1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
7 Tuesday, September 22, 2009
10 Council Chambers
11 Scranton City Hall
12 340 North Washington Avenue
13 Scranton, Pennsylvania
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR - OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
2 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT
6 MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT
MS. JANET E. EVANS
9 MS. SHERRY FANUCCI
MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
12 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
MS. SUE MAGNOTTA, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
15 MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR
1 (Pledge of Allegiance recited and
2 moment of reflection observed.)
3 MR. MCGOFF: Roll call, please.
4 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Evans.
5 MS. EVANS: Here.
6 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Gatelli. Ms.
7 Fanucci. Mr. Courtright.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.
9 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mr. McGoff.
10 MR. MCGOFF: Here. Let the record
11 show that Mrs. Gatelli and Mrs. Fanucci
12 called and said this they would be
13 unavailable for tonight's meeting. Prior to
14 any business, we have a proclamation to be
15 read and presented. Mr. Courtright will
16 make read the proclamation.
17 WHEREAS, the Council of the City of
18 Scranton, is desirous of honoring the
19 "LACKAWANNA LITTLE LEAGUE 9 AND 10 YEAR OLD
20 ALL STARS" for capturing the DISTRICT 17
21 TITLE, compiling a record of 9 and 1 in
22 total All-Star play; and
23 WHEREAS, the "LACKAWANNA LITTLE
24 LEAGUE 9 AND 10 YEAR OLD ALL STARS" captured
25 the SECTION 5, STATE QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT
1 TITLE, compiling a record 4 and 0;
2 WHEREAS, the "LACKAWANNA LITTLE
3 LEAGUE 9 AND 10 YEAR OLD ALL STARS" advanced
4 to the ELITE 8 in the Commonwealth of
5 Pennsylvania, finishing in 3rd Place in the
6 EASTERN STATE PLAYOFFS; and.
7 WHEREAS, the "LACKAWANNA LITTLE
8 LEAGUE 9 AND 10 YEAR OLD ALL STARS" have
9 brought great pride and honor to their
10 community and the entire City of Scranton by
11 their actions. These young men are shining
12 examples of student-athletes who conduct
13 themselves with class and discipline;
14 dignified in defeat and humble in victory.
15 The "LACKAWANNA LITTLE LEAGUE 9 AND 10 YEAR
16 OLD ALL STARTS" are everything ours schools
17 and community admire - true representatives
18 of the youth of our City and of the Little
19 League organization; and
20 WHEREAS, the "LACKAWANNA LITTLE
21 LEAGUE 9 AND 10 YEAR OLD ALL STARTS" team
22 consist of the following players: THOMAS
23 CARROLL, MATTHEW GAUL, GRIFFIN GILROY, KYLE
24 GRAHAM, THOMAS IVANOFF, AUSTIN LIPOWITCH,
25 GRIFFIN LOUREIRO, NICHOLS PFOHL, KYLE
1 POLISHAN, COLE STETZAR, MATTHEW TULANEY AND
2 NOAH WORSINCK, and
3 WHEREAS, the "LACKAWANNA LITTLE
4 LEAGUE 9 AND 10 YEAR OLD ALL STARTS" are
5 coached by Head Coach John Lipowitch, Team
6 Manager Bill Stetzar and assisted by team
7 das Tim Gaul, Bob Graham, Neil Ivanoff,
8 Frank Polishan and Frank Worsnick.
9 NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that
10 on Tuesday September 22, 2009, Scranton City
11 Council wishes to congratulate the
12 "LACKAWANNA LITTLE LEAGUE 9 AND 10 YEAR OLD
13 ALL STARTS", along with their coaches and
14 parents for their outstanding achievement.
15 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this
16 Proclamation be made a permanent part of the
17 Minutes of this Council, as lasting tribute
18 to the "LACKAWANNA LITTLE LEAGUE 9 AND 10
19 YEAR OLD ALL STARTS TEAM OF 2009."
20 (The Lackawanna Little League Team
21 receives their proclamation.)
22 MR. MCGOFF: Just a few announcements
23 before we move to civic participation. As
24 you may have read in the paper,
25 Mr. Scopelitti declined our offer to appear
1 in caucus on the advice, as the newspaper
2 said and as he related to me after saying
3 that he would appear, he met with the
4 authority board and with the solicitor and
5 they advised that any communications between
6 the parking authority and council would be
7 done in written form. We also received a
8 letter from the solicitor today indicating
10 Also, a follow-up to something
11 that was brought up last two weeks, I met on
12 Friday with representatives of the
13 University of Scranton and the attorney
14 representing the complainants from the Hill
15 Section and also Mr. Bharucka, I believe, it
16 was something similar to that, I'm sorry if
17 I mispronounced it, and also representatives
18 from that area concerning the compactor that
19 was going to be placed near the gentleman's
20 residence. We met at the existing compactor
21 as a demonstration of how it operates and
22 when it operates and so on and I would say
23 that it is a compactor.
24 What they were planning on doing
25 was move it -- it's a compactor that
1 services some of the residence halls and
2 residence houses. It was not a compactor
3 for the entire University property. It
4 primary dealt with paper products, paper and
5 cardboard. Since most of the people living
6 in the residence halls are on food plans
7 with the cafeteria there was very little in
8 the way of food that was placed into the
9 compactor. Everything was bagged. It was
10 only operated during the daytime hours by a
11 single individual who worked just daytime
12 hours. It was -- I'm not going to say it
13 was completely noiseless, but it was no
14 louder than a car running, you know, idling.
15 They demonstrated the compactor then
16 we walked to the site where it was going to
17 be -- to where it was going to be moved.
18 After discussions with again the attorneys
19 and representatives from the University of
20 Scranton, it was decided that they would
21 work with the residents of the area to come
22 to a resolution that was favorable to all.
23 I should also -- I would like to
24 also say that this was not done without --
25 the original movement of the compactor was
1 done with the okay of the people to where it
2 was going to be moved. They met with the
3 gentleman that eventually would start the
4 complaint -- the -- I'm losing the word
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: The petition.
7 MR. MCGOFF: The petition to not have
8 it. He originally thought it was okay as
9 long as it was moved a little bit away from
10 the alleyway. Later on I guess there was a
11 change of heart, and that's when the
12 petition was presented. The University of
13 Scranton was not doing this without having
14 contacted the people involved.
15 Also, I'd like to mention that when
16 we had gone through the site where they were
17 looking to move the compactor there were
18 four existent dumpsters, privately owned
19 dumpsters in that Court that were far more
20 odorous than what was going to be placed
21 there, but the end result is that they are
22 going to work to try to come to some
23 resolution that is favorable to both
24 parties, and any other announcements?
25 MS. EVANS: Yes. Please remember in
1 your prayers all those who have died this
2 past week, particularly, retired firefighter
3 and Truck II Chauffeur, Joseph Bernardi, and
4 his family and friends he leaves behind. He
5 served his community with unending
6 dedication and great professionalism for
7 which we are all very grateful.
8 In October Comcast will make the
9 following changes to your cable channels:
10 Government access Channel 61 will move to
11 Channel 19 and educational access Channel 62
12 will move to Channel 21. Unfortunately,
13 Comcast has not supplied the exact date in
14 October when these changes will occur.
15 St. Michael's Ukrainian Orthodox
16 Church will hold it's seventh annual
17 Ukrainian food festival September 27th from
18 11 to 5 p.m. The festival is located at Main
19 Avenue and Howell Street. Delicious streets
20 such as peirrogie, haluski, borscht and
21 homemade desserts will be served.
22 St. Joseph's Church in Minooka will
23 conduct a craft show on September 26th from
24 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Handcrafted items and
25 refreshments will be available.
1 St. Paul's United Methodist Church
2 at Prospect Avenue and Birch Street in
3 Scranton will hold it's annual bazaar and
4 bake sale on September 26th from 9 a.m. to
5 4 p.m.
6 Also, Lackawanna County will hold
7 it's 2009 senior flu vaccine clinics at
8 various locations from late this month
9 through midOctober. The clinics, however,
10 are for the seasonal flu only. Location and
11 dates for the flu vaccine clinics are as
13 The downtown senior center,
14 October 5. South Side Senior Center,
15 October 6. West Side Senior Center,
16 October 7. Dunmore Senior Center,
17 October 8, and the Jewish Community Center
18 October 14. Each clinic will run from 10
19 a.m. to 2 p.m.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Could we ask ECTV if
21 they would run that, also?
22 MS. EVANS: The flu clinic? The flu
23 vaccine clinic, absolutely. Kay, if we
24 could just have that information forwarded,
25 please, to ECTV. I think that will be very
1 beneficial for our seniors to be aware of.
2 And finally, I am very pleased with
3 the outcome to date of the trash compactor
4 location in the Hill Section. I, indeed,
5 hope that the University is working well
6 with it's neighbors and satisfying our city
7 residents and as long as they are a
8 satisfied then I am satisfied, and that's
10 MR. MCGOFF: Prior to going -- I did
11 forget one thing, just to remind people that
12 the Steamtown Marathon will be held on
13 October 11, Sunday morning, there is still
14 time to sign up if anyone is interested.
15 Citizens' participation. Les Spindler.
16 MS. GARVEY: Excuse me, Mr. McGoff,
17 we need to do Third Order first.
18 MR. MCGOFF: I'm sorry, I'm jumping
19 ahead. I'm sorry, Mr. Spindler.
