: Marie Schumacher.

 

           18                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Marie Schumacher,

 

           19              city resident and member of the Taxpayers'

 

           20              Association.  Before I start with the

 

           21              remarks that I prepared for tonight, did I

 

           22              hear correctly that we will have a new

 

           23              Recovery Plan imposed on us that will not

 

           24              come to council or come before the voters?

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI: I believe it has to


 

 

                                                                      78

 

 

            1              come to council because I think we have to

 

            2              adopt it as legislation 'am I correct, Amil?

 

            3                      MR. MINORA: Yes.

 

            4                      MS. EVANS: YES.

 

            5                      MS. FANUCCI:  So it does have to

 

            6              come before council.

 

            7                      MS. SCHUMACHER: I misheard, okay.

 

            8              Now, the capital budget, Section 904 of the

 

            9              Home Rule Charter states:  "Capital budget

 

           10              shall contain:  One, a summary of it's

 

           11              contents.  Two, a list of all capital

 

           12              improvements which are proposed to be

 

           13              undertaken during five fiscal years and

 

           14              ensuing with appropriate supporting

 

           15              information as to the necessity for such

 

           16              improvements.  Three, cost estimated, method

 

           17              of financing, and recommended time schedule

 

           18              for such improvements.  Four, estimated

 

           19              annual cost of operating and maintaining

 

           20              facilities to be constructed or acquired.

 

           21              Five, inventory replacement schedule for

 

           22              purchase and replacement of major

 

           23              equipment."

 

           24                      I have to tell you that this is the

 

           25              poorest excuse for capital budget I have


 

 

                                                                      79

 

 

            1              ever seen.

 

            2                      MS. EVANS: I agree.

 

            3                      MS. SCHUMACHER: I cannot believe

 

            4              that anybody didn't have enough pride to not

 

            5              bother submitting this.  Not only is it

 

            6              several months late, but it is totally out

 

            7              of comport with the Home Rule Charter.

 

            8              Where are the projects within each

 

            9              department?  Why did council approve the

 

           10              $50,000 budgeted for Genesis Wildlife Center

 

           11              to Leadership Lackawanna for Hanlon's Grove?

 

           12              Where is the greenhouse funding?  Why are

 

           13              nonmunicipal entities allowed to initiate

 

           14              capital projects?  Every capital project

 

           15              should be in the city budget and it should

 

           16              be shown as approved by council with a

 

           17              nonmunicipal entity shown as the funding

 

           18              sources once it is approved by council.

 

           19                      We have been out of compliance for

 

           20              years and years.  I think the last one of

 

           21              the Connors' administration the only one

 

           22              that was done correctly, and I think it's

 

           23              time that you make this administration shape

 

           24              up.  It is just terrible.  Where are the

 

           25              streets to be paved?  There is money in the


 

 

                                                                      80

 

 

            1              OECD budget that you have received for today

 

            2              to have streets paving.  That's a capital

 

            3              project that should be in there.  I just

 

            4              don't know.  I don't know why you let them

 

            5              get away with this and I think it's time

 

            6              that this year you stop it and get a correct

 

            7              budget.

 

            8                      MS. EVANS: Ms. Schumacher, I agree

 

            9              with you --

 

           10                      MS. SCHUMACHER: 5-D -- my time.

 

           11              I've got five here.

 

           12                      MS. EVANS: I'm sorry.

 

           13                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Thank you though.

 

           14              5-D, I ask council to obtain the full list

 

           15              of applications, not just those selected for

 

           16              inclusion in the CDBG budget that's proposed

 

           17              to you tonight.  Why are there no non

 

           18              agilged funds for emergency fuel help?  We

 

           19              all know what shape people are in

 

           20              economically, we know what's happening to

 

           21              utility rates and not a penny for emergency

 

           22              fuel help?  That is -- that is terrible.

 

           23                      I mean, I wonder why I waste my time

 

           24              going to these meetings when they look for

 

           25              citizen input and you take your time and you


 

 

                                                                      81

 

 

            1              go down and you remind them of these things

 

            2              and then forward comes the budget, but I

 

            3              think we should all, every citizen, should

 

            4              see all of the applications that were

 

            5              received and their recommendations and I

 

            6              would like to that you would request tonight

 

            7              that we all do see the all of the

 

            8              applications.

 

            9                      5-E on tonight's agenda.  It should

 

           10              be publically that SLIBCO is not losing any

 

           11              funding in this transaction, rather SLIBCO

 

           12              will receive a quarter of a million dollars

 

           13              from the federal stimulus funding.  This

 

           14              transaction begs the question of where the

 

           15              CDBG-R for recovery itemized budget is

 

           16              showing all of the stimulus funding.  It's

 

           17              referenced in the backup, but where is it?

 

           18              The city clerk's office doesn't have it.

 

           19              This dash "R" plan is listed in the backup,

 

           20              it should be available in the clerks office

 

           21              and I would recommend that you see that

 

           22              that's received before next week's meeting.

 

           23                      Speaking of the Clerk's Office, I

 

           24              would like to make a recommendation

 

           25              regarding authorities.  During -- may I


 

 

                                                                      82

 

 

            1              finish this thought?  I'll bring the rest

 

            2              next week?

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Please.

 

            4                      MS. SCHUMACHER: During the August

 

            5              recess the deal the Parking Authority made

 

            6              with Molly Brannigans came to light.  I

 

            7              called the clerk's office to request an

 

            8              appointment to review the Scranton Parking

 

            9              Authority 2009 meeting minutes only to be

 

           10              informed that city council does not receive

 

           11              these minutes.  I was going to go over that

 

           12              third item, but since we taxpayers are the

 

           13              ones that are left holding the bag if the

 

           14              authorities' default, I believe council

 

           15              should request minutes of each authority be

 

           16              forwarded to council, even an open records

 

           17              request if that's what it takes to get

 

           18              compliance in a timely manner and so noted

 

           19              when received in your agenda item three.

 

           20              And God Lord willing, I'll be back next week

 

           21              with the rest of my comments.  Thank you.

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF: Jim Stucker.

 

           23                      MR. STUCKER: How you doing?

 

           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Hi, Jim.

 

           25                      MR. STUCKER: Hi.  I was at the


 

 

                                                                      83

 

 

            1              festival, I had a good time, three days, it

 

            2              worked out four days.

 

            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Good.

 

            4                       MR. STUCKER: And what about them

 

            5              houses now, the one on Greenridge, are they

 

            6              going to get --

 

            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I know.  They

 

            8              boarded it up though, Jim.  They didn't tear

 

            9              it down yet, but it's boarded up.

 

           10                      MR. STUCKER: When are they ripping

 

           11              it down?

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I don't know.

 

           13                      MR. STUCKER:  And I was wondering

 

           14              about that street by the courthouse, by the

 

           15              post office courthouse, that road is bad.

 

           16              They have to put a new road in there.

 

           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yep.

 

           18                      MR. STUCKER: All right.  And Pocius

 

           19              they said, I don't know if it was one of

 

           20              your friends come into Sheeley's Drug Store,

 

           21              he said Pocius found my bike.

 

           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay.

 

           23                      MR. STUCKER: He had a green blazar.

 

           24              He said he knows you.

 

           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  He knows me?


 

 

                                                                      84

 

 

            1                      MR. STUCKER: Yeah.

 

            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: What bike, Jim, not

 

            3              the scooter?

 

            4                      MR. STUCKER: No my brand new

 

            5              mountain bike.

 

            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT: And what happened,

 

            7              it was stolen?

 

            8                      MR. STUCKER: Yeah, it was stolen

 

            9              outside of Bernie's Bar.

 

           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT: And they said I have

 

           11              it?

 

           12                      MR. STUCKER: Well, Pocius --

 

           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Pocius?

 

           14                      MR. STUCKER: Yeah.  Pocius said he

 

           15              gave it to you.

 

           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't think

 

           17              Mr. Pocius has your bike, Jim.

 

           18                       MR. STUCKER: I just talked to a guy

 

           19              in a green blazar, he said you -- he said

 

           20              Pocius -- the guy in the green blazar told

 

           21              me, I don't know his name, he said he will

 

           22              give you a call or Pocius give him a call

 

           23              and said they found the bike, he did, so he

 

           24              is supposed to get back to you about it, so

 

           25              you might have to call Pocius.


 

 

                                                                      85

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Jim, I don't think

 

            2              Mr. Pocius has your bike, Buddy.  I think

 

            3              they were teasing you.

 

            4                       MR. STUCKER: The kid was tall, a

 

            5              tall kid and two other kids, too.

 

            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT: You know what to do,

 

            7              Jim, get his name so that I can call him

 

            8              because I think he is fooling around with

 

            9              you.

 

           10                       MR. STUCKER: All right.  Now we got

 

           11              these skateboards and they are on on where I

 

           12              live on Adams Avenue in that big tall

 

           13              building, right around the corner of

 

           14              Mulberry, the kids live in this building,

 

           15              they were there tonight with the skateboards

 

           16              bouncing off -- the cops -- this cop here

 

           17              went right up the street, he had to come

 

           18              over here so that's why he didn't stop, and

 

           19              they are over the courthouse now tonight,

 

           20              they will be there running up and down the

 

           21              courthouse square, and running all up that

 

           22              wall.  Two cops stopped them three weeks

 

           23              ago, two cops, and took they kid to jail and

 

           24              took the skateboard off of them.  Now they

 

           25              are all back.  They are over there tonight.


 

 

                                                                      86

 

 

            1                       MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay, the sheriffs

 

            2              will take care of that, Jim.

 

            3                      MR. STUCKER: Well, you got to tell

 

            4              them.

 

            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I will tell them.

 

            6                      MR. STUCKER: We need more cops.

 

            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  We need more cops,

 

            8              you are right.  Yep.

 

            9                      MR. STUCKER: And I think I might be

 

           10              back in the hospital again.

 

           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Oh.

 

           12                      MR. STUCKER: For my valve, checking

 

           13              my valve they are, which they do now.

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I hope you are okay.

 

           15                      MR. STUCKER: I hope they can find my

 

           16              bike, I'll be lucky.

 

           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, I don't think

 

           18              Mr. Pocius has your bike, Jim.

 

           19                      MR. STUCKER: All right.

 

           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Okay.

 

           21                      MR. STUCKER: All right.

 

           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So long, Jim.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Ron Ellman.

 

           24                      MR. ELLMAN: Ron Ellman.

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI: Ronnie, your shirt is


 

 

                                                                      87

 

 

            1              amazing.  You are a big deal.

 

            2                      MR. ELLMAN: Ronnie Ellman again.

 

            3              Brother McGoff, if council would like me to

 

            4              intercede with the Justice Department on

 

            5              their behalf I have had some experience with

 

            6              them.  Just a thought.  Probably best I not.

 

            7              I lost, you know.

 

            8                      I saw where our mayor's watering

 

            9              hole dried up.  I was told that the club if

 

           10              he paid his bar bill they could still be in

 

           11              business.

 

           12                      I went to Steamtown Saturday, the

 

           13              first time I ever been there, and it's very

 

           14              nice.  I was pleased.  It's not real

 

           15              expensive, the train rides are like $20 out

 

           16              and up I guess where you go.  I didn't go on

 

           17              them, but they don't have a club card, you

 

           18              know, so they told me.  I came -- what I

 

           19              came to talk about one thing in the paper

 

           20              the other day, the University of Scranton

 

           21              bought two more buildings on Madison Avenue,

 

           22              one for $175,000 and one for $100,000.  That

 

           23              means those taxes are gone forever.  This

 

           24              has got to stop.  We got.  We got this other

 

           25              one, the college, they are buying that end


 

 

                                                                      88

 

 

            1              of town up, how do you expect the people of

 

            2              this city, this isn't a college town where

 

            3              the college supports it.  We are supporting

 

            4              these businesses.  It just can't go away.

 

            5              You know, a fourth of the city is not paying

 

            6              taxes and this keeps going on.  They are

 

            7              money making businesses that make fortunes.

 

            8              It's just terrible what's going on right

 

            9              under you people's noses.