20 MS. GARVEY: THIRD ORDER. 3-A.
21 CONTROLLER'S REPORT FOR THE MONTH ENDING
22 AUGUST 31, 2009.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
24 If not, received and filed.
25 MS. GARVEY: 3-B. MINUTES OF THE
1 VACANT PROPERTY REVIEW COMMITTEE MEETING
2 HELD ON MAY 21, 2009.
3 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
4 If not, received and filed.
5 MS. GARVEY: 3-C. AGENDA FOR THE
6 VACANT PROPERTY REVIEW COMMITTEE MEETING
7 HELD SEPTEMBER 17, 2009.
8 MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?
9 If not, received and filed.
10 MS. GARVEY: That's it for Third
12 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. Now it's
13 citizens' participation. Mr. Spindler.
14 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, Council.
15 Les Spindler, city taxpayer, homeowner.
16 Last week I read in the Doherty newsletter
17 Chris Doherty wants to run for governor. He
18 didn't officially get reelected mayor yet
19 and he wants to run for governor. It just
20 continues to show the arrogance of this man.
21 He thinks he can be whatever he wants to be.
22 This city is in such dire straights,
23 our long-term debt over $250 million, our
24 public safety unions haven't had a raise in
25 eight years, the downtown is becoming like a
1 ghost town and he wants to become governor.
2 Well, I think he should resign as mayor in
3 right now and let the people write somebody
4 in in November that wants to run this city
5 and only wants to run this city and doesn't
6 want to better themselves with something
7 else. Like I said, it just continues to
8 show the arrogance of this man.
9 Next thing, I see where the ice rink
10 at the Ice Box is closing or it is closed
11 and they are going to put basketball courts
12 in there. Well, what a mistake that is.
13 There is basketball courts right next door
14 in the Riverfront Sports Complex. All this
15 is is another white elephant project from
16 Chris Doherty's administration.
17 Can anybody up there name me one
18 successful project that's opened under Chris
19 Doherty's administration that's been a
20 success? I don't think there are any. I
21 mean, we had Southern Union, we know what
22 happened there. Molly Brannigan's closed,
23 the Ice Box is going belly up, the other
24 places are closing and -- well, Mrs. Fanucci
25 is not here to defend herself, but she says
1 there is progress in the city. I don't know
2 where the progress is.
3 Lastly about Mr. Scopelitti. He was
4 advised by his board and solicitor not to be
5 here. Well, what are they afraid of? What
6 are they trying to hide? And Mr. Scopelitti
7 went on, he said, he wanted to stay out of
8 the political sniping comments of the weekly
9 meetings. Well, when there is caucuses held
10 here, I never remember any political sniping
11 going on. It's just a copout on
12 Mr. Scopelitti's part, he is trying to hide
13 something, he doesn't want to show up, I
14 think council should use their subpoena
15 powers to get Mr. Scopelitti here and answer
16 questions. That's all I have tonight.
17 Thank you.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Mike Dudek.
19 MR. DUDEK: My name is Mike Dudek,
20 608 Depot Street. I live in the Plot. On
21 my remarks tonight I'm going to restrict
22 them to a piece of legislation going through
23 here, the amending of the Firearm's Act in
24 the city. I can pretty much predict what's
25 going to happen here if this passes. And,
1 by the way, it is very well-written. In my
2 opinion this should past constitutional
3 muster, okay? I did teach some
4 constitutional law so I do not have enough
5 of a background to have a reasonable opinion
6 on what you have here. What you have here
7 should hold water constitutionally.
8 At the same time, I should also tell
9 you I thought that Philadelphia had a
10 wonderful firearms law as far as restricting
11 the use of assault weapons within the city,
12 but the Commonwealth Court unexplainably,
13 inexplicably backed the National Rifle
14 Association's arguments on that issue and
15 struck that portion of the Philadelphia
16 Firearms Act as unconstitutional in
17 Pennsylvania, so I can pretty much predict
18 the National Rifle Association will come and
19 challenge the City of Scranton in Court.
20 This is going to be a court fight.
21 I think the Brady Organization will
22 also be involved on the side of the city,
23 but let me tell you this, I am so in favor
24 of what you are trying to do to protect the
25 people of the City of Scranton and our
1 police officers in the City of Scranton that
2 if this -- if you amend the charter, the
3 Home Rule Charter to put this new wording in
4 and the National Rifle Association sues the
5 city, I'm a very poor guy, but I will
6 contribute $100 to the City of Scranton in
7 order to fight the National Rifle
8 Association on this.
9 You are on the right track. You are
10 trying to protect the city, but also you are
11 trying to protect our police officers. To
12 allow, you know, the criminal element the
13 unfettered run of gun that the National
14 Rifle Association wants them to have it's
15 unconscionable, absolutely unconscionable.
16 I favor backing our citizens and I favor
17 backing our police and that's what you are
18 doing with this new amending and I want you
19 to stick by it. Thank you.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Fay Franus.
21 MS. FRANUS: Fay Franus. I was
22 going to address some issues, but since
23 Mrs. Gatelli us in the here tonight or Mrs.
24 Fanucci I'll wait. I was looking at some
25 information under past minutes and in May
1 12, 2005, I checked the minutes and Joe
2 Pilcheski filed a lawsuit -- or, excuse me,
3 a Right-to-Know and he got some
4 information of some of the grants that were
5 written for the police, and one of them, Tom
6 Bell, was a grant writer at the time and he
7 mentioned that council passed legislation
8 that evening, May 12, 2005, for a grant for
9 the police department. Well, I went over
10 the minutes and there was no legislation on
11 that agenda at all, unless I didn't see it,
12 but I pretty much scanned it on the city
13 council website, so I'm just trying to say
14 Mrs. Gatelli said last week everybody makes
15 mistakes and let's move on. Well, I say
16 let's not move on. Let's put this at a
17 screeching halt.
18 And I ask you, Mr. Courtright, to
19 check all of these meetings, have someone do
20 it, and find out how many grants are
21 written, who asked for them, who wrote them,
22 if they did or did not get council approval
23 because I do not go along with what
24 Mrs. Gatelli said at all last week. She
25 just seemed like she wanted to bury it.
1 Well, I don't to bury it, I want it out in
2 the light, so what did we find out,
3 Mr. Courtright.
4 MR. COURTRIGHT: Kay is putting
5 together as much of the legislation as she
6 can find and they are looking into --
7 looking back in the minutes to see what came
8 before council and what didn't, but it
9 takes a lot of time. I believe we got a lot
10 of the grants from the grant writer from the
11 county. She did give them to us, Kay? So
12 it's just taking some time. Do you want to
13 give it to you in piecemeal to you or do you
14 want to wait until the end?
15 MS. FRANUS: Oh, I'll wait, Bill, but
16 what I'm trying say is -- -
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: No, we didn't drop
18 the ball. She's been doing it. It just
19 takes a lot of time.
20 MS. FRANUS: Oh, I'm sure, but my
21 point is that was just one little example
22 that they didn't have any vote from council,
23 so I'm just thinking can you imagine if it
24 was all of them? So it just wasn't a little
25 mistake. I think it was done deliberately
1 and knowingly that they did not get council
2 approval and still ask for grant, just
3 bypass council. I'm not saying council
4 approved it, they probably would have, but
5 they didn't bother to come in front of
6 council, and I think something should be
8 And another point, 7-C tonight, I do
9 not think that you should vote on this. I
10 think it's going to put the City of Scranton
11 in a very, very weak position.
12 Another matter, Mr. McGoff, last
13 year I came here in front of council and I
14 spoke because I live in Bellevue right by
15 the South Side Complex and many, many people
16 had told me when I took my boy down there
17 that they had to pay $400 and some dollars
18 to play. And I came in front of council
19 last year and presented this to you and you
20 told me basically I was wrong. Well, it's
21 not the case. You said the University of
22 Scranton said whatever, but you just brushed
23 it aside and now here it is again this
24 summer. So this has been going on for years
25 now so I hope they get to the bottom of it.
1 MR. MCGOFF: I don't believe I said
2 they weren't paying, I said the University
3 was not charging.
4 MS. FRANUS: But I can check the
5 records you --
6 MR. MCGOFF: Okay, I don't want to
7 argue with you, I actually agree with you.
8 MS. FRANUS: I think it happened --
9 I think my point is I think it has been
10 going on for many years, not just this year
11 because I remember last year it was going on
12 that the people were complaining and now
13 again this year. I think somebody should --
14 and I know it's not your position to, but if
15 anybody is listening out there and this has
16 happened to them I wish they would contact
17 the police because it's not right. It is
18 fraud as Mr. Minora said. That's all. I
19 wasn't here earlier, where is Mrs. Gatelli
20 and Mrs. Fanucci tonight?
21 MR. MCGOFF: They called and said
22 they would not be attending.
23 MS. FRANUS: No reason?
24 MR. MCGOFF: Illness I believe.
25 MS. FRANUS: Both of them sick.
1 MR. MCGOFF: Yes.
2 MS. FRANUS: All right. Thank you.
3 MR. MCGOFF: Ozzie Quinn.
4 MR. QUINN: Ozzie Quinn, Taxpayers'
5 Association. How many times have we seen in
6 the past Andy Sbaraglia stand up here and
7 tell the council about the Scranton Parking
8 Authority's, you know, debt and no one
9 listened, you know? It seems there is a
10 trend here, okay, The parking authority and
11 Mayor Doherty's administration borrowing to
12 pay off a loan. You can't do it. It's
13 common sense and they continue to do it.
14 How much are we in debt now in
15 regards to -- are we able to fill the hole
16 for the 2009 budget, it was 1.5 the last
17 time I heard? Does anybody know? I mean,
18 that's for this year's budget?
19 MS. EVANS: We are awaiting right now
20 the release of the 888 account funds from
21 the Scranton Tax Office which should range
22 approximately in the $3 million figure.
23 MR. QUINN: I see. Hopefully.
24 MS. EVANS: But we still -- I'm
25 jumping ahead, we did get a draft copy of
1 the audit just this afternoon. It's not the
2 final copy, but it's certainly going to be--
3 when the final copy is presented to us I
4 think it's going to be very useful in
5 calculating the city's principle and
6 long-term debt.
7 MR. QUINN: I just want to say that
8 the majority, council majority have, you
9 know, lost control, you know, of the
10 authorities and of the OECD. They just do
11 what they want to do and they -- they are
12 making a joke out of you and you sit there
13 and you don't do anything about it, you
14 know? And you come up here and you condemn
15 the taxpayers who try to tell you what's
16 going on and you won't listen because you
17 owe your soul to the company man,
18 Mr. Doherty, and it's ashame, you know.
19 And last week Pugh Research Center
20 put out their findings in regard to a survey
21 of newspapers, 74 percent of the people
22 surveyed said the newspaper are biased.
23 Well, you know what, it's tough really to
24 let the people explain, all right, what's
25 going on when they come up here and they
1 don't even put in the paper what the people
2 are saying, okay, about what's going on and
3 it's always pro Mr. Doherty. Now, if that
4 isn't bias I don't know what it is, you
6 And it's really, I mean, we are in a
7 tough shape here financially and the
8 Scranton Times has a lot to do with it, but
9 the fact that they don't let it out and
10 investigate, find out what's going on. We
11 have the Parking Authority, we have the DPW
12 down there, we have 600,000 owed by the Ice
13 Box down there. We have Mr. Doherty's
14 $170 million in debt and he is going around
15 the state saying thousands of jobs he
16 created and they are printing that, you
17 know? That's baloney and we all know it.
18 All bet he hasn't created 200 jobs and if he
19 has they have been mostly minimum wage job
20 or waitress and waiters jobs that only get
21 paid $2.83 an hour and rely on tips.
22 This is -- I mean, there is a lot of
23 unfairness coming out four blocks from down
24 the street that's killing our city and they
25 call us naysayers, you know? The naysayers
1 are up here trying to get the city on track,
2 but nobody will listen. The council
3 majority just wants to defend and the
4 administration and the Scranton Times is
5 backing it and, you know, you got to call a
6 spade a spade and there is no doubt about it
7 and everybody in this city that will tell
8 you, you know, not everybody, but a lot of
9 people will tell you what's going on. They
10 don't know the other side of -- you know, of
11 what Mrs. Evans is thinking or
12 Mr. Courtright is thinking, you know? And
13 if you do say something, Mrs. Evans, they'll
14 put you there in a cartoon and make you look
15 like you are what's his name, you should be
16 in Disneyland or someplace.
17 Now, that's unfair, I believe.
18 There is ethics involved here and I don't
19 know where there ethics is. I seen
20 Mr. George Lynett at an Ethics Commission at
21 the University of Scranton put on by
22 Georgetown University and he is there
23 shaking his head, shaking his head. Well, I
24 called up the Georgetown University
25 professor and he says, "Hang in there," he
1 says, "that's all I can tell you." Thank
3 MR. MCGOFF: Lee Morgan.
4 MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.
5 You know, I was here last week when the OECD
6 executive director was here. I thought that
7 that meeting was just terrible. I thought,
8 and I'm being honest, I thought there was
9 more political wrangling going up on
10 council. I think the questions could have
11 been much different.
12 I have to say that the situation the
13 Parking Authority finds itself in is no
14 secret. City council in recent memory had
15 an opportunity to issue subpoenas because
16 that's council's obligation. In my opinion,
17 the one meeting council agreed to issue
18 subpoenas. In my opinion, unless somebody
19 can show me minutes to the contrary, I mean,
20 my opinion stands firm. Those subpoenas
21 should have been issued and now years later
22 or over a course of time we are going to
23 decide now that we have a problem with the
24 Parking Authority, with OECD, with various
25 other authorities, and I have to say that
1 the real problem here is council. We can
2 shoot the mayor if we want to, but --
3 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me, that's --
4 MR. MORGAN: And I don't mean with a
5 gun, but I mean we can take shots at the
6 mayor here all day. The mayor is
7 responsible for a lot of things that have
8 happened in this city, but I have to say
9 that council has been the catalyst for the
10 destruction of this city over a very long
11 period of time. I for the life of me can't
12 understand how this council can reach
13 conclusions and make votes without backup.
14 I can't understand why some council members
15 ask if they should look into something after
16 a vote. I can't understand how council lost
17 the authority to set the sewer rates.
18 That's in a Home Rule Charter. I can't
19 understand how this council has failed this
20 city over a such an extended period of time
21 and what we are going to do here is we are
22 going to play point the finger.
23 The truth of the matter is, this
24 council is divided. This council needs to
25 become independent. I don't know if it's
1 ever going to happen, but when you walk
2 through this city and you see the rolling
3 blight everywhere, I'm not talking about one
4 section of the city, I'm talking about the
5 whole city, one house here, one house there,
6 what about all of the vacant lots we've had
7 in the city where we have torn houses down
8 allegedly? Who is maintaining those lots?
9 I seen a ton of them, nobody is cutting the
10 grass there. What about the all
11 condemnations we are doing? Are they being
12 done according to law or are we using an
13 ordinance that council passed in my opinion
14 in violation of law to gain access to
15 people's properties in order to do
16 condemnations? How many people know how
17 long you have to appeal a decision on
18 condemnation? I bet you that almost no
19 residents in this city know that.
20 How about when you are towing
21 people's vehicles off their properties?
22 Now, I had to run-in of my own with the city
23 over that ordinance and I filed a criminal
24 complaint and they towed my vehicle back to
25 my home and they put it back in my driveway
1 and I have had to problems since then. I
2 think the residents of this city have to
3 stand up and start fighting for what they
4 want. Our population is declining, we can't
5 take anymore taxes, we have listened to
6 everybody bringing the University and the
7 nonprofits to help us, they are not coming
8 to help us, they are stealing off of us and
9 this council has helped them and previous
11 We have got to stop talking about
12 plowing snow and picking up garbage.
13 Council has got to use it's authority to do
14 investigations in this city and come to
15 conclusions and use your solicitor. That's
16 what he is there for. Thank you.
17 MR. MCGOFF: Ron Ellman.
18 MR. ELLMAN: Hi. Ronnie Ellman,
19 Taxpayers' Association member. About 30,
20 35 years ago, this is just real quick, a
21 friend of mine gave me a little I guess you
22 call it a little toy, it had a -- it was a
23 little tiny train called a construction crew
24 and you had a little platform about this big
25 and this little train you put a marble in it
1 and it would go all over this track and come
2 back where it started and drop the marble
3 off. It just didn't do anything. If didn't
4 accomplish anything except giving a little
5 joy I guess to little kids.
6 We got a big construction crew I
7 have been watching for a month right there
8 at Mt. Pleasant. They move the dirt down
9 here, then they move it back and sideways.
10 They are not accomplishing nothing except
11 eating up money. There is no building
12 permits been taken out to do anything there,
13 it just excavating, and it's just like my
14 little toy train it's not accomplishing
15 nothing. It's just nothing, nothing,
16 nothing. What sense is there in just having
17 this keep going? I tell you what sense
18 there is because they think they are going
19 to get it in somehow, Mr. Doherty and
20 Mr. Burke think the taxpayers are going to
21 give up or disappear or something. They
22 have high hopes that this KOZ and all of the
23 promises they made to people going through
24 and I just don't believe it could happen
25 right now, you know, the way things are.
1 Can you just imagine the graphic
2 corruption with a $33 million project? I
3 wish I could get in on it, I'll tell you the
4 damn truth. I would be -- I would be the
5 biggest supporter Mr. Burke ever had if they
6 would give me a job down there.
7 I have another thing to change the
8 subject, Saturday I was going down North
9 Main Avenue, and I don't know the 2100-2200
10 block where Pond is, there is a crew cutting
11 down some little tiny trees that weren't as
12 big as this post. Now, why in the world do
13 they have to be out there on Saturday just
14 looking for something to do? You ought to
15 seen all of the people. They had a couple
16 of trucks and guys all over the place and
17 flagmen and they are cutting down little
18 trees like this. If you go by North Main
19 you can see what they cut down. I mean, you
20 know, and they were there for hours doing
21 nothing. I went down you know where for
22 lunch, and I come back about three hours
23 later and they finally left about 4:00, I
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Could you see three
1 hours later or --
2 MR. ELLMAN: And I don't know, but
3 why do they have to do this on a Saturday to
4 get all their overtime. These little --
5 this was just something looking for
6 something to do. I worked for Mr. DeNaples
7 long enough, when he was here I would be
8 over here. I would learn how to hide from
9 him and I learned how to get overtime in and
10 all of that so I know what I'm talking
12 And I got one other thing I would
13 like to say real quick. I saw in the paper
14 where King Joe and his power lifters or
15 whatever you call them, weightlifter guys,
16 they had some kind of meeting and donated
17 the proceeds to St. Jude in Memphis and I
18 thought this is nice because as tight as I
19 am you know I support St. Judge. It's such
20 a wonderful organization. Thank you.
21 MR. MCGOFF: Michael Apalla.
22 MR. APALLA: Mike Apalla, North
23 Scranton. I just want to follow-up on
24 Fellows Park, I know they brought it up last
25 week at the meeting, they put it on record
1 to find out where exactly the homes are that
2 need to be raised, where they stand on the
3 list, and I didn't know where Fellows Park
4 the house that was there --
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: They tore that house
7 MR. APALLA: Get out of here?
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah.