 

           10                      I know everybody probably saw all of

 

           11              these names in here for the tax sale.  There

 

           12              is over 600 for the city, how does these

 

           13              people get to pay so much, to owe so much

 

           14              money.  There is one guy here, Medical

 

           15              Dimensions, $404,000.  You know, and here is

 

           16              the St. Peter's Square, they're building all

 

           17              of that stuff down there wants KOZ's, they

 

           18              don't need KOZ's, they owe $58,000, one

 

           19              after another.  A dozen of these people owe

 

           20              over $1 million.  USA Reality over $45,000.

 

           21                      Underneath them is some poor guy on

 

           22              Washburn Street that owes $258 and his name

 

           23              is in there, and underneath him are two

 

           24              deadbeats that owe $44,000.  How did tens of

 

           25              millions of dollars get on these taxrolls?


 

 

                                                                      89

 

 

            1              You know, nobody -- I have asked people,

 

            2              nobody -- and they said that nobody cares.

 

            3              Nobody keeps up with things.  They got -- I

 

            4              just don't understand how somebody could owe

 

            5              $404,000.  It's a business that's there, it

 

            6              makes money and they don't pay anything?  I

 

            7              don't know.

 

            8                      I'm taking my paperwork, I phoned --

 

            9              I'm taking my paperwork that I told you

 

           10              about to the FBI.  They want to see it

 

           11              because they don't believe me.  They said

 

           12              it's impossible for the bank to pay, the

 

           13              city make you pay, and then turn it over to

 

           14              the collection agency that I paid them and

 

           15              there is no check from the collection agency

 

           16              back to the city I was told.  I gave a check

 

           17              for when Mr. Walsh was down there I think

 

           18              for $1,900 I got the receipt, in a few weeks

 

           19              they sued me for $1,900 and turned it over

 

           20              to the collection agency and they wanted

 

           21              $2,400 so Ms. Rosie went out there and paid

 

           22              them, and where is the money?  It didn't

 

           23              come back to the city.  The FBI wants to see

 

           24              all my paperwork.

 

           25                      The bank took money every year I got


 

 

                                                                      90

 

 

            1              the receipt from the bank paid my taxes, you

 

            2              know, and I'm not the only one.  You start

 

            3              talking about it, this has happened in the

 

            4              one person after another, but how can some

 

            5              poor guy lose a house for $250,000 in

 

            6              this Medical Dimensions is not paying

 

            7              404,000.  All these jerk water towns out

 

            8              here, there is no big amounts of money like

 

            9              this.  In Moosic there is one little -- some

 

           10              company owes $24,000.  Every one of them is

 

           11              just little amounts of money, a thousand or

 

           12              3,000 or something.  You get over here to

 

           13              Scranton, huge amounts, one after another

 

           14              down all of these pages people owe just huge

 

           15              amounts.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you, Mr. Ellman.

 

           17                      MR. ELLMAN: I'd like to know why

 

           18              they weren't turned over to the collection

 

           19              agency and I was, you know.  There is some

 

           20              people ought to be in jail instead of having

 

           21              the pictures up on the damn schools or

 

           22              wherever around here.  Thank you.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Dave Dobrzon.

 

           24                      MR. DOBRZON: Good evening, council.

 

           25              Dave Dobrzon, resident of Scranton and


 

 

                                                                      91

 

 

            1              member of the Scranton Taxpayers, and you

 

            2              kind of stole my parade on 7-A, but

 

            3              nonetheless, I want to read from Article III

 

            4              of the PA State Constitution on religious

 

            5              freedom.  Now, I'll need these to read my

 

            6              own writing.  "All men have a natural and

 

            7              indefeasible right to worship all Mighty God

 

            8              according the dictates of their own

 

            9              consciences.  No man of right can be

 

           10              compelled to attend, direct or support any

 

           11              place of worship or to maintain any ministry

 

           12              against it's consent.  No human authority

 

           13              can in any case whatever control or

 

           14              interfere with these rights of conscious and

 

           15              no preference shall ever be given by law to

 

           16              any religious establishments or modes of

 

           17              worship."

 

           18                      Now, the reason I brought this up

 

           19              is, well, one church which is kind of

 

           20              mainstream around here would like a little

 

           21              help.  Who next, the Muslims, the Synagogue,

 

           22              the Arian Nation?  So, in other words, what

 

           23              I'm saying is that this should never be

 

           24              voted on on the basis that people who are

 

           25              not of the conviction of this religion


 

 

                                                                      92

 

 

            1              basically have to pick up the tab out of

 

            2              their taxes and do without other uses for

 

            3              those taxes.  So enough on that.

 

            4                      I'd like to -- one other thing I

 

            5              would like to say is that I do track

 

            6              personally the actions of politicians and

 

            7              when I regard them as on the fringes of

 

            8              constitutionality it's time to vote against

 

            9              them or not vote for anybody at all if you

 

           10              are voting for the least of two evils.

 

           11                      As far as Northeast Criminal

 

           12              Conspiracy, I mean, NCC, this is ridiculous

 

           13              some of these people getting socked with

 

           14              these taxes, the three tickets.  It's

 

           15              terrible.  It's actually, I think they

 

           16              should be in jail for cruel and unusual

 

           17              punishment against the citizens of this

 

           18              town.

 

           19                      And few years ago and I seen this

 

           20              man, I think it's Joe Gallanti, pushing the

 

           21              nonsmoking regulations in Scranton

 

           22              ordinance, now he is down the county.  Well,

 

           23              he got the stadium nonsmoking and, of

 

           24              course, every week in the paper there is --

 

           25              there is an article about how much more we


 

 

                                                                      93

 

 

            1              have to pay in county taxes to renovate that

 

            2              stadium even though the bleachers were 20,

 

            3              30 percent built.  It's really ashame that

 

            4              these people can come in because I think it

 

            5              relates to Molly Brannigan's.  Everybody

 

            6              pushed it as a nonsmoking alternative and

 

            7              everything, but the bottom line is when it's

 

            8              taxpayers' money involved and at risk we

 

            9              shouldn't be telling people how to conduct

 

           10              their business.  Enough on that.  I mean,

 

           11              smoking is a bad idea in the first place,

 

           12              but if people want to be silly they should

 

           13              be left to be silly when they want to be

 

           14              silly, and it's not any big deal.

 

           15                      The last thing I would like to say

 

           16              is with the upcoming elections, all

 

           17              candidates please don't accept any outside

 

           18              money for elections.  If these people from

 

           19              Clarks Summit and so forth want to

 

           20              contribute to elections in Scranton maybe

 

           21              they should pay a commuter tax and that

 

           22              might wise them up because, obviously, they

 

           23              want to run our town but they don't want to

 

           24              pay taxes in it, so it's too bad they

 

           25              couldn't get a commuter tax and tax the


 

 

                                                                      94

 

 

            1              pants on off them then they won't have any

 

            2              money to dump into political donations and

 

            3              try to control our town and our future.

 

            4              Thank you and have a good night.

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF: Other speakers?  Please.

 

            6                      MS. SOLAN: Good evening.  I'd like

 

            7              to first say that I'm Jackie Solan and I'd

 

            8              like to thank you, Janet Evans, for

 

            9              responding to our e-mail.  We have a

 

           10              property at 526-524 Emmett Street.

 

           11                      MS. EVANS: Yes.

 

           12                      MS. SOLAN: I have numerous pictures

 

           13              here that you can keep.  We have been

 

           14              dealing with this problem with the blighted

 

           15              properties for years.  They have been

 

           16              condemned since 2005.  I have three small

 

           17              children.  There are -- in the winter months

 

           18              there are homeless people that take up

 

           19              residencies.  There are animals, there is

 

           20              raccoons.  I mean, my children have to be

 

           21              supervised in the backyard.  We have called

 

           22              the blight hotline numerous times, the City

 

           23              of Scranton inspectors.  The foundation on

 

           24              the property to the left that -- we are

 

           25              surrounded, there is one blighted property


 

 

                                                                      95

 

 

            1              another blighted property, our residence,

 

            2              our other house, and then another blighted

 

            3              property, so we are surrounded by blighted

 

            4              properties.  Now, it's like an Amazon and

 

            5              like Claws and Paws surrounding us.  So, I

 

            6              mean, it's just horrendous and, you know, I

 

            7              don't want to complain or anything like that

 

            8              but if they were to be condemned, I mean, I

 

            9              have all of these pictures here, they said

 

           10              they have been on the list for years.

 

           11                      MS. EVANS: Yes.

 

           12                      MS. SOLAN: They have done nothing.

 

           13                      MS. EVANS: May I have the pictures?

 

           14                      MS. SOLAN:  Absolutely.

 

           15                      MS. EVANS: I had my own list tonight

 

           16              a request -- -

 

           17                      MS. SOLAN: They might be doubles,

 

           18              but you can keep them, but it's pretty hard

 

           19              to look at.

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me, what was the

 

           21              address?

 

           22                      MS. EVANS: I have them all.  I have

 

           23              the list of them tonight with me.

 

           24                      MS. SOLAN: Sorry, I mean, there is--

 

           25              in the back there is a, I don't know, it's


 

 

                                                                      96

 

 

            1              like a cliff.  There's a -- you will see

 

            2              there is a like a car wash and then they

 

            3              have that trailer that they put in, well, I

 

            4              mean, last summer there was homeless people

 

            5              climbing up there, but they come to stay,

 

            6              they take things that people have thrown

 

            7              back there, I mean, it's horrible.  And

 

            8              there is kids in and out of there.  I mean,

 

            9              when you see the pictures you are going to

 

           10              be just totally taken away, you know?

 

           11                      But I'd just ask that maybe somebody

 

           12              could take the time to really consider

 

           13              tearing them down instead of just saying,

 

           14              okay, they are on the list, you know?  But I

 

           15              thank you for your time.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.

 

           17                      MS. GATELLI: I think I condemned

 

           18              these when I was up there, that's how long

 

           19              ago it is?

 

           20                      MS. SOLAN: It's been awhile.

 

           21                      MS. EVANS:  Why?  Why all of these

 

           22              years?  Where is the justice in the list?

 

           23              Look at this.

 

           24                      MR. MCGOFF: Go ahead, Mr. Talimini.

 

           25                      MR. TALIMINI: Joe Talimini, City of


 

 

                                                                      97

 

 

            1              Scranton.  One of the things that has been

 

            2              gauling me for a long time, and I don't who

 

            3              is in charge of DPW or what their new laws

 

            4              are or what their new contract calls for,

 

            5              but quite frankly, I have been sitting back

 

            6              listening to my scanner, when they have a

 

            7              cave in the DPW doesn't come out, they will

 

            8              get it in the morning.  It's raining, DPW

 

            9              does not come out.  You have an emergency, a

 

           10              fire going on, DPW does not come out and

 

           11              they have to tell the firemen where the

 

           12              barricades are, but they don't come out.

 

           13              You have a crime scene, DPW does not come

 

           14              out at night, it might be raining, but they

 

           15              will tell the cops where the barricades are.

 

           16                      Now, I thought it was a 24-hour

 

           17              agency, apparently it's not, so I would like

 

           18              to ask you to look into that and tell you

 

           19              what's going on.  With regard to OECD, I

 

           20              think it's about time for a federal

 

           21              investigation of OECD and I personally will

 

           22              call for one because we have lost so many

 

           23              businesses in this town, we have been lied

 

           24              to about those people who were behind and we

 

           25              were told, no, they were not behind and


 

 

                                                                      98

 

 

            1              everything was up-to-date then we find out

 

            2              Molly Brannigan's, which is a national

 

            3              franchise, has beat the City out of over

 

            4              $700,000, they beat the parking authority or

 

            5              the sewer authority who they were renting

 

            6              from out of $60,0000.  There are other

 

            7              others.

 

            8                      Our downtown is prospering, which is

 

            9              why Steve and Barry's left, which is why

 

           10              Zale's jewelers left, which is why Ground

 

           11              Round left, but we are prospering, but I

 

           12              don't know where which brings me to my other

 

           13              point.  I think it's time the city got out

 

           14              of the banking business and let's the bank

 

           15              handle this thing.  If these people can't

 

           16              borrow money from the banks then sad on

 

           17              them, they shouldn't be in business.

 

           18                      Now, that's $750,000, I mean, rough

 

           19              estimate, if you had taken $25,000 of that

 

           20              and invested it in the people in this city

 

           21              who would like to make a little business

 

           22              going you probably could have started 30

 

           23              businesses without any problem at all and

 

           24              they probably would still be prospering.