9 MR. APALLA: See, that's I should
10 have drove by there today.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: I was going to
12 announce it for Mr. Scopelitti -- Mr.
13 Scopelitti, Mr. Seitzinger told me here last
14 week, and I wasn't here last week, to
15 announce, that if you go by it's gone.
16 MR. APALLA: Beautiful. That's
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: So we are happy
19 about that?
20 MR. APALLA: Because I'm talking with
21 Dick Lasky, I'm a resident of North
22 Scranton, and we were talking about the
23 other homes that are up there and trying to
24 find out -- I know last year the City of
25 Scranton $250,000 or somewhere in the
1 neighborhood to raze homes and I wanted to
2 find out how much more of that money is left
3 and where exactly the homes stand on that
4 list so we can get those down as well
5 because they are right down on my street on
6 Main Avenue there.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: I think you can go
8 down and give the list off of them, I think
9 they would give you the list down there. I
10 think we are trying push through the ones on
11 Emmett Street now that are really, really
13 MR. APALLA: Yeah, they are bad
14 everywhere and I'm hoping each neighborhood
15 gets one and we can move forward from there,
16 but I thank you very much.
17 MS. MCGOFF: Any other speakers?
18 MS. WILLIAMS: Good evening,
19 Council. Joanne Williams, city resident. I
20 was listening to a few speakers and, of
21 course, you know how much I love this city.
22 I look at the positive things that are here.
23 I feel a true Scrantonian -- I know I lived
24 though when I was very young and not so
25 young when there was a Scranton Dry and the
1 Globe, I remember all of these good
2 memories. I also remember memories of a Nay
3 Aug Park that became drug infested for many
4 years and now I remember a city coming back,
5 a medical school, parks, the downtown
6 revitalizing. Nothing is perfect and there
7 is going to be economic woes, but that's all
8 over the country.
9 My first thing tonight is I feel
10 it's time for our city to have a curfew for
11 children under the age of 18. It's
12 astonishing to see how many young children
13 are roaming after dark. That's one thing I
14 really would like to see especially -- we do
15 have gangs in this city, there is no doubt
16 about it, and we need to get our young
17 people inside at a good time.
18 The next, correct me if I'm wrong,
19 but it is my understanding, Mrs. Evans, this
20 is to you, that you want to do away with
21 business loans. If so, Mrs. Evans, you will
22 be chasing our young adults away. There is
23 one cosmetology graduate who was thinking of
24 opening a hair salon here in the city when
25 she graduates. But, Mrs. Evans, you are
1 telling her no. What kind of plan is that?
2 I call it no incentive for young business
3 leaders and then we are all wondering why we
4 are leaving. Her plans are to move out of
5 the city if she can't get a loan when it's
6 time for her to open up her salon.
7 Last, when most of us apply for a
8 job, a criminal background check needs to be
9 done. My question is as seated government
10 officials and those running for government
11 seats, are they required to have a criminal
12 check done? If not, it's time to make a
13 motion or a law that every seated or anyone
14 running for office must have a clear
15 criminal record. I certainly do not want
16 someone making decisions for our city if
17 they do have a record and there is a rumor
18 floating around, and it's a rumor, it's only
19 a rumor or hearsay that there is someone
20 running for office that may have one.
21 I feel an investigation needs to be
22 done to clarify this rumor or that person,
23 whoever it may be, needs to step up to the
24 plate and be honest. You know, we all make
25 mistakes, honesty and integrity is what
1 really counts here and I am hoping that the
2 Scranton Times, and I'm looking at ya, takes
3 my concerns seriously and does an
4 investigation and I hope you are listening,
5 I hope you are listening to me, does an
6 investigation because after all,
7 Scrantonians have the right to know this.
8 If there is someone with the
9 criminal background who was seated now, not
10 only on city council, school board,
11 whatever, there needs to be an
12 investigation. When you work with children
13 or you work in the nursing field any kind of
14 work today a criminal background check is
15 done. It's time that that was done and I'm
16 hoping that seriously the Times takes this
17 and looks into it. Thank you, and have a
18 good evening.
19 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?
20 MR. DOBRZYN: Good evening, Council,
21 Dave Dobrzyn. Member of the Taxpayers', a
22 resident of Scranton. On 5-B, is it? I was
23 wondering how would this apply to
24 discharging a firearm inside a home in the
25 event of a somewhat egregious home invasion,
1 because if somebody just decides to kick in
2 your door and come in and see what they can
3 get and is possibly armed themselves, it's a
4 question. Maybe you can address it after
5 because that would be a concern. I don't
6 see where -- I see people on open carrier
7 and I think --
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: I think you are
9 allowed to defend your home, and I would
10 defer to Mr. Minora.
11 MR. DOBRZYN: I certainly hope so,
12 and on 7-C I'd like to reiterate Andy
13 Sbaraglia's concerns here. We can't afford
14 to lose anymore money. And on this, it was
15 just mentioned on criminal background
16 checks, well, you know, our state isn't very
17 forgiving on any criminal activity no matter
18 how many years ago it happened, but they
19 sure know where to come when they want taxes
20 paid, you know, so after awhile I think
21 maybe we should be looking into some laws
22 that kind of forgive people and let them
23 rejoin society instead of having them
24 marginalized for a lifetime and unable to
25 find certain jobs or unable to get student
1 loans or what have you. There is a time for
2 forgiveness. I mean, when something is
3 years and years old and behind and they
4 haven't been arrested since and so forth
5 unless it's something like some child
6 molesting pervert or something that, you
7 know, or a murder, whatever, you know, it's
8 time to start -- for society to be a little
10 And few weeks ago I tuned in on ECTV
11 and I seen the mayor and Austin Burke, and I
12 kind of agree with Mayor Doherty on cities
13 are going to come back because they have to
14 with the energy and so forth, the energy
15 problems we are facing in the future, people
16 are going to have to reconcentrate and
17 that's all there is to it. But, we had a
18 manufacture's fair and when Austin Burke
19 spoke I often felt that Mr. Jackowicz was
20 being a little tough on him or whatever, but
21 he kind of gave a willy-nilly approach to
22 courting outside manufacturers.
23 For instance, we had a manufacturing
24 fair a couple of months ago, I think it was
25 up at the Montage and a man was looking at
1 solar panels, manufacture of solar panels to
2 come in here, and I often wondered -- I
3 wondered at that time when I heard Austin
4 Burke speak are you ever trying to get
5 people like that in to at least review the
6 feasibility of having one of these people
7 relocate in town because, I mean, with
8 manufacturing you don't have to be a rocket
9 scientist, with these trade packs whether we
10 realize it or not we are obligating our
11 children to walk out of school as rocket
12 scientists and possibly there is no
13 guarantee, if you go to college, there is no
14 guarantee that you will ever work in the
15 field. There is no real guarantee and we
16 are obligating ourselves to -- might I
17 point out for four years of well-healed
18 college about $120,000. Otherwise, our kid
19 could be become a smashing failure some day
20 or unable to support himself or whatever.
21 So that's something to think about. We
22 really need to once again try to get some
23 manufacturers in here and instead of office
24 space. Offices don't -- in my opinion don't
25 create much more than paper, some recyclable
1 paper. So thank you and have a good night
2 and end of sermon.
3 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?
4 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Hello, Bill.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Hi, Chris.
6 MR. SLEDENZSKI: Well, Bill, what
7 happened last week? We got crushed. This
8 week, Bill. Look at my shirt, Billy. Look
9 at that, Billy.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Once from westsider
11 always a westsider.
12 MR. SLEDENZSKI: That's right,
13 Billy. That's right, Baby.
14 MS. SCHUMACHER: Good evening. Marie
15 Schumacher, resident and member of the
16 Taxpayers' Association. Regarding 5-C, do
17 any of the three of you believe that that
18 building has a market value of over
19 $1 million? If not, you must vote against
20 subordinating the city's position.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: 7-C.
22 MS. SCHUMACHER: That was last week,
23 I guess, maybe even two weeks ago, sorry.
24 But, yes, that building I don't think we
25 need to be put in last place yet again.
1 Do we have any idea when we are
2 going to get the audit report?
3 MS. EVANS: I'll address that under
5 MS. SCHUMACHER: Thank you. The sign
6 restricting the truck traffic on Seymour
7 Avenue from 307 has not been repositioned
8 and is only readable remember from the --
9 not from the north or south, but only from
10 the critters across the street, and since
11 the critters don't drive those heavy
12 excavating trucks it would be nice if we
13 could get that sign repositioned so that the
14 truckers could read it and hopefully obey it
15 even maybe.
16 MR. MCGOFF: I think -- I'll address
17 it later, I'm sorry.
18 MS. SCHUMACHER: And I have noticed
19 over the past several weeks the city or
20 Borough of Dunmore has been having e-mail
21 retention problems and I just wondered do we
22 have a policy in the City of Scranton on
23 retention of e-mails which are city records?
24 MS. EVANS: The only thing I could
25 say would be that since the new
1 Right-to-Know Act has occurred all e-mails I
2 believe would be from that point forward
3 would be public information. For example,
4 any council member e-mailing our office that
5 should be public information, the responses
6 we receive back.