 

           25                      Now, all of these people with their


 

 

                                                                      99

 

 

            1              grandiose ideas, all of these politicians

 

            2              and all of these other people who are

 

            3              bringing these franchises into this town so

 

            4              they can pat themselves on the back and

 

            5              march in parades with them, it's ridiculous.

 

            6              Where is the money going and what are you

 

            7              people going to do about getting that money

 

            8              back?  Molly Brannigans is not a local

 

            9              organization, it's a national franchise.

 

           10              Zale's Jeweler, I don't know if they owe us

 

           11              any money or not, the Ice Box from what I

 

           12              understand, a few hundred thousands dollars

 

           13              there.  Have they been paid at all yet?

 

           14                      MS. EVANS: No.

 

           15                      MR. TALIMINI: So where is all this

 

           16              money and what are these people doing about

 

           17              it?  And OECD is using this money as if it

 

           18              were coming out of everybody's pockets.

 

           19              Well, it's coming out of my pocket as well

 

           20              as everybody else's, and it's time we did

 

           21              something about it.

 

           22                      Now, I'd like to address the Holy

 

           23              Cross Church, I think this is something that

 

           24              should be of interest to all of you.  I

 

           25              suggest the city buy Holy Cross Church and


 

 

                                                                     100

 

 

            1              turn into a rehab center for politicians,

 

            2              developers, bankers and lawyers in this

 

            3              town, and I'm sure if we get enough

 

            4              people -- I'm sure we can get enough people

 

            5              up there who would be glad to introduce

 

            6              shock treatments to get you people back to

 

            7              reality, and a 30-day process.  It would be

 

            8              just like the Betty Ford Clinic.  You must

 

            9              be do a mandatory 30 days before you are

 

           10              allowed out in public again because you are

 

           11              certainly not entitled to the general

 

           12              population, and I think I can talk Mr. Bolus

 

           13              into going along with that as well.  Thank

 

           14              you.

 

           15                      MR. BHARUCKA: Good evening.

 

           16                      MS. EVANS: Good evening.

 

           17                      MR. BHARUCKA: City Council, my name

 

           18              is Jay Bharucka, I live at the rear 300

 

           19              block of Taylor Avenue.

 

           20                      MS. EVANS: Yes.

 

           21                      MR. BHARUCKA: And I live there

 

           22              34 years and I'm still living there and

 

           23              tonight I came here to oppose the program,

 

           24              it's called -- the University has the

 

           25              garbage collection center across my house


 

 

                                                                     101

 

 

            1              just 15 feet from my house.

 

            2                      MS. EVANS: The dumpster/compactor.

 

            3                      MR. BHARUCKA: Yes.

 

            4                      MS. EVANS: I addressed that earlier

 

            5              tonight and we are on that --

 

            6                      MR. BHARUCKA: It is not a dumpster

 

            7              but is actually not dumpster, I talked with

 

            8              the zoning officer and everybody is

 

            9              confused.  It's not a dumpster, it's like a

 

           10              garbage collection center, garbage

 

           11              collection.

 

           12                      MR. NOLAN: A compactor.

 

           13                      MS. EVANS: A compactor.

 

           14                      MR. NOLAN: For the whole University,

 

           15              all of their garbage is going to be in

 

           16              there.

 

           17                      MS. EVANS: Really.  Well, that --

 

           18                      MR. BHARUCKA: And I don't now to get

 

           19              them, I'm in awe of these things, and I am

 

           20              here opposing that and, please, I don't want

 

           21              it.

 

           22                      MS. EVANS: I agree.

 

           23                      MR. BHARUCKA:  Whatever the project

 

           24              and I want to stop that.

 

           25                      MS. EVANS: Yes, and we are going to


 

 

                                                                     102

 

 

            1              do everything we possibly can to help you

 

            2              with this.  As I said earlier, a letter is

 

            3              going to be sent on behalf of Scranton City

 

            4              Council requesting that the University of

 

            5              Scranton remove that and relocate it

 

            6              elsewhere, and we are also sending a letter

 

            7              to the Licensing, Inspections and Permit

 

            8              Department of the City of Scranton so that

 

            9              our people are aware of this situation and

 

           10              they should be sent out there to see that

 

           11              this occurs.

 

           12                      MR. BHARUCKA: Thank you very much.

 

           13                      MS. EVANS: You are very, very

 

           14              welcome.  No one should have to live with

 

           15              that.  I'm sure between the odors and the

 

           16              noise it has to be unbearable to the

 

           17              neighbors on Taylor Avenue and North Irving.

 

           18                      MR. NOLAN: We have a petition, I

 

           19              don't know if you guys --

 

           20                      MS. EVANS: Yes.

 

           21                      MR. NOLAN: You all got a copy?

 

           22                      MS. EVANS: We received it.

 

           23                      MR. NOLAN: He said he dropped it off

 

           24              at the office.

 

           25                      MS. EVANS: And that's going --


 

 

                                                                     103

 

 

            1                      MR. NOLAN: And I have some pictures

 

            2              if you would like to see them.

 

            3                      MS. EVANS: Excellent.  Yes.  We will

 

            4              take those as well.

 

            5                      MR. NOLAN: This is the dumpster that

 

            6              they removed, it was basically a small

 

            7              dumpster.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Please, I'd just ask if

 

            9              you talk -- the stenographer can't --

 

           10                      MS. GATELLI:  Can't hear you.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Can't hear and also take

 

           12              the podium.

 

           13                      THE COURT REPORTER: And state your

 

           14              name, please.

 

           15                      MR. NOLAN: My name is Michael Nolan.

 

           16              I live at 301 North Irving.  I also oppose

 

           17              this.  I didn't actually get to the chance

 

           18              to sign the petition because I was out of

 

           19              town, but the pictures basically that's the

 

           20              small dumpster that was in the area, and

 

           21              this is the concrete pad where they are

 

           22              going to place I believe the 40-foot

 

           23              compactor/dumpster.  He is talking storage

 

           24              area.  We have been told it's for the whole

 

           25              universities' garbage and this is a picture


 

 

                                                                     104

 

 

            1              here.  His house is like right across the

 

            2              alley from this.  He lives in the alley

 

            3              here.  I mean, I couldn't imagine having

 

            4              this right next to my house.

 

            5                      MS. EVANS: No.

 

            6                      MR. NOLAN: And I basically want to

 

            7              know with all of the property the university

 

            8              has why they can't put in one of their

 

            9              parking lots?

 

           10                      MS. EVANS: Exactly.

 

           11                      MR. NOLAN: It's right close to one

 

           12              of their buildings that they would just be

 

           13              taking away a couple of parking lots for

 

           14              cars instead of putting it by this

 

           15              gentleman's home.  I mean, this is -- I'm

 

           16              outraged by it, but, you know.  I can't

 

           17              believe they can do this without like asking

 

           18              anybody.

 

           19                      MS. EVANS: No, I can't believe it

 

           20              either.

 

           21                      MR. NOLAN: So that you have already

 

           22              had a copy of that petition though.

 

           23                      MS. EVANS: Yes.

 

           24                      MR. NOLAN: Okay.  Thank you.

 

           25                      MS. GATELLI: You are welcome.


 

 

                                                                     105

 

 

            1                      MS. EVANS:  Thank you.  We will do

 

            2              our very best for you.

 

            3                      MR. O'MALLEY: Barbara O'Malley,

 

            4              Scranton resident.  I just want to be clear,

 

            5              it's my understanding or I thought I heard

 

            6              out in the hall that you are voting "no" on

 

            7              7-A?  Was that -- is that accurate

 

            8              information?

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI:  How do you know that?

 

           10                      MS. O'MALLEY: On Holy Cross.

 

           11              Somebody said that --

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF: Yes.  That is correct.

 

           13                      MS. O'MALLEY: It's not tabled --

 

           14                      MS. FANUCCI: How does she know?

 

           15                      MS. O'MALLEY: How did I know?  I

 

           16              heard -- I wasn't here earlier in the

 

           17              meeting, but somebody who left the meeting.

 

           18              That's why I came to the meeting primarily

 

           19              to talk about it, so I just wanted to make

 

           20              sure that was accurate.

 

           21                      MS. GATELLI: It's a "no."

 

           22                      MS. O'MALLEY: Okay.  I appreciate

 

           23              that.  Thank you very much.  The other thing

 

           24              that I wanted to ask for information about

 

           25              is there was a report in the Scranton Times


 

 

                                                                     106

 

 

            1              about the Army Reserve Center in -- on

 

            2              Colfax Avenue in Scranton that that will be

 

            3              closing and the property can be transferred

 

            4              to a nonprofit, and I did try and call the

 

            5              Scranton Redevelopment Agency to ask them

 

            6              about the process of the transfer and some

 

            7              other information about future use of that

 

            8              property, unfortunately, I never got a call

 

            9              back, but this is the question and maybe

 

           10              somebody at council can help get this

 

           11              information.

 

           12                      It is my understanding from reading

 

           13              the article that that property can only be

 

           14              transferred as part of the agreement to a

 

           15              nonprofit organization, and that there are--

 

           16              the city is considered a nonprofit and two

 

           17              schools, and the question I live in the

 

           18              neighborhood and the question that we have

 

           19              as neighbors is if the property is

 

           20              transferred to say one of the schools and

 

           21              for some reason the school doesn't -- is no

 

           22              longer able to operate, are they under the

 

           23              same agreement that then the property has to

 

           24              continue to go to a nonprofit or at that

 

           25              point can it go to any developer?  Because


 

 

                                                                     107

 

 

            1              the answer to that question will impact the

 

            2              input that the citizens and the taxpayers

 

            3              who live in that neighborhood around that

 

            4              property, you know, whatever conclusion and

 

            5              input that we would have on that, so I don't

 

            6              know if anybody knows that answer to that

 

            7              question at this time or not.

 

            8                      MS. GATELLI: You are talking about

 

            9              Holy Cross?

 

           10                      MS. O'MALLEY: Oh, no, no, no.

 

           11                      MS. EVANS: No, we are a talking

 

           12              about the old reserve building, the armory.

 

           13                      MS. GATELLI: Sorry.

 

           14                      MS. O'MALLEY:  That's okay.

 

           15              Originally I was -- I started on Holy Cross

 

           16              and then I went over to the armory on Colfax

 

           17              Avenue.

 

           18                      MS. GATELLI: I know what you are

 

           19              talking about.

 

           20                      MS. O'MALLEY:  And again, it's

 

           21              supposed to -- a further company or whatever

 

           22              would go nonprofit, Amil, do have the answer

 

           23              to that?

 

           24                      MR. MINORA: Yeah, the answer to that

 

           25              is going to be kind of a multiple choice


 

 

                                                                     108

 

 

            1              question.  If the restriction runs with the

 

            2              deed, if it's in the deed itself,

 

            3              restricting to it nonprofits itself then

 

            4              it's binding on every person that buys.  If

 

            5              it's an agreement between two people or two

 

            6              bodies, two entities and one entity uses it

 

            7              as it's supposed to, that may or may not

 

            8              bind them with their transfer for the next

 

            9              person and then the question then goes on

 

           10              from there.

 

           11                      So it's the nature of the agreement

 

           12              that will be up in the air.  I have no way

 

           13              of knowing until I see that, but if it's in

 

           14              the deed, it's a deed restriction, then that

 

           15              would go with it.

 

           16                      MS. O'MALLEY: I believe it might be

 

           17              a deed restriction, but I'm not -- I don't

 

           18              know if the reporter who wrote the article

 

           19              is here, but I think it might be, but we

 

           20              should be able to find that out at some

 

           21              point, so thank you.  And the only other

 

           22              thing that I would ask is I'm not certain

 

           23              whose responsible, but the upper chamber

 

           24              here in council has been locked and last

 

           25              time I was here and I actually prefer to sit


 

 

                                                                     109

 

 

            1              up there because, unfortunately, sometimes

 

            2              the chatter in the back of the room makes it

 

            3              really hard to concentrate and so I'm

 

            4              requesting that, Mr. McGoff, maybe you could

 

            5              look into that as council president?  The

 

            6              upstairs chamber, that section up there.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: I understand.

 

            8                      MS. O'MALLEY:  It's locked and has

 

            9              been locked and I would really appreciate if

 

           10              it could be opened.  Thank you.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?  Chris?

 

           12                      MS. GATELLI: Chrissy is back at

 

           13              West.

 

           14                      MS. SLEDZENSKI: That's right.

 

           15              That's right.  Right, Billy?

 

           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Happy Birthday,

 

           17              Buddy.

 

           18                      MR. SLEDZENSKI: Thanks, Billy.

 

           19                      MS. EVANS: Oh, Happy Birthday.

 

           20                      MR. SLEDZENSKI: Thank you, Janet.

 

           21              Thank you.

 

           22                      MS. Evans: And a hundred more.

 

           23                      MR. SLEDZENSKI:  Janet, I could lose

 

           24              my mind over this.  Well, Bill, our first

 

           25              loss, it wasn't the best to us year, but you


 

 

                                                                     110

 

 

            1              never know, Bill.  This week, we will win

 

            2              this week, Baby.  I'm going back to West

 

            3              Side where I belong, Buddy.

 

            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay, Chris.

 

            5                      MR. ANCHERANI:  Good evening.

 

            6              Nelson Ancherani, First Amendment Rights.

 

            7              Just a little remainder, the city has a

 

            8              full-time grant writer, a police grant

 

            9              writer, but the Recovery Plan prohibits the

 

           10              city police grant writer from writing the

 

           11              grants for the police department.  Who

 

           12              writes the police grants for the police

 

           13              exclusively for the city?  Are they

 

           14              combined, you know, like with the county

 

           15              they write all our police grants, every one

 

           16              of them.  We have a grant writer that can't

 

           17              write police grants.

 

           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT: It appears that she

 

           19              is writing all of our grants.

 

           20                      MR. ANCHERANI: The county.

 

           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.

 

           22                      MR. ANCHERANI: The part-timer.

 

           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.

 

           24                      MR. ANCHERANI: Okay.  Well, here it

 

           25              is September already, nine weeks until


 

 

                                                                     111

 

 

            1              November 15 and the 2010 budget will be

 

            2              presented to city council.  My annual

 

            3              predictions:  One, a record budget topping

 

            4              the 84 million 2008 budget; 25 percent more

 

            5              tax increase.  We have to remember taxes

 

            6              will have to be raised because the city

 

            7              probably will be short $5 million from the

 

            8              tax office; and three, millions borrowed.

 

            9                      Two of the council members that

 

           10              voted for the last budget that included the

 

           11              three predicted items are lame duck council

 

           12              members, so it will be interesting to see

 

           13              how they vote.  We already know how Mr.

 

           14              McGoff will vote since he agrees with

 

           15              everything the mayor sends down the pike,

 

           16              but as I had just mentioned, it was

 

           17              Ms. Fanucci, Mrs. Gatelli and Mr. McGoff who

 

           18              voted for the 2007 25 percent tax increase

 

           19              while 12 million was sitting in that

 

           20              mysteriously discovered tax office account.

 

           21                      Don't forget the NCC vote that adds

 

           22              thousands to unfortunate persons delinquent

 

           23              tax accounts that can force people to lose

 

           24              their homes.  Those three voted for that,

 

           25              also.  Maybe some of the names of that paper


 

 

                                                                     112

 

 

            1              that Ronnie Ellman had are NCC clients.

 

            2                      Out of curiosity, you three, did you

 

            3              get new rubber stamps or are you going to

 

            4              use the old ones?

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF: That's rather insulting.

 

            6                      MR. ANCHERANI: What's going on --

 

            7                      MS. FANUCCI: You want an answer to

 

            8              that or was that just a comment for

 

            9              hysterical fun factor, would you like me to

 

           10              --

 

           11                      MR. ANCHERANI: Take it whatever way

 

           12              you want.

 

           13                      MS. FANUCCI: I didn't buy a new

 

           14              rubber stamp, no, but thank you.

 

           15                      MR. ANCHERANI: Okay, take it

 

           16              whatever way you want.  What's going on with

 

           17              the Scranton Parking Authority?  Are they

 

           18              defaulting on their $600,000 payment?

 

           19              Anybody know that?

 

           20                      MS. GATELLI: Who, the parking

 

           21              authority?

 

           22                      MR. ANCHERANI: Yeah.

 

           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I guess so.

 

           24                      MR. ANCHERANI: They are?  Okay.  How

 

           25              is that happening?  They got a $35 million


 

 

                                                                     113

 

 

            1              loan that we will be paying back

 

            2              $94 million.  That's 50 some million with

 

            3              interest.  That's on top of the 16.1 million

 

            4              bond issue in early 2003.  They just got

 

            5              another million and they forgave 60,000 plus

 

            6              5,000 electric utilities at Brannigans.  We

 

            7              have 722,000 tied up in defaults by three

 

            8              businesses and possibly another one coming

 

            9              down the pike.  What is wrong with this

 

           10              picture?

 

           11                      The parking authority possibly

 

           12              defaulting on a bond, now they are, and they

 

           13              forgive $65,000 to Brannigans and Brannigans

 

           14              skips out be the city.  Who is that wheel

 

           15              when this occurred?  Who failed in doing

 

           16              their homework and research on those new

 

           17              business loans?  What's going on?  Will the

 

           18              taxpayers be responsible to pay the $600,000

 

           19              bond?  Wait, don't answer.  I already know

 

           20              the answer.

 

           21                      Mrs. Evans said before, maybe not in

 

           22              exact words, if any of the authorities

 

           23              default on their payments the taxpayers will

 

           24              foot the bill.  Again, it will be

 

           25              responsible for the payments.  This $722,000


 

 

                                                                     114

 

 

            1              that the city is losing on the defaults for

 

            2              three failed businesses is on this mayor's

 

            3              watch, and the possibility of a fourth

 

            4              business going down the drain.  How long

 

            5              were these four businesses in this city

 

            6              before shutting down?  Possibly a total of

 

            7              ten years.

 

            8                      Under this mayor's watch we lost:

 

            9              Leonard's Hardware, Quints, Hobans and other

 

           10              totaling well over 300 years in business.

 

           11              They went down the tubes on this mayor's

 

           12              watch.  The mayor went to Reading to sell

 

           13              the Reading City leaders Act 47.  He brags

 

           14              about getting rid of 27 policemen and the

 

           15              gangs are festering in our city.  He must

 

           16              have forgotten that we are in Act 47 going

 

           17              into our 19th year starting in January.  We

 

           18              can't get out of 47 and he is helping to put

 

           19              Reading in it.  I guess misery loves

 

           20              company.  Thank you.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Evans?

 

           22                      MS. EVANS: Good evening.  I'm very

 

           23              pleased to resume our fall session of city

 

           24              council meetings and I'd like to update you

 

           25              on issues I've worked on and studied over


 

 

                                                                     115

 

 

            1              the August recess.  First, I strongly

 

            2              disapprove of the covert actions taken by

 

            3              the Scranton Parking Authority in relation

 

            4              to Molly Brannigan's restaurant.

 

            5                      Further, I am highly concerned about

 

            6              the financial stability of the parking

 

            7              authority who in the last three years alone

 

            8              has borrowed $36 million, a debt for which

 

            9              the Scranton Taxpayers are ultimately

 

           10              responsible.

 

           11                      Consequently, I would like the

 

           12              executive director of the Scranton Parking

 

           13              Authority to attend a city council caucus in

 

           14              September to explain the conduct and discuss

 

           15              the financial status of the parking

 

           16              authority.  Do my colleagues agree?

 

           17                      MS. FANUCCI: Sure.

 

           18                      MS. EVANS: Kay, please send a letter

 

           19              requesting a caucus on September 15, 22 or

 

           20              29, at 5:45 to Mr. Robert Scopeletti and the

 

           21              chairman of the Parking Authority board.

 

           22                      Second, the Office of Economic and

 

           23              Community Development also owes council and

 

           24              the taxpayers an explanation of the several

 

           25              business loans in default that were


 

 

                                                                     116

 

 

            1              concealed for at least a year.  Secondhand

 

            2              reports from my council colleagues are

 

            3              unacceptable at this time, particularly

 

            4              since several have now been proven to be

 

            5              false.  I cite Molly Brannigan's, Michael's

 

            6              Luxury Eyewear, Vida Tapas Bar and Grill and

 

            7              the financial restructuring that occurred a

 

            8              few months ago for Mr. Brian Murray,

 

            9              insurance executive.  I warned council at

 

           10              the time against approval for Mr. Murray's

 

           11              agreement, but it fell on deaf ears once

 

           12              again.

 

           13                      Therefore, I would like to schedule

 

           14              a council caucus with Mrs. Linda Aebli --

 

           15              Miss Linda Aebli, excuse me, OECD Director

 

           16              in the month of September with the agreement

 

           17              of my council colleagues.

 

           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.

 

           19                      MS. EVANS: Kay, please send a letter

 

           20              requesting Miss Aebli's attendance at a

 

           21              caucus on September 15, 22 or 29 at 5:45

 

           22              p.m., and please be certain that

 

           23              Mr. Scopelitti and Ms. Aebli respond

 

           24              promptly and schedule separate meetings.

 

           25                      I also move to halt the acceptance


 

 

                                                                     117

 

 

            1              of any additional OECD loans on council's

 

            2              agenda until such time as Ms. Aebli meets

 

            3              with Scranton City Council.

 

            4                      MS. GATELLI: Second.

 

            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  She seconded it?

 

            6                      MS. GATELLI: I seconded it.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?

 

            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT: On the question, I

 

            9              am probably going to get beat up a little

 

           10              bit for this, I agree that we don't do

 

           11              anything until we find out the truth because

 

           12              I'm going to defend Mrs. Gatelli and Mrs.

 

           13              Fanucci here.  You know, we each have

 

           14              committees that we are in charge of, not in

 

           15              charge of, we are the heads of, and I know

 

           16              when I ask questions from my committee I'm

 

           17              assuming, because I have no choice, that I'm

 

           18              getting told the right answers, so I have to

 

           19              think that they asked and they were

 

           20              misinformed so I'm disappointed in OECD for

 

           21              not -- at the very least they should have

 

           22              told us -- they should have told us what was

 

           23              happening and let us know.  If there was

 

           24              confidential things that couldn't have been

 

           25              put out there then I think the citizens of


 

 

                                                                     118

 

 

            1              the city trusted us, they put us here, and

 

            2              OECD should, and I think they did a

 

            3              disservice to Mrs. Fanucci especially

 

            4              because that's her committee telling her, I

 

            5              am assuming they were telling you all along

 

            6              things were good and things were not good.

 

            7              So I say shame on them.

 

            8                      MS. FANUCCI:  We asked numerous

 

            9              times as a body, when we had requests from

 

           10              the audience and --

 

           11                      MS. EVANS: Yes, and the only name

 

           12              that's ever been mentioned here at this dais

 

           13              has been Whistle's.

 

           14                      MS. FANUCCI: Right.

 

           15                      MS. EVANS: Which was straightened

 

           16              out long ago.

 

           17                      MS. FANUCCI: That was the only name

 

           18              that had come up.

 

           19                      MS. EVANS: But nothing else, and

 

           20              these loans have been bad for quite a period

 

           21              of time.

 

           22                      MS. FANUCCI: If you want to talk, we

 

           23              are not talking that every loan is bad.

 

           24                      MS. EVANS: No, we are not talking

 

           25              every loan is bad --


 

 

                                                                     119

 

 

            1                      MS. FANUCCI: -- throughout the rest

 

            2              of the city --

 

            3                      MS. EVANS:  But we also need to

 

            4              remember that there was quite a debacle over

 

            5              the Hilton Hotel, and that's another loan

 

            6              situation that went bad and a $3 million

 

            7              loss to the city back in 2005 that we are

 

            8              never going to recover, and that was kept a

 

            9              secret as well until I uncovered it in 2005

 

           10              and wanted to know why OECD was saying we

 

           11              are making loan payments for a hotel to the

 

           12              government and the mayor was saying, no, we

 

           13              are not.  Well, there is a lot that's been

 

           14              going on in OECD.