7 MS. SCHUMACHER: But how long are
8 they retained? The issue is retention and
9 if it's more than 30 days. If we don't --
10 MS. EVANS: That I don't know.
11 MS. SCHUMACHER: My only point is if
12 we don't have a policy I think we probably
13 need to have one developed --
14 MS. GARVEY: I believe it's 90 days.
15 I believe it's 90, but I'll have to check.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
17 MS. SCHUMACHER: That may not even
18 meet muster, that might -- you might want to
19 review that. Again, I attended the hearing
20 yesterday on the sale or the proposals to
21 utilize the Army Reserve Center up on Colfax
22 Avenue, and at this meeting I learned
23 something interesting aside from what the
24 Howard Gardener School does, which was very
25 exciting any and of itself, but I learned
1 that the chamber wants to rebrand this area
2 as a community of learning, so I guess we
3 are seating ourselves to being a college
4 town, which I guess may not be entirely bad,
5 but I would hope that you the city council
6 would start looking at what some of the
7 other states are doing. You look no further
8 than Rhode Island where they currently are
9 discussing -- their legislature is
10 discussing two things which I think would be
11 good for the City of Scranton and the
12 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
13 First, they are a proposing a
14 student tax of $150 per semester which would
15 apply to 95 percent of the graduate,
16 undergraduate and medical students. It
17 would be up to the school whether they would
18 assess each student or if they would raise
19 money to pay that some other way.
20 They have another law that they are
21 looking at and debating to partially do away
22 with the property tax assessment for large
23 nonprofits requiring those with holdings
24 valued over $20 million to pay property tax
25 at 25 percent of the normal rate, and I
1 think that is another thing, and I'm sure
2 there are things around in the other states
3 that might benefit us if somebody would take
4 a look.
5 I also notice in the paper that the
6 federal government has given amnesty to the
7 people who were hiding their money offshore
8 at least in Switzerland, and I think if it's
9 good enough for the federal government it
10 should be good enough for the City of
11 Scranton. I looked with dismay on all of
12 the properties that were up for sherif's
13 sale yesterday or that upside down or
14 whatever the heck, I don't know what it
15 means, anyway.
16 If I may just finish on the school.
17 I would ask that you would look into the
18 proposal of the Howard Gardener has made for
19 the utilization of that property, and where
20 the mayor's plan might fight in the capital
21 budget with all of the lists, long lists of
22 capital projects that are unfunded and maybe
23 vote to send a letter supporting the Howard
24 Gardener School which would have to be in by
25 the 30th of this month. Thank you.
1 MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council.
2 My name is Nancy Krake. This November's
3 general election there is one candidate for
4 mayor. Mayor Doherty is running for
5 governor of Pennsylvania in 2010. Strangely
6 enough, he is also running for mayor of
7 Scranton in 2009. That's all of the office
8 he has indicated up to now, as far as I
9 know. However, the mayor still has time to
10 pick out a few other offices to run for, so
11 he may be a candidate for congress or state
12 representative and mayor and governor. When
13 will he have time to run the city? Does he
14 expect to be paid while he stumps across the
15 state? That would be theft of services.
16 He is so convinced he has done such
17 a great job in Scranton raising taxes
18 27 percent, burying us in long-term debt,
19 dragging down the authorities with the job
20 after job for friends and allowing NCC and
21 Abrahamsen, Moran and Conaboy to pillage and
22 plunder the homeowners of this city. Come
23 to think of it, maybe he is running away
24 from the mess he has created.
25 Either way, I hope he is ready for
1 his actions to be exposed by the real press.
2 The real press exists outside this one
3 newspaper town. The Scranton Times turns a
4 deaf ear to anything even remotely
5 controversial this mayor does. Every
6 speaker, Ozzie Quinn, the paper never let
7 the truth get in the way of their
8 Doherty/Times lovefest.
9 There is one candidate for mayor
10 this November, however, you will have to
11 write his name in, Gary DiBileo. Thank you.
12 MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening. Nelson
13 Ancherani, First Amendment Rights. Last
14 week I reported that as a result of a
15 Right-to-Know letter to Stu Renda
16 information received by me was for the
17 period from 2002 through 2009. $1,309,215
18 has been paid to three attorneys
19 representing the city against the fire and
20 police unions. Again, that's $1,309,215.
21 Other persons have been saying that
22 it was over a million dollars that this
23 mayor has paid to fight the unions. It's a
24 lot of money to satisfactory an ego
25 appetite. These are high-priced lawyers,
1 some making as much as $600 an hour to spend
2 over $1 million on attorneys and then we
3 make kids pay to swim.
4 I also mentioned last week that
5 Attorney George Reihner's information was
6 requested, but that the information was
7 excluded. Just to refresh everyone's
8 memories I, understand Attorney Reihner
9 represents Mrs. Gatelli in her private
10 lawsuit against Doherty deceit website owner
11 Joe Pilcheski. From what I understand,
12 Attorney Reihner has been paid upwards of
13 $30,000 by the city on that private lawsuit.
14 I would have liked to ask Mrs. Gatelli if
15 she has paid that money back to the city as
16 this is a private lawsuit, but she is not
17 here. If the information I'm requesting on
18 my Right-to-Know letter had been included I
19 wouldn't have to ask the question, but I
20 guess I would have anyway.
21 Last week I asked what was going on
22 or what was not going on at the Connell
23 building. Did the construction work stop
24 there? Every time I go by I don't see any
25 construction workers. Anybody else see any
1 construction workers? I see workers working
2 on the $35 million parking garage that is
3 connected to the Connell building, but no
4 one at the Connell building, unless they are
5 invisible. Did we run out of the
6 $35 million already since the Scranton
7 Parking Authority was going to default on
8 the bond payment and since they forgave
9 $665,000 to Molly Brannigan's before they
10 skipped town. Will the city taxpayers be
11 responsible for the loans and how could they
12 with be defaulting anyway on any bonds or
13 loans when $879,000 was given to the Parking
14 Authority from the 2009 budget for parking,
15 citation issuers. It's a lot of money and
16 they'd have to have a lot of issuers.
17 What's going on, three businesses
18 defaulting on their loans to the tune of
19 $722,000, now the Ice Box closed. What
20 about our $600,000 for the old DPW property
21 where the Ice Box is located? Now that they
22 are closed is that money to be gone also?
23 What about the $2 million that was lost
24 through accounting errors at the tax office?
25 How much is that now when we add in the
1 5.5 million American Anglican arbitration
2 loss and the 250,000 plus for the torn down
3 former Casey parking garage? When we total
4 it out it's over $11.6 million. Now I see
5 why we can't let kids swim free, we are busy
6 throwing good money after bad.
7 There is so much more, but don't
8 worry, Taxpayers, you will foot the bills,
9 and as I said before, grab your ankles and
10 kiss your butts goodbye. Thank you.
11 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?
12 Mrs. Evans?
13 MS. EVANS: Thank you. Good evening.
14 At last week's council meeting, I stated
15 that Mr. Robert Scopelitti, executive
16 director of the Scranton Parking Authority,
17 would attend a public caucus this evening to
18 discuss the financial status of the Scranton
19 Parking Authority and it's give-aways to the
20 former Molly Brannigan's Restaurant and Pub.
21 Although, Mr. Scopelitti had agreed
22 to speak to council in it's back office,
23 rather than in public, he has since
24 declined. After he met with the Scranton
25 Parking Authority Board and solicitor, it
1 was decided he would not attend tonight's
2 caucus. Since his meeting was scheduled in
3 the back office by Mr. McGoff, it is now
4 quite obvious that Mr. Scopelitti, the
5 Scranton Parking Authority Board and
6 solicitor are, indeed, trying to avoid city
7 council. It is inexcusable that the meeting
8 was cancelled, particularly since it was
9 members of council who approved the Parking
10 Authority's $35 million bond issues, revenue
11 bond issue, and who also approved OECD loans
12 to some of the Authority's tenants.
13 It seems the Parking Authority
14 wishes to continue it's pattern of secrecy
15 and skirt accountability and transparency.
16 Apparently the board, solicitor, and
17 administrators have forgotten that the city
18 pledged it's full faith and credit for it's
19 loans, therefore, it is the taxpayers who
20 are responsible for the Parking Authority's
21 debt should it fail to meet it's financial
22 obligations. In other words, the Parking
23 Authority cannot go bankrupt. These
24 payments by law will be made and if not made
25 by the revenue from the Parking Authority it
1 will be made through the taxing power of the
2 citizens of the Scranton.
3 In addition, in December 2008, the
4 Parking Authority received a million dollar
5 line of credit to balance it's 2009 budget
6 and funds remained to carry over actually
7 into this year. Now, Mr. Scopelitti is
8 seeking another line of credit to pay end of
9 year bills for 2009. It appears the
10 Scranton Parking Authority is on very shaky
11 financial ground despite Mr. Scopelitti's
13 We did receive, as President McGoff
14 indicated under announcements, a letter
15 today from Mr. Paul A. Kelly. I'm assuming
16 he is the solicitor or one of the solicitors
17 to the Scranton Parking Authority. I'm not
18 going to read the entire letter, but I will
19 skip to the third paragraph:
20 "Further, as you know the Scranton
21 Parking Authority is a separate legal entity
22 and we wish to keep the lines of
23 communication open, however, any future
24 appearances by Mr. Scopelitti or any other
25 Scranton Parking Authority personnel must be
1 conducted in council caucus not to be taped
2 or aired by television media."
3 Now, in response to this letter, I
4 move to send a letter to Mr. Paul Kelly
5 indicating that because the public is
6 ultimately responsible for the revenue bond
7 debt of the Parking Authority, any caucus
8 conducted between city council and the
9 Scranton Parking Authority will be held in
10 council chambers and it will be televised.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
12 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All in
13 favor signify by saying aye.
14 MS. EVANS: Aye.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Opposed? No. The ayes
17 have it and so moved.
18 MS. EVANS: Now, if I might, I just
19 wanted to further explain, a revenue bond is
20 very different from other types of bonds.
21 For example, the interest rate for a revenue
22 bond is typically higher and the bond rating
23 for a revenue bond is typically lower. It
24 is often called a double-barrel bond, and as
25 I stated before legally the bonds can never
1 be in default because the City of Scranton
2 pledged it's full faith and credit behind it
3 which means the power of taxation.
4 Now, if the Parking Authority were
5 unable to meet it's financial obligations,
6 and it is quite difficult today to approach
7 any for refinancing for a line of credit,
8 for loans, in fact, because of the
9 struggling national economy, we as a city
10 council and the mayor would have to provide
11 the funds for payment of their revenue bond
12 issues within the city's operating budget
13 and it is not farfetched to say this could
14 happen even in the 2010 budget, but let's be
15 frank, the city has no reserve upon which it
16 can draw to make these payments. Who does
17 that leave? The taxpayers.
18 And so you see, Mr. Scopelitti and
19 the board of directors of the Scranton
20 Parking Authority do indeed hold a
21 significant responsibility to answer to
22 Scranton City Council and to the taxpayers
23 of Scranton, and I will not submit questions
24 that can be answered by their attorneys.
25 They will come to council or council will
1 come to them.
2 Also, many speakers tonight had a
3 question about the 2008 independent audit.
4 Council, as I mentioned earlier, did receive
5 a draft copy of the 2008 independent audit
6 today. The city's management and discussion
7 analysis section must be prepared in the
8 near future and the exit conference must be
9 scheduled, and so council does hope to have
10 the final audit on it's agenda within the
11 next, let us say, possibly two weeks.
12 Last week, I was informed by a Times
13 reporter that a revised Recovery Plan will
14 be presented to council in November for it's
15 approval. The presentation of the plan will
16 coincide with the submission of the mayor's
17 2010 operating budget. I believe that the
18 Pennsylvania Economy League or PEL is
19 attempting to railroad a Recovery Plan
20 through city council prior to any potential
21 changes in Scranton's elected leadership.
22 Elected offices, as you know, will not be
23 decided until the November election. The
24 city council majority may change in
25 January 2010, thus, allowing a lame duck
1 council to approve a revised Recovery Plan
2 rather than the council who must work with
3 it for the next four years.
4 Equally important, Scranton mayor
5 seems more interested in a Harrisburg office
6 than he is in another term in city hall.
7 Devoting a significant amount of time and
8 attention to his potential run for the
9 governor's office, Mr. Doherty may well be
10 neglecting his responsibilities to his home
11 city. As the financial house of cards and
12 economic development come tumbling down, the
13 mayor is trying to make a rapid escape. He
14 should focus on his current job, the job he
15 disingenuously proclaimed he wanted for
16 another term and clean up his mess in
18 Thus, Scrantonians may elect a mayor
19 who wants to leave shortly into his new term
20 of office. If PEL is genuinely sincere in
21 any attempts to assist our city in lifting
22 it's distressed status, it will wait until
23 2010 to present it's revised Recovery Plan
24 to the elected officials and taxpayers of
25 Scranton. It should not tie the hands of
1 our city's next council and mayor. However,
2 Mr. Doherty has openly violated his own
3 Recovery Plan for the last seven or
4 eight years while the Pennsylvania Economy
5 League enabled him with its silence and
6 council members predictably supported his
7 agenda. The Doherty administration has set
8 a precedent of violations opening the door
9 to potential future violations.
10 If PEL and DCED are serious about a
11 revised Recovery Plan and lifting Scranton's
12 distressed status, they will wait and work
13 with the elected officials who will serve
14 our city for the next four years and present
15 their plan to the people throughout the
16 sections of our city. To present it's plan
17 in 2009 is to work against not only elected
18 officials, but also the taxpayers of
19 Scranton, many of whom already view the
20 Pennsylvania Economy League as an albatross.
21 Many taxpayers perceive the expired Recovery
22 Plan as a failure that swelled management
23 positions and salaries, unduly increased
24 taxes, and created historical debt.
25 PEL must work diligently and
1 honestly to restore our confidence in a
2 revised Recovery Plan and to a swage
3 formidable opposition. Appropriate timing
4 of the Recovery Plan presentation to council
5 can be the first act of good faith by PEL
6 toward the taxpayers of Scranton.
7 Next, Kay, were you able to locate
8 any legislation concerning dumpsters or
9 trash compactors since last week?
10 MS. GARVEY: No, nothing that
11 pertained to that particular issue. It was
12 just I believe like 15 feet from, you know,
13 like a residence or something like that
14 would have been allowed, but nothing
16 MS. EVANS: Okay. Thank you. In the
17 event though I would hope that the matter
18 between the residents of the Hill Section
19 and the University of Scranton would not be
20 amicably and satisfactorily taken care of, I
21 would like city council to look into
22 drafting an ordinance that would pertain to
23 the location of trash compactors within
24 residential neighborhoods.
25 I also wanted to address a question
1 that was posed to me earlier this evening by
2 a speaker regarding business loans, OECD
3 business loans, and I believe the speaker
4 made a statement that I am against all
5 business loans, and frankly, nothing could
6 be further from the truth. If one were to
7 examine my voting record over the last six
8 years, I have approved many loans that have
9 been given through OECD. However, I don't
10 approve loans that turn into let us say a
11 grant, a freebie, a loan that will never be
12 repaid. I don't approve loans that I
13 consider to be a poor risk after I have done
14 the research on the particular business and
15 I will not approve any such loans going
16 forward either.
17 When a business applies for a loan
18 and they have proven themselves to be a
19 viable business with the proper background
20 and the ability to make repayment and they
21 also reflect an absence of tax liens against
22 them, then I will be vote in favor as I have
23 always done. When that is not part of the
24 picture, I will continue to vote "no."
25 And finally, I have citizens'
1 requests for the week: The corner of Olive
2 Street and Wheeler Avenue, the house is
3 boarded up and the property is again
4 overgrown with high grass and weeds. By the
5 curb, the fire hydrant is blocked from view
6 by high weeds. This problem was cleaned and
7 cut during the last several months by a
8 neighbor and by my husband. Please contact
9 the property owner who must take
10 responsibility and the city ordinances must
11 be enforced.
12 PEL summaries. Council requests
13 summaries of meetings between PEL and city
14 representatives. The last summary received
15 was for August 10, 2009. Also, please
16 provide detailed summaries since previous
17 cursory summaries are of little value to
19 Since April 2009, I have requested
20 from Mr. Stu Renda information regarding all
21 management employees. Salaries, health care
22 contributions, etcetera. Council's office
23 will have several requests for this
24 information on file. Kay, I would like to
25 send a Right-to-Know request to Mr. Renda
1 for this information as soon as possible.
2 Refer to prior letters for the exact
3 information being requested, and again, it
4 is inexcusable that the business manager
5 failed to provide information requested by
6 elected officials of Scranton.
7 Further, identical information
8 regarding union employees, identical
9 information regarding union employees was
10 supplied in April or May 2009 to
11 Councilwoman Fanucci. Consequently, there
12 is no reason to justify Mr. Renda's
13 deliberate failure to provide management
15 An update on North Cameron Avenue
16 flooding: A PennDOT engineer will assess
17 the flooding issues within two weeks. Both
18 Representative Murphy's office and PennDOT
19 were shocked by photos from a ten-minute
20 rainstorm supplied by Mr. Newcomb. They
21 have assured residents of North Cameron
22 Avenue that they will not let the issue rest
23 and this is indeed very encouraging news
24 since the city has failed to properly
25 address the problem for years.
1 And finally, please provide an
2 update on the progress of the Connell
3 Building to Scranton City Council, and
4 that's it.
5 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Courtright?
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes, I would like
7 to compliment the Scranton Fire Department.
8 Last week directly across the street from my
9 karate school there was a fire and I
10 happened to be there when it initiated, and
11 there is not one person that was standing
12 there in the beginning watching thinking
13 that the whole block was going to go. I
14 mean, we all believed the whole block was
15 going to go. They got there, they called
16 the second alarm right away. They not only
17 saved the building that was on fire, but
18 neither building on either side received any
19 fire damage, maybe some smoke damage, so
20 they just in my opinion did an unbelievably
21 good job and I would like to congratulate
22 them for that.
23 Fellows Park, as the gentleman said
24 earlier, I was not here last week I was out
25 of town, and Mr. Seitzinger did inform me
1 that they tore that house down and I want to
2 thank him for that. I will ask them to be
3 pursuing the two on Emmett Street. I went
4 there after the last meeting the next
5 morning they are really, really bad. I went
6 up on the porch to see the date that they
7 were condemned, it was 2005, and all day
8 long I feel like I had bugs on me from
9 walking on that porch, so I wouldn't want to
10 live in that neighborhood.
11 I forget, someone brought up a
12 curfew for 18 years old, I don't remember
13 who it was, but the mayor of West Pittston,
14 Bill Gouldsworthy, happens to be a friend of
15 mine and I had just had this discussion with
16 him last week. They do have a curfew in
17 their town, and I don't know if it would be
18 something that would fit in Scranton, but he
19 seems to think it's worked extremely well in
20 his town. They also have an ordinance that
21 does not allow anybody under the age of I
22 believe 18 or maybe 16 to smoke in public in
23 their town, and that has also worked out
24 well for them, so I don't know if it's a
25 good fit for the City of Scranton or not,
1 but if we are willing to do that maybe Mayor
2 Goldsworthy would be somebody we would want
3 to speak to.