 

           15                      And the other key it remember here

 

           16              is this, a loan portfolio was sold by the

 

           17              city several years ago and that loan

 

           18              portfolio contained the best loans that the

 

           19              city had plus and the mayor wanted money, so

 

           20              they were sold off to a company and what we

 

           21              were left with at that time were the loans

 

           22              that --

 

           23                      MS. GATELLI: Risky.

 

           24                      MS. EVANS: The risky loans that no

 

           25              else wanted to by, so we still have those,


 

 

                                                                     120

 

 

            1              I'm sure, but in the meantime we have been

 

            2              giving away these loans like candy and it

 

            3              seems to me that somebody has dropped the

 

            4              ball here or somebody is dropping it

 

            5              purposely and isn't telling city council

 

            6              exactly what shape these businesses are in.

 

            7              And when they aren't telling council they

 

            8              aren't telling you, the people, and this is

 

            9              your money, your tax money, and I will not

 

           10              entertain anymore OECD business loans.  In

 

           11              fact there is one on tonight's agenda, a

 

           12              subordination agreement that I will move to

 

           13              table because my faith and confidence in

 

           14              OECD is severely shaken.

 

           15                      MS. FANUCCI: I'm going to say

 

           16              something, my only issue is that when people

 

           17              fill out the application and go along with

 

           18              the process they obviously have to be able

 

           19              to qualify, so if that's the case when they

 

           20              are coming in in these situations they are

 

           21              qualifying.  Whether or not you know and can

 

           22              decide on what business is going to do well

 

           23              and what business is not, I don't know how

 

           24              we would be able to prevent that because

 

           25              it's not for me to say or any of us to say


 

 

                                                                     121

 

 

            1              what will make it and what won't.  That's

 

            2              the issue.

 

            3                      MS. EVANS: We are not even allowed

 

            4              to look at this information supposedly.

 

            5                      MS. FANUCCI: No.

 

            6                      MS. EVANS: So I'm asked to trust the

 

            7              very same people who have covered for

 

            8              businesses now for up to two years.  I'm

 

            9              asked to believe them when they say, oh,

 

           10              that business has no state liens, they have

 

           11              no IRS liens.  Well, I believe nothing.

 

           12                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, that has to go

 

           13              through the state.  That's not our issue

 

           14              here.  It has to go to the state level to

 

           15              clear that, so that's something --

 

           16                      MS. EVANS: Well, what we are told

 

           17              constantly is either you can't see it or

 

           18              everything is fine.

 

           19                      MS. FANUCCI: Right.

 

           20                      MS. EVANS: And there is only one bad

 

           21              loan and that's Whistle's and Whistle's

 

           22              isn't the bad loan.

 

           23                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, right.  Well,

 

           24              they made good finally, yes, they did do

 

           25              that.  They finally stepped up to it, but


 

 

                                                                     122

 

 

            1              they had two years of bad just like these

 

            2              people do.

 

            3                      MS. EVANS: Exactly, but these --

 

            4                      MS. FANUCCI: Let's hope these people

 

            5              will do the same as Whistle's did.  Let's

 

            6              hope that a few years they are taken over by

 

            7              a new business and then thereafter two years

 

            8              they may turn around and say we are able to

 

            9              pay so, let's hope this is the situation and

 

           10              the best case scenario and let's they --

 

           11                      MS. EVANS: I hope they are going to

 

           12              pay this off, too, but I am not looking

 

           13              through things in -- or rather through

 

           14              rose-colored glasses.  I don't see or I'm

 

           15              not going to work through words and figures

 

           16              and visions and rose-colored glasses.

 

           17                      MS. FANUCCI: Listen, I agree with

 

           18              you.

 

           19                      MS. EVANS:  We have been lied to --

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF:  The motion, would you

 

           21              please restate the motion?  Please.

 

           22                      MS. GATELLI: He wants you to say

 

           23              your motion.

 

           24                      MS. EVANS: Again?

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF: Please restate it.


 

 

                                                                     123

 

 

            1                      MS. EVANS: Thank you.  Okay, I will.

 

            2              I also move to halt the acceptance of any

 

            3              additional OECD loans on council's agenda

 

            4              until such time as Ms. Aebli meets with

 

            5              Scranton City Council.

 

            6                      MS. GATELLI: And I seconded it.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: And it was seconded by

 

            8              Mrs. Gatelli.  Anyone else on the question?

 

            9              All in favor signify by saying aye.

 

           10                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           11                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  Opposed?  No.

 

           14                      MS. FANUCCI: No.

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF: The ayes have it and so

 

           16              moved.

 

           17                      MS. EVANS: Third, the 2008

 

           18              independent audit of Scranton City Council

 

           19              has been delayed the Scranton Redevelopment

 

           20              Authority, the Scranton police department

 

           21              heads, and certain attorneys who have been

 

           22              asked for responses to potential claims and

 

           23              litigation since the week of June 29, 2009,

 

           24              according to a September 8 report.  Robert

 

           25              Rossi & Company also sent council regular


 

 

                                                                     124

 

 

            1              updates throughout the month of August.  As

 

            2              of August 10, the Redevelopment Authority

 

            3              audit was completed and council received

 

            4              it's audit just this afternoon.

 

            5                      It is unacceptable that requests and

 

            6              motions of council have been ignored by some

 

            7              entities, so we can only hope that the 2008

 

            8              audit will reach council by September's end.

 

            9              I do wish to commend the Sewer and Parking

 

           10              Authorities for their improved cooperation

 

           11              and Robert Rossi & Company for it's constant

 

           12              diligence, professionalism and perseverance

 

           13              in trying to obtain essentially financial

 

           14              information from numerous city entities in a

 

           15              timely manner.

 

           16                      Fourth, the following is the August

 

           17              update from the Scranton Tax Office

 

           18              regarding the year-to-date tax collections

 

           19              in comparison to 2008 figures:

 

           20                      Real estate, $11,565,122 for a

 

           21              decrease of $26,340; wage tax, $12,272,577,

 

           22              a decrease of $672,032; local services tax,

 

           23              $1,022,932, an increase of $403,275; and

 

           24              business privilege mercantile tax

 

           25              $1,625,458, an increase of 27,178.


 

 

                                                                     125

 

 

            1                      In addition, the city has not

 

            2              received the 4.3 million it is owed from the

 

            3              Scranton Tax Office, a 5.5 million dollar

 

            4              figure was plugged into the 2009 budget by

 

            5              the mayor and approved by a Council majority

 

            6              and the clock is ticking.

 

            7                      Fifth, in drafts received of the

 

            8              revised Recovery Plan for Scranton, the

 

            9              director of DCED indicates that the city

 

           10              must cut it's expenses and develop new

 

           11              revenue sources to see it's distressed

 

           12              status lifted, and this statement in many

 

           13              ways vindicates and supports my votes and

 

           14              actions as a councilwoman for the last six

 

           15              years.  Apparently, the administration is

 

           16              attempting to comply with DCED by

 

           17              investigating new revenue sources, such as

 

           18              potential charges and fees for large

 

           19              nonprofits and for select services such as

 

           20              parking spaces.  In terms of expenditure

 

           21              cuts, it will be most interesting to see

 

           22              what cuts are contained in the mayor's 2010

 

           23              budget beyond those he has already made in a

 

           24              police department and hopes to further cut

 

           25              in our public safety services.


 

 

                                                                     126

 

 

            1                      Six, council received a letter from

 

            2              Congressman Kanjorski dated August 4, 2009,

 

            3              indicating that the Congressman submitted

 

            4              the following project to the Committee on

 

            5              Transportation and Infrastructure as a high

 

            6              priority project in the Surface

 

            7              Transportation Reauthorization Bill:  Meadow

 

            8              Avenue sound barriers in the amount of

 

            9              $4 million.  The committee will review the

 

           10              high priority projects and will determine

 

           11              eligibility for funding.

 

           12                      Thus, the letter from Congressman

 

           13              Kanjorski should not be considered a

 

           14              guarantee that funding will be awarded.

 

           15              Also, this legislation is not part of the

 

           16              yearly appropriations process and may take

 

           17              some time before being enacted into law,

 

           18              however, Council does thank Congressman

 

           19              Kanjorski for his support of this much

 

           20              needed project in our area and his efforts

 

           21              to see it to fruition.

 

           22                      And finally, I have citizens'

 

           23              requests for the last several weeks.

 

           24              Neighbors report, and we had a firsthand

 

           25              report tonight actually, that 520-522 and


 

 

                                                                     127

 

 

            1              528 Emmett Street in the Bellevue Section

 

            2              are condemned for years and, in fact, as I

 

            3              went through the photos presented to council

 

            4              tonight, I note a photo of one condemnation

 

            5              notice that is dated 6-21-05.  That's over

 

            6              four years ago and all of these messes are

 

            7              still standing.  These properties are

 

            8              overgrown with shrubs, trees and grass and

 

            9              are habitats for stray cats, skunks, rats

 

           10              and woodchucks.

 

           11                      As you heard before, neighbors have

 

           12              called the blight hotline for years and they

 

           13              have met with no success.  Please provide a

 

           14              written response by September 21, 2009,

 

           15              indicating a date when these properties are

 

           16              going to be demolished or cleaned up.

 

           17                      Next:  Neighbors report the

 

           18              following condemned properties and the

 

           19              deplorable condition of each:  521 Maple

 

           20              Street, windows are broken and boarded up.

 

           21              Overgrown weeds cover the sidewalks and rats

 

           22              and skunks inhabit the property.

 

           23                      1017 Hamm Court overgrown weeds,

 

           24              presence of skunks and rats.

 

           25                      And then finally, I think council's


 

 

                                                                     128

 

 

            1              favorite, it's been on the hit parade now

 

            2              for years, 1101 Cedar Avenue.  South Side

 

            3              residents complain that this property

 

            4              remains an eyesore.  One resident states

 

            5              that Holy Cross Church is a mansion

 

            6              comparison to this structure.  I have to

 

            7              laugh, it's true, which has been allowed to

 

            8              stand for several years without any progress

 

            9              or renovation.

 

           10                      A resident requests the installation

 

           11              of a speed bump or perhaps a "Slow Children

 

           12              at Play" sign on the road located between

 

           13              123 and 129 West Parker Street.  Vehicles

 

           14              speed through this area where small children

 

           15              play and this request has been made numerous

 

           16              times in the last three years, but the

 

           17              problem is never solved.  Provide written

 

           18              response or about September 2, 2009, which

 

           19              includes what measures will be taken.

 

           20                      A letter to Mr. Brazil:  Please

 

           21              repair large deep potholes near the curb in

 

           22              the first block of Crown Avenue, which is

 

           23              located parallel to Harrison Avenue.  This

 

           24              very short and steep street has remained

 

           25              without repairs for decades.  The neighbors


 

 

                                                                     129

 

 

            1              tell me it's been over 40 years.  It is

 

            2              across the street from the small park at the

 

            3              corner of Harrison Avenue and Moosic Street.

 

            4                      I'm very pleased to report that the

 

            5              Sewer Authority cleaned and repaired the

 

            6              storm drains on North Washington Avenue near

 

            7              Marywood University during August and I

 

            8              thank the Sewer Authority for it's prompt

 

            9              response and hard work.

 

           10                      And to the residents of Jackson

 

           11              Street section of West Side I received your

 

           12              letter which outlines your problems, and I

 

           13              hope to be able to address these issues in

 

           14              the new year with the help of a new council

 

           15              majority.

 

           16                      The neighbors reported deteriorated

 

           17              deck at the rear of 920 Greenridge Street,

 

           18              please send an inspector to review the

 

           19              report, and residents of Marvin, Capouse and

 

           20              North Main Avenue report ATV drivers on the

 

           21              city streets during daytime hours.  When

 

           22              possible it would be appreciated if the

 

           23              police could drive through this area.

 

           24                      And then finally, we are requesting

 

           25              a list or rather let's say a dollar amount


 

 

                                                                     130

 

 

            1              of stimulus funds received and a list of the

 

            2              city projects approved for funding through

 

            3              that stimulus package, if there are any, and

 

            4              that came from a speaker tonight during our

 

            5              council meeting, and that's it.

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Gatelli.

 

            7                      MS. GATELLI: Well, the first request

 

            8              I have for Mrs. Garvey is that I wrote a

 

            9              letter to Chief Elliott back in July

 

           10              concerning where the beat cops are and in

 

           11              what neighborhoods, and I got an e-mail

 

           12              response but he only answered about the

 

           13              South Side beat cop.  I really wanted to

 

           14              know where they were throughout the whole

 

           15              city, so if you could please clarify that

 

           16              and send him another letter for me I would

 

           17              appreciate it.

 

           18                      521 Maple Street that Mrs. Evans

 

           19              spoke about is scheduled for demolition.

 

           20              1101 Cedar, the last I was aware of the man

 

           21              received a variance and there is a dumpster

 

           22              there and he is supposed to be making

 

           23              repairs to that building.  I will call the

 

           24              gentleman and see what his intentions are,

 

           25              but the zoning board did give him a variance


 

 

                                                                     131

 

 

            1              for 1101 Cedar.

 

            2                      I'd like thank the DPW for taking

 

            3              down a blighted structure at 29 -- I believe

 

            4              it's 2947 Pittston Avenue.  That was there

 

            5              for about seven years and it has been

 

            6              removed, and I would also like to know the

 

            7              status of 3244 Pittston Avenue.  I see that

 

            8              the gentleman has taken down all of the

 

            9              trees there, but I don't know what he is

 

           10              going to be doing with the structure.  I saw

 

           11              a contractor there today.

 

           12                      Also, I would like to know the

 

           13              status of 411 Corey Street, Rear 422 Fig

 

           14              Street that was burned down six months ago

 

           15              and 422 Fig Street in the front, and also

 

           16              612 Gibbons Street.  Those are all of the

 

           17              properties that I have been concerned about

 

           18              and asking questions.

 

           19                      I sent a letter to Andy Jarbola on

 

           20              July 23 concerning the old Tom and Jerry's

 

           21              on Pittston Avenue, I don't know what it's

 

           22              called now because they keep changing the

 

           23              name on the sign, but it certainly is not a

 

           24              restaurant.  We are still concerned there

 

           25              are police called there every weekend, I'd


 

 

                                                                     132

 

 

            1              like to know if the police are writing

 

            2              reports because you can't close it as a

 

            3              nuisance unless you have police reports to

 

            4              back up it up for the LCB.  There are signs

 

            5              all over the building now selling beer, six

 

            6              packs are $8 and the whole one side has all

 

            7              "Beer For Sale" signs.

 

            8                      This is totally unacceptable.  It's

 

            9              supposed to be a restaurant and I don't

 

           10              understand why nobody is doing anything

 

           11              about it, but it's making me very angry that

 

           12              they are not.  So if you could send that to

 

           13              the mayor and the law department and whoever

 

           14              else has anything to do with it I certainly

 

           15              would appreciate it.

 

           16                      Also, I got some reports from people

 

           17              from the soccer league at the South Side

 

           18              Complex, no one wanted to give their names

 

           19              publically because they fear recrimination

 

           20              from the people that run the league, but

 

           21              they have been paying a certain person $450

 

           22              per team as a rental fee.  The person was

 

           23              telling them that they had to pay a rental

 

           24              fee and he was collecting the rental fee.  I

 

           25              called the University of Scranton and they


 

 

                                                                     133

 

 

            1              said that no one pays anything to play at

 

            2              the South Side Complex.  I was hoping -- I

 

            3              did speak to the reporter about this

 

            4              situation, but he is very reluctant

 

            5              understandably without having people coming

 

            6              forward to say, "Yes, we did pay."

 

            7                      So I want the word out there to all

 

            8              of the Latinos that play there do not pay a

 

            9              penny to anyone.  The field is free and you

 

           10              should not be charged by anyone.

 

           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Gatelli, I hate

 

           12              to interrupt you, but they are also paying

 

           13              $50 if they have a stand for selling food

 

           14              at.  I called Mark Dougher and he said the

 

           15              city is not taking anything.  I did call Rob

 

           16              Farrell, but he didn't return my call from

 

           17              the University.

 

           18                      MS. GATELLI:  He told me that you

 

           19              spoke to him.  It wasn't the first complaint

 

           20              he got.

 

           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Exactly, I --

 

           22                      MS. GATELLI: They are making money

 

           23              down there off of these people that they

 

           24              shouldn't be making and I know who the

 

           25              person is, but I don't want to say his name


 

 

                                                                     134

 

 

            1              out loud, but he is involved in several of

 

            2              these things that I'm talking about.  He is

 

            3              involved in Tom and Jerry's, too, and it's

 

            4              not going to be tolerated.  If it's the last

 

            5              thing I do sitting up here, and I'll be

 

            6              back.  If I don't run I will be back and

 

            7              I'll be at that end of the podium, but my

 

            8              neighborhood is not going to be disrupted

 

            9              like this and those people shouldn't be

 

           10              exploited by someone when it's free.  That's

 

           11              a disgrace.

 

           12                      The next thing I have is the Castle

 

           13              Restaurant.  I know several years ago there

 

           14              was a problem up there with the after hours

 

           15              bar going on in the Castle in the basement,

 

           16              and I have since found out they are now

 

           17              giving free beer to the customers.  It used

 

           18              to be I think a BYOB down in this basement,

 

           19              and that was allowed, but I don't think that

 

           20              what they are doing now is allowed in that

 

           21              particular zone.  They are charging a $20

 

           22              cover charge and then giving free beer.

 

           23              It's okay with the LCB to do that, but I

 

           24              don't belive it falls under the zoning code,

 

           25              so if we could check with Mike Wallace and


 

 

                                                                     135

 

 

            1              tell him that's what's been going on up at

 

            2              the Castle Restaurant.  I did notify Kevin

 

            3              Murphy's Office about the situation because

 

            4              he is right up in this corner so that he

 

            5              could know what's going on.

 

            6                      Also, if you remember back, oh, I

 

            7              guess it was over a year ago when they

 

            8              wanted to put a dance studio up on the top

 

            9              of Pittston Avenue, and it really became a

 

           10              debacle, as Mrs. Evans used the term before,

 

           11              they also had a radio station that they had

 

           12              installed a large antenna strapped onto the

 

           13              chimney of that building.  We did report it

 

           14              to the FCC and they were using a radio

 

           15              station from St. Mary's, Pennsylvania.  They

 

           16              were, you know, cutting in or pirating as

 

           17              the man used that phrase, pirating a

 

           18              station, and they are charging, from what I

 

           19              understand, people to advertise on this

 

           20              station which is illegal.  The radio station

 

           21              is illegal and it was dismantled.

 

           22                      From what I understand now it's up

 

           23              on Meadow Avenue in someone's yard and it's

 

           24              disrupting all of the neighbors with their

 

           25              televisions, you know, you get static from


 

 

                                                                     136

 

 

            1              it and I did tell Mr. Wallace about it, but

 

            2              if we could, you know, reiterate that he

 

            3              should go up to Meadow Avenue and have these

 

            4              people stopped with this antenna and this

 

            5              radio station.  I did file a complaint with

 

            6              the FCC about it, so the neighbors will

 

            7              know.  You know, I don't know why the

 

            8              gentleman doesn't stop doing what he is

 

            9              doing, but he won't stop, so we'll have to

 

           10              just keep moving forward.

 

           11                      I sent a letter in July also to Mrs.

 

           12              Flynn-Vitali about the timeline for the

 

           13              money.  Needless to say, I'm very concerned

 

           14              about it.  I based a budget on what I was

 

           15              told would come to the city and it was a

 

           16              small amount.  Later we had read in the

 

           17              paper that we are supposed to get $7 million

 

           18              from the tax office.  I went to one meeting,

 

           19              down in the county with the county and the

 

           20              school district and, of course, I was

 

           21              representing city council, and we talked

 

           22              about going to Court and they all agreed

 

           23              about going to Court, that would be the

 

           24              quickest way to get the money, and then I

 

           25              was never called again for another meeting.


 

 

                                                                     137

 

 

            1              So I don't know when they have the meetings

 

            2              or what they discuss at these meetings

 

            3              because I was never invited to another one.

 

            4                      I'm very disappointed that we are

 

            5              not getting any feedback and I don't know if

 

            6              we are getting the money.  I mean, I hope we

 

            7              are, but I don't seem to get an answer that

 

            8              they are even investigating it.

 

            9                      MS. EVANS: I think it may have been

 

           10              the last summer meeting when I had discussed

 

           11              her response to your letter and it seems

 

           12              that, if I may paraphrase here, Mr. McGovern

 

           13              and Mrs. Vitali feel it took a long time to

 

           14              get to the point at which they found

 

           15              themselves when they took over the tax

 

           16              office and they feel it could take quite a

 

           17              time to straighten all of this out, and so

 

           18              my concern as we left for the summer recess

 

           19              was what is the administration going to do

 

           20              to fill this budget hole.  It's a very deep

 

           21              hole and since the tax office, at least

 

           22              according to that letter, doesn't seem to be

 

           23              in a hurry to provide our funds what is

 

           24              going to happen with the 2009 budget?  What

 

           25              is the plan of the administration to cover


 

 

                                                                     138

 

 

            1              that hole, and I haven't received any

 

            2              response on that.

 

            3                      MS. GATELLI: Maybe we could ask

 

            4              Mrs. Vitali-Flynn come next week or the week

 

            5              after with Mr. McGovern and find out exactly

 

            6              where they are at with it.

 

            7                      MS. FANUCCI: Good luck with that.

 

            8                      MS. GATELLI: Well, I can try, can't

 

            9              I?

 

           10                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yeah, you can ask.

 

           11                      MS. GATELLI: All right.  If you guys

 

           12              would be agreeable.  If they could at least

 

           13              come and maybe Stu can come with them.

 

           14                      MS. GARVEY: I don't know if you

 

           15              looked in your boxes tonight, there was an

 

           16              e-mail that I forward to you that I received

 

           17              late this afternoon from Attorney McGovern.

 

           18                      MS. GATELLI: No, I didn't see that.

 

           19                      MS. GARVEY:  There is hard copy in

 

           20              the boxes of your male, you should have it

 

           21              with you, and also the e-mail as well.  I

 

           22              can't remember exactly everything it said.

 

           23              It came with more comparisons for 2008 and

 

           24              there was some kind of a wording in there

 

           25              about --


 

 

                                                                     139

 

 

            1                      MS. EVANS: The September

 

            2              comparisons.

 

            3                      MS. GARVEY: Yes, that's what I

 

            4              meant, the September ones.

 

            5                      MS. GATELLI: But there wasn't

 

            6              anything about our money?

 

            7                      MS. GARVEY:  There was a brief

 

            8              statement in there about what they were

 

            9              working on, what the workers were doing in

 

           10              the office to get this rolling, so I don't

 

           11              have it right in front of me --

 

           12                      MS. GATELLI: Also, if you could have

 

           13              them bring with them a list of all the

 

           14              workers and what their job is.  I mean, I

 

           15              don't even have any idea how many people

 

           16              work there.  I see in the agreement they are

 

           17              saying that the chief clerk is not going to

 

           18              be filled, someone is retiring and they are

 

           19              not going to fill the position, but yet they

 

           20              are going to hire a controller and a

 

           21              solicitor in the agreement.  You know, this

 

           22              is just a draft agreement, but it has to

 

           23              come before council and I was under the

 

           24              impression that there was an accountant

 

           25              working there, a chief accountant.  So, you


 

 

                                                                     140

 

 

            1              know, I'd like to see how many people are

 

            2              working in that office and what their titles

 

            3              are.  And I don't think we should have a

 

            4              solicitor, it should be the city solicitor

 

            5              that takes care of that according to the

 

            6              state law, and that's all I have.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Fanucci?

 

            8                      MS. FANUCCI: I want to say it's real

 

            9              fun being back.  First thing I want to do,

 

           10              Kay, I want to send a letter to OECD,

 

           11              obviously, asking them for a list of all of

 

           12              our loans and the current conditions of each

 

           13              that are outstanding as we speak.

 

           14                      I also would like a list from the

 

           15              past I'm going to say six years of what has

 

           16              transpired, if loans have been paid off, who

 

           17              paid them off, and everything that has gone

 

           18              on in that office for the past six years.

 

           19                      I'm not as outraged at the fact that

 

           20              people default on the loans because it

 

           21              happens all the time in business, as I am a

 

           22              little concerned about the fact that we

 

           23              weren't aware of it.  I think a lot of times

 

           24              if you are aware it's a little easier to

 

           25              have more input on what to do and how to


 

 

                                                                     141

 

 

            1              proceed in the years to come, and I think

 

            2              that that's the issue, not the fact that you

 

            3              have businesses fail because, unfortunately,

 

            4              that's what happens in any situation.  We

 

            5              always have businesses make it or fail.

 

            6                      I don't want the people to suffer on

 

            7              account of a few bad people.  I mean, we

 

            8              have had people default for years under

 

            9              every administration, it's been going on,

 

           10              this isn't a new program, it's not something

 

           11              we just invented since Chris Doherty has

 

           12              been the mayor, so this has been common

 

           13              practice for years and years and,

 

           14              unfortunately, it is a gamble a lot of times

 

           15              and we want to be able to protect ourselves

 

           16              and make sure that we take a little bit of

 

           17              risk out, so that is something I think we

 

           18              should proceed and caution with, also.

 

           19                      I just want to say that, yeah, as

 

           20              far as who knew what, I mean, of course, my

 

           21              biggest fan, Les Spindler, got up tonight

 

           22              and blamed me for the fact that I should

 

           23              have known -- or maybe it wasn't Les, I

 

           24              don't know, I have so many fans it's tough

 

           25              to say so don't get upset, Les, if it wasn't


 

 

                                                                     142

 

 

            1              you, that it was my fault and I should have

 

            2              known and I tend to agree.  I should have

 

            3              been aware.  I tend to agree.  So I will not

 

            4              dispute that fact I definitely should have

 

            5              been aware, and that is all I have and thank

 

            6              you and it's very nice being back and sad to

 

            7              see the summer go.

 

            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Just real briefly, I

 

            9              don't want to prolong the thing with the tax

 

           10              office, but as Mrs. Gatelli said there

 

           11              was -- they were saying that, you know, the

 

           12              Courts would settle and we would get the

 

           13              money from the tax office and, Mr. Minora, I

 

           14              believe you had told us that we were going

 

           15              to try to avoid the Court system and the

 

           16              lawyers were going to try decide on that,

 

           17              isn't that where we were?

 

           18                      MR. MINORA: Well, it was a

 

           19              combination of the two.  My thought that we

 

           20              talked about here was to file a declaratory

 

           21              judgment action and asking the Court to

 

           22              determine who is owed what, get everybody in

 

           23              a room and if, you know, and this is

 

           24              certainly not carved in stone, but as an

 

           25              example of how you might resolve it once you


 

 

                                                                     143

 

 

            1              are in that setting is to say, well, you

 

            2              know, your population represents 30 percent

 

            3              of the whole population of, communities we

 

            4              are talking about, and yours is 10 and 20,

 

            5              and so why don't we just divide up that

 

            6              money that way and get the Court's approval

 

            7              of that and an agreement of council that

 

            8              could be done.

 

            9                      And the only reason I'm suggesting

 

           10              that procedure, not necessarily that that's

 

           11              how you divide it up, but that procedure is

 

           12              from what I understand the actual tracking

 

           13              of who paid what is a nightmare that might

 

           14              take years in an effort to unravel and still

 

           15              not be able to do, so at the end of the day,

 

           16              you know, next month or five years from now

 

           17              they are liable to have to come to some kind

 

           18              of --

 

           19                      MS. GATELLI: Formula.

 

           20                      MR. MINORA: -- reasonable formula to

 

           21              decide, so by doing it in front of a Court

 

           22              with an action pending, you know, you have

 

           23              an official stamp, so to speak, by judgment,

 

           24              by agreement and an oversight of the judge.

 

           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I thought we said


 

 

                                                                     144

 

 

            1              we would like to see that happen.

 

            2                      MR. MINORA: Yes.

 

            3                      MS. FANUCCI:  We did.

 

            4                      MS. GATELLI: But they all dropped

 

            5              it.

 

            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  We are not pursuing

 

            7              it or -- -

 

            8                      MS. GATELLI: No, they all dropped

 

            9              it.

 

           10                      MR. MINORA:  Honestly, I don't know.

 

           11              I mean, anybody who has spoken to me about

 

           12              it I explained what I thought would be the

 

           13              way to --

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  How do we pursue

 

           15              it?  We, as council?

 

           16                      MR. MINORA:  I don't think we can at

 

           17              council.

 

           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Who do we ask to

 

           19              pursue it?  We've got to get this money.

 

           20                      MR. MINORA:  The mayor and the

 

           21              solicitor can start an action, but frankly,

 

           22              unless everybody else kind of joins in --

 

           23                      MS. GATELLI: I'm telling you the

 

           24              first meeting they all agreed, it was all

 

           25              hunky-dorey, I said it here right after that


 

 

                                                                     145

 

 

            1              meeting.

 

            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: The fact remains we

 

            3              got a serious problem if we don't get this

 

            4              money, it's as simple as that.

 

            5                      MR. MINORA:  I presume every

 

            6              community does.

 

            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  But maybe we

 

            8              can send a letter to the city solicitor and

 

            9              ask her, you know, if they are still willing

 

           10              to entertain this.

 

           11                      MR. MINORA:  I'll call Attorney

 

           12              Patterson.

 

           13                      MS. GATELLI: Please.  Please.

 

           14                      MS. EVANS: You were not -- I know

 

           15              Mrs. Gatelli was saying she was discluded

 

           16              from these meetings after the first meeting,

 

           17              you are the new tax collector, you are

 

           18              included?

 

           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm not allowed to

 

           20              attend anything.  They don't want me there I

 

           21              don't think.

 

           22                      MS. FANUCCI: Well, you should be

 

           23              there.

 

           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT: They won't included

 

           25              me in the meetings.


 

 

                                                                     146

 

 

            1                      MS. GATELLI: So you can learn.

 

            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: And even if not at

 

            3              the meeting if someone went in from the tax

 

            4              office as a council member, if they give a

 

            5              reason for it --

 

            6                      MS. GATELLI: Well, I was there but

 

            7              then they never called me again either.

 

            8                      MS. EVANS: But it seems not that,

 

            9              you know, I don't appreciate the input of

 

           10              people that have worked there now for over a

 

           11              year, certainly they bring their own

 

           12              experiences to the table, but they are on

 

           13              their way out and it would seem that, you

 

           14              know, the person who is going to be

 

           15              overseeing all of this for the next four

 

           16              years should have as much input as the

 

           17              people who are on the way out.

 

           18                      MS. GATELLI: The transition even.

 

           19                      MS. EVANS: And they should work

 

           20              together in a transition, exactly.

 

           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I would like to be

 

           22              included.  There has been some member of the

 

           23              county that have told me what's going on and

 

           24              one or two members of the school board has

 

           25              told me what's going on because they have


 

 

                                                                     147

 

 

            1              meetings about what's going on over there

 

            2              and it was suggested that I attend the

 

            3              meetings, but there is someone resisting to

 

            4              having me there, I guess.  I'm not quite

 

            5              sure who.

 

            6                      MS. GATELLI:  You are in good

 

            7              company, so.

 

            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Sorry.

 

            9                      MS. GATELLI: Even though some

 

           10              wouldn't agree with that.

 

           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay.  I'm not going

 

           12              to say anything.  I'm off the tax office for

 

           13              now.  Mrs. Gatelli caught me offguard there,

 

           14              okay.

 

           15                      On a good note, I got a call from a

 

           16              woman from North Scranton and asked me to

 

           17              bring this up, she had a check stolen from

 

           18              her and she called the police and Officer

 

           19              John Halpern responded and took the

 

           20              information, and he didn't let it go.  He

 

           21              stood on top of it and I believe it was a

 

           22              month or two later he caught the person that

 

           23              stole the check and she got her money

 

           24              returned to her.  So I would, you know,

 

           25              John, job well done.  The lady was just


 

 

                                                                     148

 

 

            1              ecstatic.

 

            2                      MS. EVANS: Excellent.

 

            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So he didn't just

 

            4              take the report, he took the report and

 

            5              followed up on it and he did a good job and

 

            6              she is extremely happy, so we want to thank

 

            7              Officer John Halpern for that.

 

            8                      And one other officer, another

 

            9              officer Tommy Lee, I actually had a guy seek

 

           10              me out, he found out where -- I only go one

 

           11              place on Saturday morning to have a coffee,

 

           12              he found out where I go and to come and

 

           13              thank me because Officer Tommy Lee went to

 

           14              his house on the corner of Slader and North

 

           15              Hyde Park, there is vehicles there that were

 

           16              in bad condition that needed to be towed,

 

           17              but more importantly there was house that

 

           18              was so bad he called the inspectors and I

 

           19              believe they evicted the people then and

 

           20              there and the people in the neighborhood are

 

           21              just very, very happy, so I want to thank

 

           22              Officer Tommy Lee for that.

 

           23                      And I'll leave it on a good note

 

           24              then, that's all I have.  Thank you.

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  5-B.


 

 

                                                                     149

 

 

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

 

            2              AN ORDINANCE - ESTABLISHING PERMIT PARKING

 

            3              ONLY IN THE 700 BLOCK OF EAST OLIVE STREET

 

            4              FROM MADISON AVENUE TO MOIR COURT.

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll

 

            6              entertain a motion that Item 5-B be

 

            7              introduced into it's proper committee.

 

            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

           11              in favor signify by saying aye.

 

           12                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           13                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           14                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

           17              ayes have it and so moved.

 

           18                      MS. GARVEY: 5-C. AN ORDINANCE - TO

 

           19              APPROVE AND ACCEPT THE CITY OF SCRANTON'S

 

           20              UPDATE FOR 2010 FOR THE CAPITAL BUDGET

 

           21              IMPROVEMENT PLAN OF 2008, WHICH IS THE

 

           22              SECOND-YEAR REVISION AND EXTENSION OF THE

 

           23              2008 FIVE-YEAR PLAN.

 

           24                      MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll

 

           25              entertain a motion that Item 5-C be


 

 

                                                                     150

 

 

            1              introduced into it's proper committee.

 

            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

            3                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?

 

            5                      MS. EVANS: Yes.  As has been the

 

            6              case so often throughout the years, the

 

            7              capital budget presented by the mayor is in

 

            8              violation of Section 904 of the Home Rule

 

            9              Charter, so I will be voting "no" and I will

 

           10              elaborate on that in the future as the

 

           11              legislation proceeds through council orders.

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF: All those in favor of

 

           13              introduction signify by saying aye.

 

           14                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           15                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           16                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?

 

           18                      MS. EVANS: No.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF: The ayes have it and so

 

           20              moved.

 

           21                      MS. GARVEY: 5-D. FOR INTRODUCTION -

 

           22              AN ORDINANCE - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND

 

           23              OTHER APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF

 

           24              SCRANTON TO TAKE ALL NECESSARY ACTIONS TO

 

           25              IMPLEMENT THE CONSOLIDATED SUBMISSION FOR


 

 

                                                                     151

 

 

            1              COMMUNITY PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS

 

            2              TO BE FUNDED UNDER THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

 

            3              BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) PROGRAM, HOME INVESTMENT

 

            4              PARTNERSHIP (HOME) PROGRAM AND EMERGENCY

 

            5              SHELTER GRANT (ESG) PROGRAM.

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll

 

            7              entertain a motion that Item 5-D be

 

            8              introduced into it's proper committee.

 

            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

           10                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question I would

 

           12              just like to reiterate what Mrs. Evans said

 

           13              before to one of the speakers that what has

 

           14              been submitted to us will be reviewed and as

 

           15              in the past I'm sure that there be revisions

 

           16              made to the proposal and in the near future

 

           17              those will be read into the minutes as an

 

           18              amendment and I think the final -- there is

 

           19              a 30-day waiting period on the final vote,

 

           20              so that there is plenty of time for

 

           21              revisions to be made in this program.

 

           22              Anyone else on the question?  All those in

 

           23              favor of introduction signify by saying aye.

 

           24                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.


 

 

                                                                     152

 

 

            1                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

            4              ayes have it and so moved.

 

            5                      MR. MINORA:  We actually need two

 

            6              motions for public hearing, one for 5-C and

 

            7              one for 5-D.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: I forget, I'm sorry.  I

 

            9              would like to make a motion to authorize the

 

           10              city clerk to place an ad summarizing the

 

           11              proposed capital budget and to identify

 

           12              places where the copies of the capital

 

           13              budget can be obtained and inspected.

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

           16              in favor signify by saying aye.

 

           17                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           18                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           19                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

           22              ayes have it and so moved.

 

           23                      And the second motion I'd like to

 

           24              move that we schedule a public hearing for

 

           25              Tuesday, September 22, 2009, at 6:00 p.m.


 

 

                                                                     153

 

 

            1                      MR. MINORA: This would be for the

 

            2              capital budget.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: For the capital budget,

 

            4              I'm sorry.  Let me change it, I'll revise

 

            5              it.  I move that we schedule a public

 

            6              hearing for the capital budget for Tuesday,

 

            7              September 22, 2009, at 6:00 p.m.

 

            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Second.

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

           10              in favor signify by saying aye.

 

           11                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           12                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           13                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

           16              ayes have it and so moved.

 

           17                      MR. MINORA: One more for 5-D.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF: Okay, where are we at

 

           19              here?  I'd like to make a motion we schedule

 

           20              a public hearing on the CDBG legislation for

 

           21              Tuesday, September 15, 2009, at 6:00 p.m.

 

           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

           24              in favor signify by saying aye.

 

           25                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.


 

 

                                                                     154

 

 

            1                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

            2                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

            5              ayes have it and so moved.

 

            6                      MS. GARVEY: 5-E.  FOR INTRODUCTION -

 

            7              AN ORDINANCE - AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO.

 

            8              49, 2006 AS AMENDED ENTITLED, "AN ORDINANCE

 

            9              AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE

 

           10              OFFICIALS OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO TAKE

 

           11              ALL NECESSARY ACTIONS TO IMPLEMENT THE

 

           12              CONSOLIDATED SUBMISSION FOR COMMUNITY

 

           13              PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS TO BE

 

           14              FUNDED UNDER THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK

 

           15              GRANT (CDBG) PROGRAM, HOME INVESTMENT

 

           16              PARTNERSHIP (HOME) PROGRAM AND EMERGENCY

 

           17              SHELTER GRANT (ESG) PROGRAM", BY

 

           18              TRANSFERRING $241,000.00 FROM PROJECT 07-225

 

           19              SLIBCO TO PROJECT 05-154 FRIENDSHIP HOUSE.

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll

 

           21              entertain a motion that Item 5-E be

 

           22              introduced into it's proper committee.

 

           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

           24                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All


 

 

                                                                     155

 

 

            1              in favor signify by saying aye.

 

            2                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

            3                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

            4                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

            7              ayes have it and so moved.

 

            8                      MS. GARVEY: 5-F.  FOR INTRODUCTION -

 

            9              AN ORDINANCE - CREATING AND ESTABLISHING

 

           10              SPECIAL CITY ACCOUNT NO. 02.229594 ENTITLED

 

           11              "BJA FY 09 RECOVERY ACT EDWARD BYRNE

 

           12              MEMORIAL JUSTICE ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM

 

           13              LOCAL SOLICITATION".

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll

 

           15              entertain a motion that Item 5-F 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                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The


 

 

                                                                     156

 

 

            1              ayes have it and so moved.

 

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

 

            3              AN ORDINANCE - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND

 

            4              OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO ACCEPT

 

            5              FUNDS FROM THE BJA FY 09 RECOVERY ACT EDWARD

 

            6              BYRNE MEMORIAL JUSTICE ASSISTANCE GRANT

 

            7              (JAG) PROGRAM LOCAL SOLICITATION IN THE

 

            8              AMOUNT OF $264,201.00 AND DISBURSE SAID

 

            9              FUNDS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE GRANT

 

           10              APPLICATION.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll

 

           12              entertain a motion that Item 5-G be

 

           13              introduced into it's proper committee.

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

           15                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

           17              in favor signify by saying aye.

 

           18                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           19                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           20                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

           23              ayes have it and so moved.

 

           24                      MS. EVANS: Kay, prior to the reading

 

           25              of Item 5-H, I move to table Item 5-H.


 

 

                                                                     157

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?

 

            3                      MS. EVANS: I'm sorry, I don't want

 

            4              to table Lackawanna County bridge, sorry.

 

            5              Wrong one.  I'm looking for the next one,

 

            6              5-I. Mea Culpa.

 

            7                      MS. GARVEY: 5-H.  FOR INTRODUCTION -

 

            8              A RESOLUTION - AMENDING RESOLUTION 122, 2009

 

            9              ENTITLED "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER

 

           10              APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE AND

 

           11              ENTER INTO SUPPLEMENTAL REIMBURSEMENT

 

           12              AGREEMENT NO. 040809-F WITH THE COMMONWEALTH

 

           13              OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF

 

           14              TRANSPORTATION REGARDING THE LACKAWANNA

 

           15              AVENUE BRIDGE PROJECT FOR THE PURPOSE OF

 

           16              INCREASING THE CONSTRUCTION PHASE OF THE

 

           17              PROJECT DUE TO CONSTRUCTION COSTS OVER-RUNS"

 

           18              TO REFLECT LOWER CONSTRUCTION COSTS AS SET

 

           19              FORTH ON EXHIBIT "AAAAAAA" PROJECT COSTS

 

           20              APPENDED TO SUPPLEMENTAL AGREEMENT NO.

 

           21              040809-F.

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll

 

           23              entertain a motion that Item 5-H be

 

           24              introduced into it's proper committee.

 

           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.


 

 

                                                                     158

 

 

            1                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

            3              in favor signify by saying aye.

 

            4                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

            5                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

            6                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

            9              ayes have it and so moved.

 

           10                      MS. EVANS: Now prior to reading Item

 

           11              5-A, I move to table Item 5-A.

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT: "I."

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF: 5-I.

 

           14                      MS. EVANS: 5-I.

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.  We'll get

 

           16              it.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?  I

 

           18              would just like to say that I hope that

 

           19              Mrs. Aebli comes soon to a meeting, at a

 

           20              time when we sorely need community

 

           21              development and economic development here we

 

           22              are, you know, stagnating development again

 

           23              and I don't think it's a good course to

 

           24              take, but hopefully she will appear soon and

 

           25              we can move on with the needed legislation.


 

 

                                                                     159

 

 

            1                      MS. EVANS: And I just want to

 

            2              reiterate, this is certainly not to say that

 

            3              all of our loans are risky are have been bad

 

            4              loans, and it's not a reflection on those

 

            5              who are currently applying or the

 

            6              individuals contained in this particular

 

            7              piece of legislation, the problem lies with

 

            8              the false information or lack of any

 

            9              information provided by OECD, and so I'm

 

           10              sure once that has been rectified the

 

           11              legislation will come to council again and

 

           12              move on.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF: The motion is to table

 

           14              5-I, all in favor?  All in favor signify by

 

           15              saying aye.

 

           16                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           17                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           18                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF:  Opposed?  No. The ayes

 

           21              have it and so moved.

 

           22                      MS. GARVEY: 5-J. FOR INTRODUCTION -

 

           23              A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING APPOINTMENT

 

           24              OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON'S REPRESENTATIVES TO

 

           25              THE TAX COLLECTION COMMITTEE ("TCC")


 

 

                                                                     160

 

 

            1              PURSUANT TO ACT 32 OF 2008.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll

 

            3              entertain a motion that Item 5-J be

 

            4              introduced into it's proper committee.

 

            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

            6                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

            8              in favor signify by saying aye.

 

            9                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           10                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           11                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

           14              ayes have it and so moved.

 

           15                      MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER.  6-A.

 

           16              READING BY TITLE - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 79,

 

           17              2009 -  AN ORDINANCE - CREATING AND

 

           18              ESTABLISHING A NEW ACCOUNT FOR THE CITY OF

 

           19              SCRANTON'S OFFICE OF ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY

 

           20              DEVELOPMENT ("OECD") TITLED NEIGHBORHOOD

 

           21              STABILIZATION PROGRAM ("NSP") ACCOUNT NO.

 

           22              9A.0101 FOR THE RECEIPT AND DISBURSEMENT OF

 

           23              GRANT FUNDS RECEIVED FROM THE COMMONWEALTH

 

           24              OF PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AND

 

           25              ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ("DCED").


 

 

                                                                     161

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF: You have heard reading

 

            2              by title of Item 6-A, what is your pleasure?

 

            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 6-A

 

            4              pass reading by title.

 

            5                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

            7              those in favor signify by saying aye.

 

            8                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           10                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           12                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

           13              ayes have it and so moved.

 

           14                      MS. GARVEY: 6-B. READING BY TITLE -

 

           15              FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 80, 2009 - AN ORDINANCE

 

           16              - CREATING AND ESTABLISHING A NEW ACCOUNT

 

           17              FOR THE CITY OF SCRANTON'S OFFICE OF

 

           18              ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ("OECD")

 

           19              TITLED ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CONSERVATION

 

           20              BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM ACCOUNT NO. 10A.0101 FOR

 

           21              THE RECEIPT AND DISBURSEMENT OF GRANT FUNDS

 

           22              RECEIVED FROM THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT

 

           23              OF ENERGY ("DOE").

 

           24                      MR. MCGOFF: You have heard reading

 

           25              by title of Item 6-B, what is your pleasure.


 

 

                                                                     162

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I move that Item 6-B

 

            2              pass reading by title.

 

            3                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

            5              those in favor signify by saying aye.

 

            6                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

            7                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

            8                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

            9                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

           11              ayes have it and so moved.

 

           12                      MS. GARVEY:  SEVENTH ORDER.  7-A.

 

           13              FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES

 

           14              - FOR ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 78,

 

           15              2009 - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER

 

           16              APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO ENTER INTO AN

 

           17              AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE MOST REVEREND JOSEPH

 

           18              F. MARTINO, D.D., BISHOP OF THE DIOCESE OF

 

           19              SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, TRUSTEE FOR THE

 

           20              FORMER HOLY CROSS CONGREGATION, AND ITS

 

           21              PRESENT SUCCESSOR CONGREGATION, ST.

 

           22              PATRICK'S PARISH SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA AND

 

           23              THE CITY OF SCRANTON, APPROVING AND

 

           24              AUTHORIZING THE TRANSFER OF THE REAL ESTATE

 

           25              AND IMPROVEMENTS LOCATED AT 5TH AVENUE AND


 

 

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            1              BROADWAY STREET IN THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO

 

            2              THE CITY OF SCRANTON AND TO EXECUTE ANY AND

 

            3              ALL OTHER DOCUMENTS NECESSARY FOR THE

 

            4              CLOSING OF THIS TRANSACTION.

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF: As Chair for the

 

            6              Committee on Rules, I recommend final

 

            7              passage of Item 7-A.

 

            8                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  I

 

           10              would just like to say that we have

 

           11              discussed this repeatedly over the couple of

 

           12              weeks that it's been on the agenda, during

 

           13              caucus tonight it was said by members of the

 

           14              Heritage Association that they were willing

 

           15              to work with the Diocese to find a more

 

           16              suitable use of the Holy Cross Church rather

 

           17              than the demolition of it.  With that said

 

           18              and with the assurance that, you know,

 

           19              something practical can be done and that

 

           20              there is some type of plan for the use of

 

           21              Holy Cross Church, I would think it's a

 

           22              better option than what we have been

 

           23              presented with as far as the demolition.

 

           24              Perhaps in the future it may come back to

 

           25              this, but at least I think we have some


 

 

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            1              assurances that over the course of time

 

            2              something better will emerge.  Roll call,

 

            3              please?

 

            4                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.

 

            5                      MS. EVANS:  No.

 

            6                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.

 

            7                      MS. GATELLI.  No.

 

            8                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI:  No.

 

           10                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.

 

           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  No.

 

           12                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF: No. Item 7-A is

 

           14              defeated.

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Motion to adjourn.

 

           16                      MS. FANUCCI: So moved.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you for your

 

           18              participation and see you next week.

 

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

 

            4

 

            5        I hereby certify that the proceedings and

 

            6   evidence are contained fully and accurately in the

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

           10   ability.

 

           11

 

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           13

                                    CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR

           14                       OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER

 

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