4 And I don't know if it's something I
5 should talk about, I don't have a criminal
6 background, as far as I know. I have never
7 been arrested but -- -
8 MR. DOBRZYN: Are you sure about
9 that, Bill?
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm pretty sure,
11 but I think there is only certain things
12 that would prevent us from running from
13 office, and as the speaker said we have all
14 made mistakes, you know, in the past and
15 especially I think if it was a mistake maybe
16 we made when we were a minor, you know. I
17 think some of us have done some things that
18 we are not proud of. I think some of us
19 have done some things that we might be happy
20 we got away it with, and as you get older I
21 think you realize that more and more, so I
22 don't know if anybody up here has a criminal
23 background or not, but I think if
24 it's something that would prevent you from
25 running then maybe the public needs to know
1 about it, but if it's something that would
2 be considered harmless, and I'm not trying
3 to trivialize anything that's a crime, but
4 how many children have gotten grabbed
5 possibly say for underage drinking? You
6 know, I know we don't want to admit that,
7 but I think there has been quite a few in
8 this town that that's happened to and I
9 don't think that should prevent them from
10 running, and I don't think it does prevent
11 them from running.
12 Am I against saying our background,
13 no, but I don't think dredging up something
14 maybe that was minor when we were kids is
15 necessary if, in fact, that's the case. If
16 it's something worse, obviously. And I
17 think that's all I have. Thank you.
18 MS. EVANS: Mr. Courtright, if I
19 could just add something to what you are
20 saying, I don't believe the city though has
21 any laws pertaining to the subject that you
22 just discussed, I think the laws are set by
23 the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and then,
24 of course, we have many rules and
25 regulations that must be adhered to that are
1 set by the county, specifically, the Office
2 of the Voter Registration, and I know, for
3 example, and you might remember this,
4 several years ago I was very interested in
5 pay-to-play legislation for the City of
6 Scranton setting a ceiling on the amount,
7 the dollar amount of contributions that
8 could be received by any candidate running
9 for city office, and I was prevented from
10 doing so because it is the state that
11 determines that law and it would be the
12 state legislature who would have to amend
13 that law concerning pay-to-play and that
14 Scranton, for example, would have been in
15 violation of state laws in order to pass any
16 such legislation.
17 So I do think probably what was
18 being inferred earlier is already covered by
19 state law and I think we've seen the -- we
20 have seen some of that even in practice
21 locally when an individual has been
22 convicted of, was it a felony crime, they
23 can't pursue -- or they can pursue an
24 office, but they can't serve.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: That's right.
1 MS. EVANS: That may have been the
2 situation, so I don't believe that anyone on
3 a city level is able to draft and pass such
4 legislation. I think you know. As I said.
5 It's already covered by the State of
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Let me just say
8 this, the reason I brought it up was a few
9 years back someone, I guess I could consider
10 him a friend, was running for an office, not
11 city council, here in this city and I'll
12 never forget at a political campaign party,
13 I believe it was at Shooter's, someone
14 saying to this individual, "You can't run
15 for office, you have been arrested."
16 And he pretty much knew right then
17 and there he was able to run. I don't think
18 it was a felony that he was convicted of and
19 it was something that this individual had
20 done when they were younger and probably
21 that much us have done similar to what he
22 had done. I didn't, but other people might
23 have. But anyway, I'll never forget it. It
24 was many years ago when I very first ran for
25 office and so I listened intently to see
1 what they were saying, and this individual
2 knew right away they were able to run and,
3 in fact, he did allude to the fact that it
4 wasn't local, it was state that created the
5 laws, but I'll leave it at that. Thank you.
6 MR. MCGOFF: I would just like to
7 address the issue of the Parking Authority
8 and Mr. Scopelitti's declining our request
9 to attend caucus. Also, contained in the
10 letter that Mrs. Evans referenced was the
11 statements that requested council make a
12 formal request for the appearance of the
13 executive director and any Scranton Parking
14 Authority's materials council may want to
15 review and that council make this formal
16 request and that all issues council may wish
17 to discuss may be listed in said request. I
18 don't think that that's an unreasonable --
19 MS. EVANS: We did that though.
20 MR. MCGOFF: -- request. Excuse me.
21 I don't think that that's unreasonable. I
22 believe that if we want honest and open
23 answers to questions from anyone coming to
24 caucus that they should have a prior
25 knowledge of what it is that is being
1 requested so --
2 MR. SPINDLER: So they can rehears.
3 MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me, you had your
4 opportunity. Also, claims of the -- claims
5 of default that are being made or claims
6 that the Parking Authority may default on
7 paying it's bills are supposition, they are
8 not facts and yet they are being presented
9 to the public as facts.
10 Also, claims of forgiveness of rent
11 may be misleading. What was reported may
12 not be the entirety of the truth concerning
13 Brannigans, and I also believe that, and the
14 reason I voted against Mrs. Evans' motion, I
15 think that that motion pretty much
16 guarantees that no one from the Parking
17 Authority will appear at a caucus.
18 MR. SPINDLER: Subpoena them.
19 MR. MCGOFF: Please leave,
20 Mr. Spindler.
21 MR. SPINDLER: All right. You don't
22 have to ask.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
24 MR. SPINDLER: You are pathetic.
25 MR. MCGOFF: I think if history --
1 if we can use history as a reference point,
2 the attempts to subpoena public officials
3 end up in the courts and they never appear.
4 I will reference the former tax collector of
5 the infamous Single Tax Office who, you
6 know, we still have not been able to get any
7 resolution on that issue and I think that
8 that's what's going to happen whenever we
9 request someone from the Parking Authority
10 to appear that they will simply go to court
11 and claim that they do not have to appear
12 and we will never get the information that
13 we want.
14 I wish that Mr. Scopelitti appeared
15 this evening at caucus. It would have
16 solved, you know, a lot of problems for us.
17 We could have gotten the information, but he
18 didn't and they decided to pursue this in
19 another way. I think if we want -- if we
20 want the information then that has been
21 requested then we need to pursue it in a
22 different way. We are not going to get it
23 by making demands that are going to end up
24 in the court. I think we need to have
25 answers. I wish that we could have found
1 another way of deriving at them, another
2 resolution to the problem. Hopefully, in
3 the next couple of weeks we can.
4 Mr. Scopelitti did indicate to me
5 that any information that was requested from
6 council if it was in written form would be
7 replied to immediately. I don't know if
8 that will satisfy what people want, but it
9 may be at least a step towards getting the
10 information that we need.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: Mr. McGoff, can I
12 ask one question, please?
13 MR. MCGOFF: Sure.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: I was wondering,
15 Kay, if you could find out for us, I have no
16 idea who is on the board of the Parking
17 Authority. Could you possibly get that list
18 for us? It just dawned on me I have no clue
19 who is on that board because am I correct in
20 saying that the board agreed that that's
21 what would take place, they wouldn't come or
22 was it just Mr. Scopelitti and the attorney?
23 MR. MCGOFF: The letter indicates he
24 is complying with the Scranton Parking
25 Authority Board's directive.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: All right. If you
2 don't mind, Kay. Thank you.
3 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
4 MS. EVANS: But just for clarity's
5 sake, council had made a formal request and
6 that request was made with the agreement of
7 council members, and so again the argument
8 doesn't really hold water.
9 MR. MCGOFF: Prior to Fifth Order,
10 prior to a 5-B I would like to make a motion
11 that Mr. Courtright be named temporary chair
12 for the Committee on Community Development.
13 MS. EVANS: Second.
14 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All in
15 favor signify by saying aye.
16 MS. EVANS: Aye.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The ayes
19 have it and so moved. Mrs. Garvey?
20 MS. GARVEY: Before beginning with
21 Fifth Order I just want to make a
22 correction. There is typo in the agenda
23 that appeared. In Fifth Order there are two
24 items that are enumerated 5-B, so that's
25 just a typo, so where you see the first 5-B
1 that's correct and then we'll move on from
2 there to 5-C, D, E and F.
3 MS. GARVEY: 5-B. FOR INTRODUCTION -
4 AN ORDINANCE - TO AMEND CHAPTER 232 OF THE
5 CODE OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO REPEAL
6 ARTICLE I OF CHAPTER 232 TITLED "FIREARMS"
7 AND REPLACE WITH A NEW ARTICLE I TITLED
8 "FIREARMS", TO PROVIDE FOR DEFINITIONS,
9 DISCHARGE OF FIREARMS AND FAILURE TO REPORT
10 LOST OR STOLEN FIREARMS, AND RENUMBERING THE
11 REMAINING SECTIONS OF CHAPTER 232 IN
12 SEQUENTIAL ORDER.
13 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
14 entertain a motion that Item 5-B be
15 introduced into it's proper committee.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
17 MS. EVANS: Second.
18 MR. MCGOFF: On the question?
19 MS. EVANS: Yes. Mr. Courtright, can
20 you possibly summarize for the public the
21 new article on Firearms of Chapter 232 of
22 the city code that's supposed to replace the
23 previous article?
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah. One of the
25 things they wanted to do is it's requiring
1 you if you have a firearm that's lost or
2 stolen that you report it within a 48-hour
3 period, and also the discharging of a
4 firearm in the City of Scranton with
5 somebody other than a police officer
6 carrying out their duties.
7 MS. EVANS: Okay. Thank you.
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: You are welcome.
9 MR. MCGOFF: All those in favor
10 signify by saying aye.
11 MS. EVANS: Aye.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
14 ayes have it and so moved.
15 MS. GARVEY: 5-C. FOR INTRODUCTION -
16 A RESOLUTION - APPOINTMENT OF PETER P.
17 CUPPLE, M.D., 1656 SANDERSON AVENUE,
18 SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18509, AS A MEMBER
19 OF THE HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURE REVIEW BOARD
20 FOR AN ADDITIONAL FIVE (5) YEAR TERM. DR.
21 CUPPLE'S CURRENT TERM EXPIRES ON OCTOBER 11,
22 2009 AND HIS NEW TERM WILL EXPIRE ON OCTOBER
23 11, 2014.
24 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
25 entertain a motion that Item 5-C be
1 introduced into it's proper committee.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
3 MS. EVANS: Second.
4 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
5 in favor signify by saying aye.
6 MS. EVANS: Aye.
7 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
8 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
9 ayes have it and so moved.
10 MS. GARVEY: 5-D. FOR INTRODUCTION -
11 A RESOLUTION - APPOINTMENT OF RICHARD J.
12 LEONORI, AIA, 848 NORTH IRVING AVENUE,
13 SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18510, AS A MEMBER
14 OF THE HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURE REVIEW BOARD
15 FOR AN ADDITIONAL (5) YEAR TERM. MR.
16 LEONORI'S CURRENT TERM EXPIRES ON OCTOBER
17 11, 2009 AND HIS NEW TERM WILL EXPIRE ON
18 OCTOBER 11, 2014.
19 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
20 entertain a motion that Item 5-D be
21 introduced into it's proper committee.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
23 MS. EVANS: Second.
24 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
25 in favor signify by saying aye.
1 MS. EVANS: Aye.
2 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
3 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
4 ayes have it and so moved.
5 MS. GARVEY: 5-E. FOR INTRODUCTION -
6 A RESOLUTION - APPOINTMENT OF JOHN T.
7 COGNETTI, 917 SUNSET STREET, SCRANTON,
8 PENNSYLVANIA, 18509, AS A MEMBER OF THE
9 HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURE REVIEW BOARD FOR AN
10 ADDITIONAL FIVE (5) YEAR TERM. MR.
11 COGNETTI'S CURRENT TERM EXPIRES ON OCTOBER
12 11, 2009 AND HIS NEW TERM WILL EXPIRE ON
13 OCTOBER 11, 2014.
14 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
15 entertain a motion that Item 5-E be
16 introduced into it's proper committee.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
18 MS. EVANS: Second.
19 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
20 in favor signify by saying aye.
21 MS. EVANS: Aye.
22 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
24 ayes have it and so moved.
25 MS. GARVEY: 5-F. FOR INTRODUCTION -
1 A RESOLUTION - APPOINTMENT OF RALPH A.
2 SCARTELLI, 1208 RUNDLE STREET, SCRANTON,
3 PENNSYLVANIA, 18504, AS A MEMBER OF THE
4 HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURE REVIEW BOARD FOR AN
5 ADDITIONAL FIVE (5) YEAR TERM. MR.
6 SCARTELLI'S CURRENT TERM EXPIRES ON OCTOBER
7 11, 2009 AND HIS NEW TERM WILL EXPIRE ON
8 OCTOBER 11, 2014.
9 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
10 entertain a motion that Item 5-F be
11 introduced into it's proper committee.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
13 MS. EVANS: Second.
14 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
15 in favor signify by saying aye.
16 MS. EVANS: Aye.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
18 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
19 ayes have it and so moved.
20 MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER. NO
21 BUSINESS AT THIS TIME. SEVENTH ORDER. 7-A.
22 FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC
23 SAFETY - FOR ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO.
24 81, 2009 - ESTABLISHING PERMIT PARKING ONLY
25 IN THE 700 BLOCK OF EAST OLIVE STREET FROM
1 MADISON AVENUE TO MOIR COURT.
2 MR. MCGOFF: What is the
3 recommendation of the Chair for the
4 Committee on Public Safety?
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: As Chair for the
6 Committee on Public Safety, I recommend
7 final passage of Item 7-A.
8 MS. EVANS: Second.
9 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
10 call, please?
11 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Evans.
12 MS. EVANS: Yes.
13 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Gatelli. Ms.
14 Fanucci. Mr. Courtright.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
16 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mr. McGoff.
17 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
18 Item 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.
19 MS. GARVEY: 7-B. FOR CONSIDERATION
20 BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT -
21 FOR ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 84, 2009
22 - AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 49, 2006 AS
23 AMENDED ENTITLED, "AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING
24 THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS OF
25 THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO TAKE ALL NECESSARY
1 ACTIONS TO IMPLEMENT THE CONSOLIDATED
2 SUBMISSION FOR COMMUNITY PLANNING AND
3 DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS TO BE FUNDED UNDER THE
4 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG)
5 PROGRAM, HOME INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP (HOME)
6 PROGRAM AND EMERGENCY SHELTER GRANT (ESG)
7 PROGRAM", BY TRANSFERRING $241,000.00 FROM
8 PROJECT 07-225 SLIBCO TO PROJECT 05-154
9 FRIENDSHIP HOUSE.
10 MR. MCGOFF: What is the
11 recommendation of the Temporary Chairperson
12 for the Committee on Community Development?
13 MR. COURTRIGHT: As Temporary Chair
14 for the Committee on Community Development,
15 I recommend final passage of Item 7-B.
16 MR. EVANS: Second.
17 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
18 call, please?
19 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Evans.
20 MS. EVANS: Yes.
21 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Gatelli. Ms.
22 Fanucci. Mr. Courtright.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
24 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mr. McGoff.
25 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
1 Item 7-B legally and lawfully adopted.
2 MS. GARVEY: 7-C. FOR CONSIDERATION -
3 BY THE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT -
4 FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 175, 2009 -
5 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE
6 CITY OFFICIALS FOR THE CITY OF SCRANTON TO
7 ENTER INTO A SUBORDINATION AGREEMENT TO
8 SUBORDINATE ITS RECORDED MORTGAGE DATED MAY
9 1, 2006 IN THE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT OF
10 $250,000.00, SECURED UPON THE HISTORIC GAR
11 BUILDING LOCATED AT 305 LINDEN STREET,
12 SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA (THE "PROPERTY"), TO
13 A FIRST MORTGAGE IN THE AMOUNT OF
14 $800,000.00 THAT DTK VENTURES, L.P. INTENDS
15 TO GRANT TO FIRST LIBERTY BANK AND TRUST ON
16 THE PROPERTY.
17 MR. MCGOFF: What is the
18 recommendation of the Temporary Chair for
19 the Committee on Community Development?
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: As Temporary Chair
21 for the Committee on Community Development,
22 I recommend final passage of Item 7-C.
23 MS. EVANS: Second.
24 MR. MCGOFF: On the question?
25 MS. EVANS: A few short months ago
1 council considered similar legislation to
2 subordinate a loan for Mr. Brian Murray of
3 Murray Insurance who has since lost his
4 Pennsylvania license to provide insurance.
5 Just as I advised and voted against that
6 loan subordination agreement, I again oppose
7 tonight's legislation to subordinate the
8 city to a second position on yet another
9 loan agreement.
10 The city should be paid in full just
11 as the bank is being paid in full. The city
12 has made too many errors in judgment when
13 awarding business loans and subordinating
14 it's position for repayment of loans. It
15 can ill-afford to risk nonpayment again,
16 particularly in light of several recent
17 loans that have defaulted, become delinquent
18 or seen bankruptcy. I will be voting "no."
19 MR. MCGOFF: This is a refinancing
20 of the loan. The people that had the
21 original loan have been paying on it, the
22 there is reasonable expectation that they
23 will continue to pay on the loan, and a
24 reasonable expectation that it will be
25 benefit to the community. I think that
1 looking at this in light of something that
2 happened in the past is doing a disservice.
3 We should look at this in it's -- as a
4 singularity rather than part of something
5 that is tied to disparate other loans.
6 MS. EVANS: Well, I can look at it in
7 it's singularity and I would say since the
8 individuals are receiving a loan from a
9 second bank and repaying their loan from the
10 original bank and just carrying the city
11 over as part of their loan payments and in
12 the mean time they have increased
13 significantly the dollar amount that is
14 being borrowed from the original loan to the
15 second loan, I believe this new loan will be
16 for $800,000, and certainly the city could
17 have been paid in full and the city should
18 have been paid in full just as the bank, the
19 first bank was paid in full.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else? Roll
21 call, please?
22 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Evans?
23 MS. EVANS: No.
24 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Gatelli. Mrs.
25 Fanucci. Mr. Courtright.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: No.
2 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mr. McGoff.
3 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. Item 7-C is
5 MS. GARVEY: 7-D. FOR CONSIDERATION
6 BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -
7 RESOLUTION NO. 176, 2009 - AUTHORIZING THE
8 MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS
9 TO EXECUTE A MUSIC PERFORMANCE AGREEMENT FOR
10 LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENTITIES WITH BROADCAST
11 MUSIC, INC. ("BMI") TO LICENSE THE
12 PERFORMANCE OF MUSIC EVENTS IN THE CITY OF
13 SCRANTON FOR A FLAT ANNUAL FEE.
14 MR. MCGOFF: As Chair for the
15 Committee on Rules, I recommend final
16 passage of Item 7-D.
17 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
18 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
19 call, please?
20 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Evans.
21 MS. EVANS: Yes.
22 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mrs. Gatelli. Mrs.
23 Fanucci. Mr. Courtright.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
25 MS. MAGNOTTA: Mr. McGoff.
1 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
2 Item 7-D legally and lawfully adopted.
3 MR. COURTRIGHT: Motion to adjourn.
4 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. Thank you
5 for your participation.
3 C E R T I F I C A T E
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
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR
14 OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER