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            1              SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

 

            2

 

            3

 

            4

 

            5                          HELD:

 

            6

 

            7               Tuesday, September 29, 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. PAT SCANLON, SOLICITOR

 

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            1                      (Pledge of Allegiance recited and

 

            2              moment of reflection observed.)

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF:  Roll call.

 

            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, Third Order.

 

           15              3-A.

 

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

 

           17              SCRANTON-LACKAWANNA HEALTH & WELFARE

 

           18              AUTHORITY MEETING HELD ON FEBRUARY 19, 2009.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

           20              If not, received and filed.

 

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

 

           22              SCRANTON-LACKAWANNA HEALTH & WELFARE

 

           23              AUTHORITY MEETING HELD ON JUNE 18, 2009.

 

           24                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

           25              If not, received and filed.


 

 

                                                                       4

 

 

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

 

            2              FIREMEN'S PENSION COMMISSION MEETING HELD ON

 

            3              AUGUST 26, 2009.

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

            5              If not, received and filed.

 

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

 

            7              POLICE PENSION COMMISSION MEETING HELD ON

 

            8              AUGUST 26, 2009.

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

           10              If not, received and filed.

 

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

 

           12              COMPOSITE PENSION BOARD MEETING HELD ON

 

           13              AUGUST 26, 2009.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

           15              If not, received and filed.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF: 3-F. MINUTES OF THE

 

           17              NON-UNIFORM MUNICIPAL PENSION BOARD MEETING

 

           18              HELD ON AUGUST 26, 2009.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

           20              If not, received and filed.

 

           21                      3-G. AGENDA FOR THE NON-UNIFORM

 

           22              MUNICIPAL PENSION BOARD MEETING HELD ON

 

           23              SEPTEMBER 23, 2009.

 

           24                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

           25              If not, received and filed.


 

 

                                                                       5

 

 

            1                      3-H. 2008 AUDIT FOR THE SCRANTON

 

            2              PARKING AUTHORITY.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Are there any comments?

 

            4              If not, received and filed.

 

            5                      MS. GARVEY: That's it for Third

 

            6              Order.

 

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

 

            8              Any announcements from council?

 

            9                      MS. EVANS: Yes.  St. Peter and Paul

 

           10              Roman Catholic Church, 1309 West Locust

 

           11              Street in Scranton will hold a fall festival

 

           12              and bazaar October 11 in the church hall

 

           13              from 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  The festival

 

           14              will feature ethnic Polish foods such as

 

           15              potato pancakes, piggies and haluski as well

 

           16              as theme baskets, children's stands and

 

           17              baked goods.

 

           18                      Dine at Friendly's in Dunmore on

 

           19              Wednesday, October 14, from 5 to 8 p.m.

 

           20              Proceeds will be donated to the St. Francis

 

           21              of Assisi Food Kitchen.  Because of your

 

           22              generosity, last year the Interfaith Friends

 

           23              Committee was able to donate over $6,000 to

 

           24              the food kitchen.  Many people were fed

 

           25              because of your support.  Once again, you


 

 

                                                                       6

 

 

            1              can make a difference and feed those in

 

            2              need.

 

            3                      Holy Name of Jesus Church will

 

            4              conduct it's annual roast beef dinner on

 

            5              October 4 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Parish

 

            6              Hall on Scranton's East Mountain.  Tickets

 

            7              are $9 per adults, $5 for children and can

 

            8              be can be purchased at the door.  The roast

 

            9              beef and the coleslaw, believe me, are out

 

           10              of this world.  Can eat in then takeouts

 

           11              will be available from 11 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

 

           12                      According to ECTV, dates for Comcast

 

           13              channel changes are as follows:  On Monday,

 

           14              October 5, Channel 61 government access will

 

           15              be aired on Channel 19.  Channel 62

 

           16              education will be aired on Channel 21.

 

           17                      Lastly, a reminder to senior

 

           18              citizens, flu vaccine clinics will offer

 

           19              flue shots from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. next

 

           20              Monday at the Downtown Senior Center;

 

           21              Tuesday, October 6, at the South Side Senior

 

           22              Center; Wednesday, October 7, at the West

 

           23              Side Senior Center; Thursday, October 8,

 

           24              Dunmore Senior Center; Friday, October 9,

 

           25              Taylor Senior Center; and on Wednesday,


 

 

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            1              October 14 at the Jewish Community Center in

 

            2              Scranton.  Th shot is free for all seniors

 

            3              with Medicare Part B primary insurance, all

 

            4              Aetna plans, Bravo and High Mark Freedom

 

            5              Blue.  Without proper insurance, the cost is

 

            6              $30.  Remember, it is very important to get

 

            7              your seasonal flu shot.  That's all.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?  Citizens'

 

            9              participation.  Andy Sbaraglia.

 

           10                      MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia.

 

           11              Citizen of Scranton, fellow Scrantonians.  I

 

           12              see you have the audit from the Scranton

 

           13              Parking Authority.  I suppose you all went

 

           14              into it in great depth because the fact is

 

           15              the figures that they give for the -- of

 

           16              course, it's a 2008 audit, I don't see any

 

           17              encouragement in that audit.  I don't see

 

           18              anything at all.  First of all, their

 

           19              long-term debt in 2008 was $52,860,000.

 

           20              That's for the Parking Authority.  That's

 

           21              how much they are in debt for and how much

 

           22              do they generate in income a year?

 

           23              $3,034,331.  Their bond payments are almost

 

           24              three million a year.  Don't you see

 

           25              something is wrong there?  Now they are


 

 

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            1              looking to borrow again.  I don't know, I --

 

            2              some of you weren't here when they had

 

            3              a letter of credit that's granted them and

 

            4              all of the parking revenue is put up as a

 

            5              guarantee.  Mr. Courtright may remember it.

 

            6              Okay, so they have a letter of credit, so

 

            7              chances are you will never see how much they

 

            8              borrow.  All that you know, you can't borrow

 

            9              your way out of debt, and I keep telling you

 

           10              this, there is a sword hanging over the

 

           11              taxpayers in Scranton.  When that rope

 

           12              breaks we are going to get our heads cut off

 

           13              because we have to make it up, and there is

 

           14              no reason for it.  All you have to do if you

 

           15              don't understand the audit, ask somebody to

 

           16              explain it to you.  Explain exactly what's

 

           17              happening.  I mean, the only reason they are

 

           18              not in a big hole now is because they got

 

           19              30-year bonds, okay?  Thirty years from now

 

           20              is when they are going to pay them off.

 

           21              Them garages will be falling apart by then

 

           22              and they can't fix the garage.  You are

 

           23              already taking so many thousands I think to

 

           24              fix the sidewalks for them people.  In other

 

           25              words, they can't even make the repairs on


 

 

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            1              the garages themselves and there is no way

 

            2              they are going to be able to pay it in the

 

            3              next ten years, 15 years when they actually

 

            4              do fall apart and you have to, of course,

 

            5              none of us might not even be here, but

 

            6              somebody is going to be here, your

 

            7              grandchildren are going to be here, I hope.

 

            8              Something you got to really, really get into

 

            9              that audit and really break it down so you

 

           10              know what they are going to do and how much

 

           11              they plan to borrow with their letter of

 

           12              credit and if that letter of credit is still

 

           13              in affect because, believe me, if they can't

 

           14              make it, pay their bills every year, then

 

           15              what good are they?  You might as well sell

 

           16              off the garages and take that yolk from

 

           17              around our necks.  I'm just sorry that you

 

           18              believe that everything is a rosy down

 

           19              there, but believe me, that audit does not

 

           20              say it's rosy.  It says it's marginal.  If

 

           21              it wasn't for the city giving them that

 

           22              million bucks they would have went long ago.

 

           23              I'm sorry to say that.  But I hope you do

 

           24              live up to your responsibility to the city

 

           25              and check into these authorities, all of the


 

 

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            1              authorities and really check out their

 

            2              financial status.  Them audits, an audit is

 

            3              an audit like you keep saying you can do

 

            4              anything with an audit even they are

 

            5              supposed to be accurate, but I can't see any

 

            6              hope for the Scranton Parking Authority, I

 

            7              really can't.

 

            8                      And when, first of all, they are

 

            9              giving away spaces.  I don't know how many

 

           10              spaces they plan to give away to the Connell

 

           11              building, they gave 120 away to the Hilton.

 

           12              That's money lost.  That's revenue lost.  A

 

           13              loss they can't afford to lose.  That's the

 

           14              sad part of it.  Every penny that they get

 

           15              really has to be accounted for.  Just like

 

           16              in your house, if you -- if you have a bill

 

           17              coming up and you know you got to pay that

 

           18              bill then you got to make sure you have

 

           19              money to pay that bill without going to the

 

           20              banks and borrowing the money to pay off the

 

           21              bill because now you got to a bill that's

 

           22              paid off, but you still got to go to the

 

           23              bank, and that's what's happening with the

 

           24              Parking Authority.  They are not getting rid

 

           25              of their bills, they are making more bills.


 

 

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            1              I thank you.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF: Joe Dwyer.

 

            3                      MR. DWYER: Good evening, members of

 

            4              council, and citizens of Scranton out here

 

            5              in the viewing audience.  I'd like to speak

 

            6              to you about some of the articles that have

 

            7              been recently ran in the Scranton Times

 

            8              about the medical care given to the

 

            9              prisoners over in Lackawanna County.  I am

 

           10              sad to report or sad to say that the medical

 

           11              care over there is so deficient it has

 

           12              killed people, it has maimed people and

 

           13              there are --and the people are so threatened

 

           14              to ask for medical care because they are

 

           15              told they will be placed in a hole if they

 

           16              ask for care.  One such person is Chris

 

           17              Capone, he is a 23-year-old guy.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF:  Please, specifics

 

           19              are -- and plus this is a county issue that

 

           20              we have no control over the county prison.

 

           21                      MR. DWYER: You have no control over

 

           22              the county prison itself, but you do have

 

           23              control in asking for an investigation of

 

           24              what's going on in that prison.

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI: No, we don't.


 

 

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            1                      MR. MCGOFF: No, we don't.

 

            2                      MS. FANUCCI: And we can't.

 

            3                      MR. DWYER: Well, something needs to

 

            4              be done because what's happening next.

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF: I would suggest going to

 

            6              a commissioner's meeting.

 

            7                      MR. DWYER: We will be going to the

 

            8              commissioner's meeting.  We also have the

 

            9              ACLU there who is doing an investigation.

 

           10              The state department is now getting

 

           11              involved, but what is going on is atrocious

 

           12              and it needs to stop.  These are family

 

           13              members, these are our brothers, are

 

           14              sisters, our songs and our daughters and

 

           15              they need some help.  They need to know that

 

           16              the community cares about them.  Some people

 

           17              are in jail because they need to be there.

 

           18              Other people who are addicts don't need to

 

           19              be locked up in a prison, they need a

 

           20              rehabilitation center.  Thank you for your

 

           21              time.

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF: Mike Dudek.

 

           23                      MR. DUDEK:  Mike Dudek, 608 Depot

 

           24              Street, Scranton, PA, that's in the Plot.

 

           25              I'm here to talk to you about basically a


 

 

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            1              story that appeared about a month ago on the

 

            2              History Channel and it's in reference to all

 

            3              of the cities that they consider rust built

 

            4              cities from Pennsylvania all the way east to

 

            5              Boston, so that would be not only Boston,

 

            6              New York, but cities like Scranton, Utica,

 

            7              Schenectady and so forth.  Most of these

 

            8              cities, including ours, were founded more

 

            9              than 100 years ago.  In other words,

 

           10              100 years ago we were a bustling city

 

           11              already which means that Scranton a

 

           12              100 years ago had an extremely extensive

 

           13              water supply system.  All of these other

 

           14              cities are the same, okay?

 

           15                      Now, they estimate that for New York

 

           16              City, which is a city that has a municipal

 

           17              water system, and this is a system that is

 

           18              constantly inspected day in and day out and

 

           19              day in and day out, even New York City loses

 

           20              10 percent of all of the water coming into

 

           21              that city through the water pipes coming

 

           22              from the lakes that are above New York that

 

           23              service them and they think that in our

 

           24              smaller cities, in all of our smaller

 

           25              cities, the loss will be greater because are


 

 

                                                                      14

 

 

            1              systems are not going to be as good as New

 

            2              York was when even they were discovered.

 

            3              With that thought in mind, and if you live

 

            4              on Division Street I think you will know

 

            5              what I'm talking about, I think we ought to

 

            6              require the Pennsylvania American Water

 

            7              Company to tell city council exactly where

 

            8              their problem areas are in the city, what

 

            9              kind of water loss they are experiencing and

 

           10              what plans they are making to do about it.

 

           11                      If you live on Division Street, the

 

           12              one thing you would love to have would be

 

           13              running water on a timely basis.  We don't

 

           14              have it on Division Street so that's one

 

           15              area of known loss in this city.

 

           16                      Now, you may recall, Mr. Courtright,

 

           17              a couple of times I came to you, you know,

 

           18              here at council to talk about streets that

 

           19              seem to be giving in like at Nay Aug Avenue

 

           20              and Albright.  When I talked to you about

 

           21              that one, eventually when they went down

 

           22              there to dig it out they found a hole so big

 

           23              you could put a fire in the whole that was

 

           24              there complete with the ladder section

 

           25              behind it.  It was enormous.  Absolutely


 

 

                                                                      15

 

 

            1              enormous.  That was an area of water loss.

 

            2              So since Scranton is the only rust built

 

            3              city that is a mining city we have all of

 

            4              these mines underneath, any water that is

 

            5              lost coming in the Pennsylvania American

 

            6              Water system will get into these mines and

 

            7              make the land even weaker and weaker.

 

            8              Remember, about a year ago or two, it may

 

            9              have been a year or two ago on Pittston

 

           10              Avenue a man was driving down Pittston

 

           11              Avenue and the car and the man and

 

           12              everything else disappeared, the street

 

           13              caved in and Pittston Avenue was tied up for

 

           14              four months until they could fill the hole

 

           15              in.  That was done by water that was being

 

           16              lost from the Pennsylvania American system.

 

           17              We have to make sure this doesn't happen

 

           18              again.

 

           19                      Now, I can tell you that I won't

 

           20              even walk behind the Guild Studios.  I won't

 

           21              even walk back there, let alone drive my car

 

           22              over it because as I am walking I can see a

 

           23              crack in the street.  When I look at the

 

           24              crack in the street I see this enormous

 

           25              canyon under there and something has got to


 

 

                                                                      16

 

 

            1              be done about that one.

 

            2                      So let us get ahold of Pennsylvania

 

            3              American Water Company, find out through

 

            4              them what does their system look like, what

 

            5              is the oldest parts and so forth and let's

 

            6              start a program of preventative maintenance

 

            7              removing some of these old 100 and 120-year

 

            8              old mains and pipes, do it now, rather than

 

            9              before they break and really cause problems

 

           10              for us.  Thank you.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Jean Suetta.

 

           12                      MS. SUETTA: Good evening, Jean

 

           13              Suetta.  I think you all know why I'm here.

 

           14              I want some answers, please.  Like Bob said

 

           15              before, now we got people living in the

 

           16              jungle.  The Japanese bamboo is so much

 

           17              overrun on Gardener Avenue down by the

 

           18              shopping center, Godzilla might be in there

 

           19              for all I know.  There was a fugitive hiding

 

           20              in a box car.  Take a ride over, you can't

 

           21              even see the box car for the Japanese

 

           22              bamboo.  I have been coming here how long

 

           23              for this problem?

 

           24                      MS. FANUCCI: Weeks.

 

           25                      MS. SUETTA:  And I get (indicating.)


 

 

                                                                      17

 

 

            1              What?  Now the corrugated box took care of

 

            2              their side on Gardener Avenue, I don't know

 

            3              who owns that other lot.  I gave you the

 

            4              number, you the name, VIP.  Still nothing

 

            5              done.

 

            6                      Now, I got a problem across the

 

            7              street from my house, Greenwood Sanitation.

 

            8              Their offices are on Albright Avenue, the

 

            9              back of the building they got three cones so

 

           10              nobody can park there.  You can't even see

 

           11              the cones now they are overgrown, and the

 

           12              Lace Works is building up again, so now

 

           13              what?

 

           14                      MS. FANUCCI: Send another letter.

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I don't know what

 

           16              to tell you, Jean, we're I'm trying.

 

           17                      MS. SUETTA: You know, what do I got

 

           18              to do, get a bunch of little kids, give them

 

           19              some fluid and tell them to get rid of this

 

           20              stuff for me?

 

           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT: No, Jean.

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF: No, please, don't do

 

           23              this.

 

           24                      MS. SUETTA: Well, then how are we

 

           25              going to get rid of it?  I mean, I'm coming


 

 

                                                                      18

 

 

            1              here and coming here and coming here.  You

 

            2              know my house was robbed, remember?

 

            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.

 

            4                      MS. SUETTA: I heard from detective

 

            5              that Wednesday, oh, I'll call you back.

 

            6              Every morning I open my phone I have a dial

 

            7              tone, no detectives call.  Esposito.

 

            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Spinozi?

 

            9                      MS. SUETTA:  No telephone call.

 

           10              Pick up my phone, there is the dial tone.

 

           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'll call him, Jean.

 

           12                      MS. SUETTA:  Yeah.  You know, it's

 

           13              not funny until you get robbed then, you

 

           14              know, now I'm sleeping with a machete.  If I

 

           15              get a gun I feel sorry for the fool that

 

           16              comes in my house.  I feel sorry for him now

 

           17              if he comes in.  You don't know what it's

 

           18              until you get robbed, invade my privacy.

 

           19              And don't ring that bell, all right.  Are we

 

           20              going to do anything about the bamboo?

 

           21                      MS. FANUCCI: We'll send another

 

           22              letter.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Jean, I will go

 

           24              personally to Mr. Oleski tomorrow and ask

 

           25              him --


 

 

                                                                      19

 

 

            1                      MS. SUETTA: I mean, it is bad.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF:  I will go and tell him

 

            3              specifically that they should get out there

 

            4              and do what they can to alleviate the

 

            5              problem.

 

            6                      MS. SUETTA: Because, you know, a

 

            7              little kid is going to go walking by there

 

            8              and with the crazies out there today God

 

            9              forbid what happens if something happens to

 

           10              a little kid.  Then it's going to be too

 

           11              late because they all walk over to the

 

           12              shopping center.  And who is Mr. Oleski?

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF: I said I will go

 

           14              tomorrow.

 

           15                      MS. SUETTA: Who is he.

 

           16                      MS. EVANS: Deputy Director of Public

 

           17              Safety.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF: He is basically the

 

           19              person that does the, you know, cleanups and

 

           20              authorizes the cleanups and demolitions and

 

           21              so on.

 

           22                      MS. SUETTA: So how come the bank or

 

           23              the Giant ain't cleaning up that lot across

 

           24              the street from me?

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF: I can't answer for what


 

 

                                                                      20

 

 

            1              they do and don't do.

 

            2                       MS. SUETTA: I know, are they being

 

            3              fined?  I mean, three months is a long time

 

            4              to look at it.

 

            5                      MS. FANUCCI: I don't think so.

 

            6                      MS. SUETTA: So why aren't they being

 

            7              fined?

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Like I said, I will look

 

            9              into it.

 

           10                      MS. GATELLI: Maybe we can ask for a

 

           11              report from the inspector that's assigned to

 

           12              that.

 

           13                      MS. SUETTA: You are seeing if they

 

           14              are doing their job.

 

           15                      MS. GATELLI: And see if they're

 

           16              filing a report.

 

           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT: He is going to go

 

           18              down tomorrow personally.

 

           19                      MS. SUETTA:  Are you going to call

 

           20              me and let me know the results?

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.

 

           22                      MS. SUETTA: I'll give Neil my phone

 

           23              number.

 

           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT: He doesn't already

 

           25              have it?


 

 

                                                                      21

 

 

            1                      MS. FANUCCI: He does.  We know this.

 

            2                      MS. SUETTA:  You have my phone

 

            3              number, Neil?

 

            4                      MR. COOLICAN: No.

 

            5                      MS. SUETTA: No, he doesn't.

 

            6                      MR. COOLICAN: Bill might have it

 

            7              though.

 

            8                      MS. SUETTA:  Bill has my phone

 

            9              number.

 

           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I was down there

 

           11              last week, I beeped at you, you ignored me

 

           12              so I kept going.

 

           13                      MS. SUETTA: No. No you didn't.

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I did, too.  Last

 

           15              week I was down there.

 

           16                      MS. SUETTA:  That's when we were

 

           17              having the drug raid there.

 

           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I don't know, Jean.

 

           19              In all seriousness he is going to take care

 

           20              of it tomorrow.

 

           21                      MS. SUETTA:  I would appreciate it.

 

           22              Thank you.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Les Spindler.

 

           24                      MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, Council.

 

           25              Les Spindler, city resident and homeowner


 

 

                                                                      22

 

 

            1              and taxpayer.  Last week, Mr. McGoff, you

 

            2              said you didn't vote for Mrs. Evans' motion

 

            3              because that would guarantee that nobody

 

            4              from the Parking Authority would come here

 

            5              and, Mr. McGoff, if that's the case why

 

            6              don't you use your subpoena power to get

 

            7              them in here?  That's a question,

 

            8              Mr. McGoff.

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF: Because we have

 

           10              attempted that and it hasn't worked either.

 

           11                      MR. SPINDLER: Well, pursue the issue

 

           12              and take it to court.  Use your power, you

 

           13              have it.  I know what the real reason is,

 

           14              Chris Doherty doesn't want Mr. Scopelitti in

 

           15              here so you are not going to do anything

 

           16              against Chris Doherty.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF:  If you knew the answer

 

           18              why did you ask me the question?

 

           19                      MR. SPINDLER: I just wanted to get

 

           20              it out there for everybody else to hear.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Okay.

 

           22                      MR. SPINDLER: And to quote Mr.

 

           23              Scopelitti from the Doherty newsletter last

 

           24              week, he said, "The Scranton Parking

 

           25              Authority," and I quote, he said, "It's a


 

 

                                                                      23

 

 

            1              sound ship."

 

            2                      Well, if it's a sound ship then why

 

            3              did they need a line of credit?  The sound

 

            4              like crickets.

 

            5                      Mrs. Evans, last week I'm glad you

 

            6              set the record straight on your voting

 

            7              record on the business loans.  I think it's

 

            8              pretty sad how people are sent here to lie

 

            9              about things and try to discredit you and

 

           10              funny how people come here and say they love

 

           11              the city, but the only time they come here

 

           12              is around election time, and myself and a

 

           13              lot of other people come here every single

 

           14              week we love this city and we are here every

 

           15              week fighting for what we think is right.

 

           16              People who come here only around election

 

           17              time are only looking out for Chris Doherty,

 

           18              they are not looking out for anybody else.

 

           19                      Now, I have something I wanted to

 

           20              bring up since July, but since I couldn't

 

           21              come to these meetings.  On the meeting of

 

           22              July 14, Mr. McGoff, Mrs. Gatelli and

 

           23              Mrs. Fanucci said you are insulted by

 

           24              something Andy Sbaraglia said.  Well, you

 

           25              know what, myself as a taxpayer and a lot of


 

 

                                                                      24

 

 

            1              other taxpayers in this city are insulted

 

            2              every time the three of you do what Chris

 

            3              Doherty wants you to do and vote the way he

 

            4              wants you to vote and it costs us money,

 

            5              such as these outrageous fees and penalties

 

            6              and delinquent taxes and a 25 percent tax

 

            7              hike.  So think about that next time you are

 

            8              insulted.

 

            9                      And, Mrs. Fanucci, you had the gaul

 

           10              to call Mr. Sbaraglia ignorant when you sit

 

           11              up there week after week and insult people,

 

           12              laughing at them and giggling at them and

 

           13              you have the gaul to call him ignorant?

 

           14              Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

 

           15                      MS. FANUCCI: You waited all summer

 

           16              for that, Les?

 

           17                      MR. SPINDLER: I have a job I have to

 

           18              go to every day, so I couldn't come here.

 

           19                      MS. FANUCCI: You should have

 

           20              e-mailed me.

 

           21                      MR. SPINDLER:  Next thing, since

 

           22              Chris Doherty doesn't want to be a man, he

 

           23              wants to be governor, I think on November 3

 

           24              everybody should write someone else's name

 

           25              in and not let this guy get away it.  Thank


 

 

                                                                      25

 

 

            1              you for your time.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF: Lee Morgan.

 

            3                      MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.

 

            4              You know, I think a lot of people love the

 

            5              city and they don't come here, I'd like to

 

            6              say that.  I don't disagree with some of the

 

            7              things that Les said.  But, you know, I find

 

            8              it very interesting that this gentleman came

 

            9              here tonight and I came in and I didn't

 

           10              catch everything that this gentleman said,

 

           11              it's probably the first time he's been here,

 

           12              he came here and he started and I believe he

 

           13              was talking about the prison.  I would just

 

           14              like to say that, you know, I have spent

 

           15              some time studying what's happened at the

 

           16              prison, it's a terrible thing, and I'm glad

 

           17              that somebody came here tonight to try to

 

           18              shed some light on the lack of health care

 

           19              and the abuses that have taken place in this

 

           20              prison.

 

           21                      You know, I came here and I asked

 

           22              council to do a proclamation for a lady who

 

           23              spent a lot of time in that prison working

 

           24              with the prisoners.  I have spent a lot of

 

           25              time studying what's taken place in that


 

 

                                                                      26

 

 

            1              prison and I find it to be atrocious and I

 

            2              really have to say that the Court of Common

 

            3              Pleas I think is responsible for that

 

            4              prison, and I think that the abuses that

 

            5              take place there shouldn't be taking place

 

            6              there.  I think the judges should have

 

            7              stepped in a long time ago.  Food is

 

            8              substandard there, health care is

 

            9              nonexistent there to a very large extent.  I

 

           10              have talked to prisoners who have come out

 

           11              of there.  I have talked to women who had

 

           12              the most atrocious crimes committed against

 

           13              them in that prison and I'm not talking

 

           14              about rape or anything else.  This is my

 

           15              opinion, Mr. McGoff.  This is called freedom

 

           16              of speech.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF: Well, that's fine, but

 

           18              it's not city business.

 

           19                      MR. MORGAN: I don't have to only

 

           20              talk about city business here.  That's

 

           21              already been adjudicated by the Court.  This

 

           22              is my common concern.  I have a right to

 

           23              come--

 

           24                      MR. MCGOFF: No, actually the courts

 

           25              have said that it should be city business.


 

 

                                                                      27

 

 

            1                      MR. MORGAN:  No, I disagree.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF: I can get the court

 

            3              ruling.

 

            4                       MR. MORGAN:  You can get that Court

 

            5              ruling, but now if we are on Court ruling

 

            6              let's switch gears a little bit and ask the

 

            7              big question.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.

 

            9                      MR. MORGAN: But by no means do I

 

           10              agree with what you said, but I think since

 

           11              you've got an opinion here I'd like to ask

 

           12              your opinion on something else, and since

 

           13              you feel free to give your opinions I'd like

 

           14              to hear your opinion to this question, how

 

           15              did the city give away it's right to set

 

           16              sewer rates in the City of Scranton with the

 

           17              American Anglican deal?  I'd like you to

 

           18              answer that question for me tonight.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF: I don't know exactly

 

           20              what you are asking.  We voted --

 

           21                      MR. MORGAN: Mrs. Evans, at the

 

           22              debates, if you remember the debates, said

 

           23              that the City of Scranton lost it's right to

 

           24              set the sewer rates because of the deal with

 

           25              American Anglican when the mayor ran the


 

 

                                                                      28

 

 

            1              deal through American Anglican and I'm

 

            2              asking you since you have so much wisdom I'm

 

            3              standing here tonight asking you to answer

 

            4              that question.

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF: Well, I don't have it

 

            6              with me.

 

            7                      MR. MORGAN: Can you bring it another

 

            8              day and explain to all of the residents of

 

            9              this city how this city -- how this council

 

           10              happened to lose the right to set the sewer

 

           11              rates that set in the Home Rule Charter and

 

           12              did the judge sign that off?  How did the --

 

           13              how did the city council break the rules of

 

           14              council so severely that it lost the right

 

           15              to set the sewer rates?

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF: I don't believe we did,

 

           17              but --

 

           18                      MS. GATELLI: I believe from what I

 

           19              know, and I'm not claiming it to be the

 

           20              truth.

 

           21                      MR. MORGAN:  Okay.

 

           22                      MS. GATELLI: Okay?  I'd have to

 

           23              investigate it further, but as far as I

 

           24              remember asking the question, I was told

 

           25              that the lease agreement was up.  They had a


 

 

                                                                      29

 

 

            1              lease agreement with the city for let's say

 

            2              20 years, and in that lease agreement was

 

            3              included the rates would go through city

 

            4              council and that lease agreement was up.  It

 

            5              was terminated.  Twenty years was up and

 

            6              that gives them the right to set their own

 

            7              rates.

 

            8                      MR. MORGAN: Who, the mayor?

 

            9                      MS. GATELLI: Well, the mayor doesn't

 

           10              set it, the sewer authority sets the rate.

 

           11                      MR. MORGAN:  So you have no say over

 

           12              the rates?

 

           13                      MS. GATELLI:  Not without a lease

 

           14              agreement and from what I understand the

 

           15              lease agreement was up, the 20 years or 30

 

           16              or however many years this agreement was for

 

           17              the time was up on that.

 

           18                      MR. MORGAN: So what you are saying

 

           19              to me then is that the sewer authority has

 

           20              no watchdog and that the sewer authority can

 

           21              spend out of control fiscally and punish

 

           22              every resident in this city and they have no

 

           23              recourse because they're not under --

 

           24                      MS. GATELLI: Well, we don't set the

 

           25              parking authority rates either.


 

 

                                                                      30

 

 

            1                      MR. MORGAN: Well, look at where the

 

            2              parking authority is.  I mean, you know,

 

            3              let's be honest with each and other and

 

            4              let's take it one more step.  You know, why

 

            5              are all of the authorities abolished because

 

            6              evidently you lack the courage to use your

 

            7              subpoena powers.  The city is absolutely

 

            8              destitute and broke.  You can talk about

 

            9              poverty in this city and you can talk about

 

           10              blight, but let's talk about overtaxation

 

           11              and a body which doesn't use it's authority

 

           12              for the betterment of the residents?

 

           13                      I mean, Mr. McGoff, you know, I

 

           14              appreciate hour opinions, but what would

 

           15              your opinion be of turning this city around

 

           16              since you are council president?  Why are we

 

           17              facing all of the debt we are facing, why

 

           18              are we allowing all of these authorities to

 

           19              borrow all of the money and why hasn't there

 

           20              been subpoenas issued and you said that they

 

           21              don't work.  I don't remember you issuing a

 

           22              subpoena and ever following the process.  Am

 

           23              I wrong?

 

           24                      MR. MCGOFF: Yes, you are.

 

           25                      MS. GATELLI: We did issue one for


 

 

                                                                      31

 

 

            1              Ken McDowell and we got no where.

 

            2                      MR. MORGAN: Well, that was the tax

 

            3              office.  That's a different animal.

 

            4                      MS. GATELLI: Well, it doesn't

 

            5              matter.  We did it and nothing happened.

 

            6                      MR. MORGAN: A different animal.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Richard

 

            8              Banks.

 

            9                      MR. BANKS:  Good evening, Council.

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Banks, prior to

 

           11              speaking, the rules of council indicate that

 

           12              you should be a citizen or taxpayer of the

 

           13              city in order to speak.  With the discretion

 

           14              of the president of council that can be kind

 

           15              of waived.  I understand that you possibly

 

           16              are a spokesperson for a group that is here?

 

           17                      MR. BANKS: There is a number of

 

           18              people here that are for the same purpose,

 

           19              many of which are residents.

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF: And you will act as a

 

           21              spokesperson for those people?

 

           22                      MR. BANKS: In a large degree, yes.

 

           23                      MR. MCGOFF: Okay then --

 

           24                      MR. BANKS:  I did call ahead.

 

           25                      MR. MCGOFF: With that caveat then we


 

 

                                                                      32

 

 

            1              will -- with the approval of, you know, the

 

            2              other members, please.

 

            3                      MR. BANKS: Thank you very much.

 

            4              Before I get started, can I give you a

 

            5              couple of handouts?  It's just a -- it's for

 

            6              a public hearing.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF:  While you are doing

 

            8              that name and address, please, for the

 

            9              stenographer?

 

           10                      MR. BANKS: My name is Richard Banks

 

           11              and I live at 52 Forest Road in Mountaintop.

 

           12              I apologize, I was going to make more copies

 

           13              and technical difficulties today there is

 

           14              one, so if you could share it amongst

 

           15              yourself.  It's not a critical for my

 

           16              information, it's just for your reference.

 

           17                      So I thank you for the opportunity

 

           18              to speak tonight regarding the amendment to

 

           19              Chapter 232 which is otherwise known as the

 

           20              Firearm's loss and stolen ordinance.  As you

 

           21              mentioned, I am not a city resident, but I

 

           22              have done a bit of research into similar

 

           23              ordinances in PA as well as other states and

 

           24              I have some information that I feel is

 

           25              important for council and Scranton city


 

 

                                                                      33

 

 

            1              residents to consider regarding this

 

            2              proposal.

 

            3                      Before I begin, let me start by

 

            4              saying that I personally, as I'm sure

 

            5              council and Scranton city residents are, I'm

 

            6              very concerned about crime in Pennsylvania,

 

            7              particularly crimes of violence including

 

            8              crimes involving use of firearms.  We

 

            9              have -- we definitely have a problem with

 

           10              criminals committing crimes and often with

 

           11              firearms and I share in the council's

 

           12              presumed desire to work towards implementing

 

           13              solutions to these problems.  I see that

 

           14              another -- as I mentioned before, there is a

 

           15              number of other firearm's owners have also

 

           16              come in this meeting and I'm confident in

 

           17              presuming that they all share this common

 

           18              desire.  We definitely do not wish to see

 

           19              criminals get away with firearm's related

 

           20              crimes.  In fact, we, like yourselves on

 

           21              council, wish to see criminals prosecuted.

 

           22                      So why would gun owners concerned

 

           23              about crime and stemming the effects of

 

           24              crime be here to oppose this ordinance to

 

           25              amend Chapter 232 of the Scranton City Code?


 

 

                                                                      34

 

 

            1              I have been told by gun owners more than

 

            2              once upon hearing about lost and stolen

 

            3              requirements, that it seems like a common

 

            4              sense thing to do.  Why wouldn't someone

 

            5              report a lost or stolen firearm?  That's a

 

            6              great question.  And, as a matter of fact, I

 

            7              have been involved directly with people that

 

            8              have had to report lost and stolen firearms.

 

            9                      If my personally owned firearm was

 

           10              lost and/or stolen and I found myself in

 

           11              that position, I would definitely want my

 

           12              property back as well as being concerned

 

           13              about where the firearm ended up.  Both good

 

           14              reasons why one would want to report a lost

 

           15              or stolen firearm which is probably why most

 

           16              folks do already.

 

           17                      Now, another problem that this

 

           18              legislation proposes to address is the issue

 

           19              of firearm straw purchasers.  A straw

 

           20              purchaser is a person who knowingly supplies

 

           21              a firearm to someone who is prohibited from

 

           22              owning a firearm.  They can't buy the

 

           23              firearm themselves because there is

 

           24              limitations in the crimes code as to what

 

           25              crimes -- there are certain crimes that


 

 

                                                                      35

 

 

            1              prevent from purchasing -- owning firearms

 

            2              so when they are confronted with this fact

 

            3              they many times have someone who is not

 

            4              prohibited from buying firearms by them or

 

            5              of course otherwise supply them.  This is a

 

            6              crime in Pennsylvania.

 

            7                      According to law enforcement, there

 

            8              is a number of firearms that they have

 

            9              recovered from a crime or just from a

 

           10              prohibited person that during their attempts

 

           11              to trace where the criminal attained the

 

           12              firearm they end up at a person who through

 

           13              sales records and trace records show

 

           14              purchased the firearm in some point.  Said

 

           15              person will then claim a firearm as lost or

 

           16              stolen.

 

           17                      Law enforcement officials may

 

           18              presume that many of these individuals are,

 

           19              in fact, straw purchasers and they may be

 

           20              correct, and the criminals use the excuse of

 

           21              lost or stolen to explain their

 

           22              circumstances.  I am in no way doubting this

 

           23              occurs, but let's examine if and how lost or

 

           24              stolen ordinances can address the situation.

 

           25                      First and foremost, and the largest


 

 

                                                                      36

 

 

            1              problem that this proposal faces is that it

 

            2              itself is illegal.  According to state law,

 

            3              specifically the Pennsylvania Crimes Code,

 

            4              Title 18, Chapter 61, Subchapter (A),

 

            5              Subsection 6120, this proposal is unlawful

 

            6              and as such unenforceable.

 

            7                      I quote the statute I just

 

            8              mentioned, "No county municipality or

 

            9              township may in any manner regulate the

 

           10              lawful ownership, possession, transfer or

 

           11              transportation of firearms, ammunition or

 

           12              ammunition components when carried or

 

           13              transported for purposes not prohibited by

 

           14              the laws of this Commonwealth."

 

           15                      What this means is Scranton City

 

           16              cannot enact such gun laws that regulate

 

           17              ownership, possession, etcetera in any way

 

           18              that is stricter than existing state law.

 

           19              Just another way of stating what I read

 

           20              prior.

 

           21                      I will explain how this ordinance

 

           22              will run a fowl of that in a minute.  The

 

           23              statute is a very overprotection of the

 

           24              citizens of the Commonwealth, I want to

 

           25              point that out.  In Pennsylvania --


 

 

                                                                      37

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF: If it's brief, continue.

 

            2                      MR. BANKS: I'm more than half way

 

            3              through.

 

            4                      MR. MCGOFF: Well, we have a

 

            5              five-minute time limit.

 

            6                      MR. BANKS:  I'm sorry, I guess with

 

            7              the conversation we had in the beginning I

 

            8              started a little late.

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF: We'll give you one

 

           10              minute to finish.

 

           11                      MR. BANKS: Pennsylvanians have a

 

           12              right to carry firearms in Pennsylvania with

 

           13              certain limitations like we mentioned prior.

 

           14              Firearm's prevention further safeguards

 

           15              citizen's rights on top of the constitution

 

           16              of Pennsylvania.  Without this, citizens

 

           17              would be hopeless not to run afoul of a

 

           18              myriad of gun laws that would exist from

 

           19              town to town.  So since the courts have

 

           20              viewed lost or stolen firearms as property

 

           21              of the rightful owner despite being lost or

 

           22              stolen, this ordinance requiring citizens to

 

           23              report to the government the status of their

 

           24              legally owned property violates the

 

           25              preemption law and I quote, "Regulates


 

 

                                                                      38

 

 

            1              possession by requiring reporting the

 

            2              status."

 

            3                      That's probably the most important

 

            4              point I have to make here tonight.  And I

 

            5              would add that the documents that I gave you

 

            6              show how statutes that are -- people who are

 

            7              found violating even straw purchase laws are

 

            8              not being convicted, are not being sentenced

 

            9              between the minimum and maximus, they are

 

           10              being slapped on the wrist, and the problem

 

           11              that another -- if this ordinance was not

 

           12              unlawful for the state what exactly does

 

           13              this council expect to accomplish if it's

 

           14              not enforced by the D.A.'s Office?  Thank

 

           15              you.

 

           16                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Jack

 

           17              Dobenhauser.

 

           18                      MR. DOBENHAUSER: Good evening,

 

           19              Council.  I'm a resident of Scranton, a

 

           20              property owner, and taxpayer.

 

           21                      THE COURT REPORTER: Would you state

 

           22              your name again?

 

           23                      MR. DOBENHAUSER: Jack Dobenhauser.

 

           24              I believe Rich spoke very well on most of

 

           25              the points, I'd like to follow-up with a


 

 

                                                                      39

 

 

            1              couple of things.  My biggest concern with

 

            2              this is that it's going to victimize victims

 

            3              already.  This is going to -- if your

 

            4              firearm is stolen that leaves you a victim

 

            5              of a crime and this will possibly further

 

            6              victimize an innocent gun owner.  My second

 

            7              major concern is the city has a lot of

 

            8              issues financially as it is, and this

 

            9              ordinance being passed is going to open the

 

           10              city up to a lawsuit on it.  The city

 

           11              doesn't have a good record with lawsuits and

 

           12              this -- it's not going to win.  The city is

 

           13              not going to win.  This is an illegal

 

           14              ordinance.  I don't want to see more of my

 

           15              tax money wasted.  I don't want see legal

 

           16              responsible firearm owners victimized.

 

           17              Please take it into consideration and thank

 

           18              you for your time.

 

           19                      MR. MCGOFF: Sandra Roberts.

 

           20                      MS. ROBERTS: My name is Sandra

 

           21              Roberts, and I'm the executive director the

 

           22              Breadbasket of Northeaster Pennsylvania.  I

 

           23              have come here to ask you for your

 

           24              consideration in regard to the Breadbasket

 

           25              for the Community Development Block Grant.


 

 

                                                                      40

 

 

            1              One of the reasons we have -- we have the

 

            2              short story and we have the long story.  The

 

            3              short story is that we have been unable to

 

            4              continuously raise the funds for warehousing

 

            5              of our nonperishable foods in which we give

 

            6              to the needy.  We received these

 

            7              nonperishable foods under a grant through

 

            8              the state every single year we apply for.

 

            9              The food comes in in large pallets and has

 

           10              to be warehoused and then it is distributed

 

           11              to seven different pantries throughout

 

           12              Lackawanna County.  We have been doing this

 

           13              for over 26 years.  This past year we

 

           14              touched over 18,000 people.  It's risen from

 

           15              17,000 which now we are putting not only the

 

           16              poorest of hardships and the low income and

 

           17              the no income we have the newly unemployed.

 

           18                      The problem that I'm having as

 

           19              executive director, I am the only paid

 

           20              employee, we run very lean, we have no

 

           21              endowment is that all funds to run this

 

           22              organization to support the Breadbasket is

 

           23              by donation.  Because of the economic crisis

 

           24              that many people have come upon, donation

 

           25              giving has not been as fluent, both


 

 

                                                                      41

 

 

            1              individual, both faith and both civic.

 

            2              Everyone has been affected.

 

            3                      That was one of the reasons why I

 

            4              put in application for a Community Block

 

            5              Grant was to help us with the warehousing.

 

            6              Understandably when I read the project

 

            7              description it is not a building/mortar

 

            8              project, but the mortar is already there.

 

            9              It's a warehouse.  And we have certain

 

           10              specifications.  We need a loading dock and

 

           11              we need labor in which to accomplish our

 

           12              mission.

 

           13                      Secondly, I have a long story that I

 

           14              would like your advices.  Basically for

 

           15              26 years as a city we have said, yes, to

 

           16              being able to grant these funds to help all

 

           17              of the people in the community, but yet on

 

           18              the other hand we don't grant any funds for

 

           19              supporting of the warehouse of this large

 

           20              amount of food.  It's just like this

 

           21              imbalance that has gone on.  In years past,

 

           22              things were financially more fluid, and now

 

           23              we have more nonprofits going for the same

 

           24              amount of money from the same amount of

 

           25              individuals from the same amount of


 

 

                                                                      42

 

 

            1              community service and faith organizations.

 

            2                      So I have come here to ask you two

 

            3              things:  One, in the short run if you can

 

            4              would consider the Breadbasket for a

 

            5              Community Development Grant, that would be

 

            6              help us this year immensely.  Second of all,

 

            7              I need to solve this warehouse problem.  The

 

            8              warehouse that we are in is wonderful.  They

 

            9              have never raised the rent in 26 years.

 

           10              That's just amazing and a wonderful

 

           11              community gift in itself, but still trying

 

           12              to raise that and raise the operating costs

 

           13              with no endowment going month to month,

 

           14              laying awake to see if I'm going to be able

 

           15              to make the budget, but yet serving over

 

           16              18,0000 people in the county.  We have 75

 

           17              wonderful volunteers, I can't even put a

 

           18              price on that labor, and it's a wonderful

 

           19              organization and I just came tonight to see

 

           20              if you would take a second look at the group

 

           21              of people in which you are considering.

 

           22              Thank you for your time.

 

           23                      MS. EVANS: Mrs. Roberts, I would be

 

           24              very interested in doing that and I have

 

           25              ready recently articles concerning the


 

 

                                                                      43

 

 

            1              organization and how difficult it's becoming

 

            2              because of this economy and the rising

 

            3              unemployment rate in our geographical area.

 

            4              It's becoming more and more and more

 

            5              difficult for you to do your job because the

 

            6              numbers are increasing far beyond, you know,

 

            7              the funding --

 

            8                      MS. ROBERTS: Boy, is it.

 

            9                      MS. EVANS: -- that you have, and I'm

 

           10              very impressed, I have to say, to hear that

 

           11              you have 75 volunteers and that you are the

 

           12              only paid employee of this organization; is

 

           13              that correct?

 

           14                      MS. ROBERTS: Yes.

 

           15                      MS. EVANS: I think it's certainly

 

           16              merits serious consideration because you

 

           17              certainly are feeding and addressing the

 

           18              needs of the low to moderate income

 

           19              individuals of our area, so I will, indeed,

 

           20              do anything I can.

 

           21                      MS. ROBERTS:  Thank you.  I

 

           22              appreciate it, Mrs. Evans.

 

           23                      MS. EVANS: Thank you.

 

           24                      MR. MCGOFF: Joanne Williams.

 

           25                      MS. WILLIAMS: Good evening, City


 

 

                                                                      44

 

 

            1              Council.  Joanne Williams, homeowner.  I

 

            2              would just want to get the nonsense out of

 

            3              the way, whether it be election time, June,

 

            4              October, whatever, I have every constitution

 

            5              right to come here and speak whenever I

 

            6              feel, and I'm sorry that Mr. Spindler

 

            7              doesn't like to see me come here because I'm

 

            8              a positive person, and I'm just going to let

 

            9              that go.

 

           10                      Also, because he brought to the

 

           11              attention of about Mayor Doherty running for

 

           12              governor, in this Times, Saturday, June 3,

 

           13              June of 2006, this is from Mrs. Evans,

 

           14              "Scranton Councilwoman Janet Evans will not

 

           15              seek the third term when her seat is up in

 

           16              2009 perhaps gearing for a possible mayoral

 

           17              run in a showdown with Mayor Chris Doherty.

 

           18              She states:  "I have been here six years

 

           19              already.  I can see now that I'm not going

 

           20              to run for this seat again, said Mrs. Evans,

 

           21              who noted she wasn't quitting politics."

 

           22                      Now to what I was really here for.

 

           23              Last week I spoke about a few things, my

 

           24              first thing was curfew.  It's time for a

 

           25              curfew in place for this city for children


 

 

                                                                      45

 

 

            1              under the age of 18.  I am reaching out this

 

            2              evening and asking all city residents to put

 

            3              their porch lights on this Friday,

 

            4              October 2.  Let's all light up to show our

 

            5              city we need a curfew.  Mrs. Evans, you do

 

            6              not want to give loans to businesses yet you

 

            7              approved $885,000 worth of loans to Molly

 

            8              Brannigan's, Vida Bar and Michael's Eyewear.

 

            9              Mrs. Evans, I know you don't like the mayor

 

           10              and I know you are so negative about the

 

           11              positive that he does in our city.  I'm

 

           12              tired of the negative, negative, negative

 

           13              and the negative that comes up here each

 

           14              week like we talk about our authorities, you

 

           15              know, too much money authority here, too

 

           16              much money authority there.  We are in an

 

           17              economic crises right now.  I'm glad my

 

           18              grandparents and my great-grandparents and

 

           19              my parents didn't give up on this city.

 

           20                      This is my city.  I was born here, I

 

           21              was raised here and I will probably die here

 

           22              and I was here in good and bad times and I

 

           23              was here long before the cameras were here

 

           24              to speak on how much I love this city, okay?

 

           25              And, Mrs. Evans, let's know where all of


 

 

                                                                      46

 

 

            1              your solutions are, you know?  I really

 

            2              would like to know what your solutions are.

 

            3                      Last week -- I spoke last week on

 

            4              someone who is running for office with a

 

            5              criminal background.  Mr. Courtright, I was

 

            6              really upset that you came to this person's

 

            7              defense.  You know, it's not right.

 

            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  I don't know who

 

            9              the individual -- I don't know who you were

 

           10              talking about.

 

           11                      MS. WILLIAMS:  Well, I'm not going

 

           12              to name that individual.

 

           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I was just saying in

 

           14              general.

 

           15                      MS. WILLIAMS: Sorry.  I apologize

 

           16              then.

 

           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT: That's fine.  I

 

           18              don't know the individual.

 

           19                      MS. WILLIAMS: Mrs. Evans, you stated

 

           20              that the state needed to look into this.  If

 

           21              you are such an advocate, Mrs. Evans, for

 

           22              the people and the citizens of this city I

 

           23              think you should step up to this and find

 

           24              out what's going on, who has this criminal

 

           25              record and wants to be seated and make


 

 

                                                                      47

 

 

            1              decisions for us.  I mean, none of yous have

 

            2              a criminal record, do you?  I hope not.  I

 

            3              wouldn't think so.  I'm glad -- I wouldn't

 

            4              think so, and I certainly don't want anyone

 

            5              else -- I certainly don't want anyone else

 

            6              who is sitting whether on city council,

 

            7              Scranton school board, the mayor, whoever it

 

            8              is have a criminal record.  Excuse me, I'm

 

            9              talking, that's rude, and that's what

 

           10              happens here.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Please address council.

 

           12                      MS. WILLIAMS: Oh, I'm sorry,

 

           13              Mr. McGoff.  I strongly feel that no one

 

           14              should sit in a government seat if they

 

           15              possess a criminal record.  This person

 

           16              needs to come forward and explain and

 

           17              perhaps maybe even withdraw from the race.

 

           18              Remember, voters and taxpayers and

 

           19              residents, you have the Right-to-Know.

 

           20                      And the Scranton Times' reporter ran

 

           21              out here last week to me and defended this

 

           22              person too, to me.  His job is to

 

           23              investigate what's going on in this city and

 

           24              I just hope, you know, and I'll tell you

 

           25              something, you know, people, it's not hard


 

 

                                                                      48

 

 

            1              to find.  It's not hard to find.

 

            2                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Could I ask you a

 

            3              question.  Do you know if it's a felony or

 

            4              not or, whatever they did?

 

            5                      MS. WILLIAMS:  There is quite a few,

 

            6              okay?  There's quite a few.

 

            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Felonies?

 

            8                      MS. WILLIAMS: I'm not saying

 

            9              felonies.

 

           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Oh, okay, that's

 

           11              what I'm asking.

 

           12                      MS. WILLIAMS: I'm not saying

 

           13              felonies.  I don't care what kind of

 

           14              criminal record it is, as a taxpayer and a

 

           15              citizen and the other taxpayers they should

 

           16              not be seated in a government seat, council,

 

           17              I'll say it again, school board, whatever,

 

           18              I'll finish up, with any kind of criminal

 

           19              background record.  Like I said last week,

 

           20              when you apply for a job if you have any

 

           21              kind of a misdemeanor they won't hire you.

 

           22              So it's time to step up to the plate here,

 

           23              Folks.

 

           24                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.

 

           25                      MS. WILLIAMS:  And let's find out


 

 

                                                                      49

 

 

            1              what's going on.  Thank you so much for your

 

            2              time.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: David Dobrzyn.

 

            4                      MR. DOBRZYN: Good evening, Council.

 

            5              Dave Dobrzyn, resident of Scranton, member

 

            6              of the Taxpayers' Association.  On 5-F, I

 

            7              can't figure out what somebody is trying to

 

            8              talk about there, so if it happens to be the

 

            9              formation of another authority that does not

 

           10              have to answer to city council, please, both

 

           11              authorities.  No more authorizing your

 

           12              rights as director of this community to

 

           13              diminish and give up your rights to review

 

           14              these various people that insist on spending

 

           15              $50 million and with -- for empty parking

 

           16              spaces because that's about what it's about.

 

           17                      On this mention of a curfew, there

 

           18              is two standards for a curfew.  You

 

           19              absolutely cannot put a curfew unless you

 

           20              declare marshal law on any person over

 

           21              18 years of age.  If that man there caught

 

           22              me walking around at 2:00 in the morning

 

           23              with a crowbar and glass cutters he could

 

           24              take me down and have a talking to me, you

 

           25              know, but you can't tell me that I can't be


 

 

                                                                      50

 

 

            1              on the street.

 

            2                      As far as children are concerned or

 

            3              teenagers, there is another reference, it's

 

            4              called intermediate scrutiny of civil rights

 

            5              and under intermediate scrutiny of civil

 

            6              rights it has to be reasonable, so more or

 

            7              less if you wanted to set a curfew at

 

            8              11:00 p.m. and if a child was out every

 

            9              night until 11:00 p.m. it might be reason

 

           10              for concern anyway, but you have no right to

 

           11              tell them that they have to be home after

 

           12              dark, that's been tried before.

 

           13                      It turns dark at 4:47 on

 

           14              December 20.  It's dusk.  It is dusk at

 

           15              4:47.  Now, Janet, you are teach school,

 

           16              right, are there school activities until

 

           17              3:30?

 

           18                      MS. FANUCCI: I don't think she heard

 

           19              you.

 

           20                      MR. DOBRZYN:  Would be it normal for

 

           21              --

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.

 

           23                      MS. EVANS: Pardon.

 

           24                      MR. DOBRZYN: Yes.  Okay.  So, in

 

           25              other words, I was just trying to establish


 

 

                                                                      51

 

 

            1              the fact that a student might be still in

 

            2              school at 3:30 p.m?

 

            3                      MS. EVANS: Yes.

 

            4                      MR. DOBSON: Okay.  Now, suppose that

 

            5              person -- that student attended school at

 

            6              Scranton High School down there by Olive

 

            7              Street and lived in the very furthest region

 

            8              of Minooka and had to walk.  You could

 

            9              arrest them on the way home, and you could

 

           10              arrest his parents and fine them if that

 

           11              were the case, that they had to be in after

 

           12              dark, so, in other words, if we are going to

 

           13              have any type of -- any type of that

 

           14              situation, a curfew examined, then I would

 

           15              recommend that you go to the -- on the web

 

           16              and ask for the Supreme Court decision on

 

           17              juvenile curfews and you will find a lot of

 

           18              information there.  There is a wealth of

 

           19              information and it's going been tried and

 

           20              tried and tried, and I've seen it north of

 

           21              here in a small town and it absolutely

 

           22              didn't work.  The next thing you know the

 

           23              police chief quit because he was sick and

 

           24              tired of listening to the parents and the

 

           25              town council was in a hoopla and there were


 

 

                                                                      52

 

 

            1              threats of assault.

 

            2                      In other words, all I'm saying is if

 

            3              you consider a curfew that's keep is

 

            4              reasonable, that's all and consult your --

 

            5              the Internet and look what the Supreme Court

 

            6              rulings on curfews that's -- but on 5-E, I

 

            7              don't understand that and it's like I said,

 

            8              if we are delegating more authority out to

 

            9              another authority, please, or it's what, I

 

           10              need my glasses, 5-F.  I have them in my

 

           11              pocket.  Okay, so that's all I have to say.

 

           12              Have a good night.

 

           13                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.  Any other

 

           14              speakers?  Go ahead, Jim.

 

           15                       MR. STUCKER: How you doing?  I was

 

           16              over by Wendy's the other day and there is

 

           17              no light there where they have the track at

 

           18              the stadium there.

 

           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Wendy's, Jim?

 

           20                       MR. STUCKER: Yeah, Wendy's, and

 

           21              there is a school there and there is no

 

           22              light there.

 

           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Near Prep you mean?

 

           24                      MR. STUCKER:  Prep. There is no

 

           25              light there.


 

 

                                                                      53

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Traffic light?

 

            2                       MR. STUCKER: No traffic light at

 

            3              all.

 

            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah, there's a

 

            5              traffic light there, Jim.

 

            6                      MR. STUCKER: No.

 

            7                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes, there is.

 

            8                      MR. STUCKER: Not a light, there is

 

            9              not.

 

           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay.  All right.

 

           11                      MR. STUCKER: That's the only way --

 

           12              we seen people going across the street and

 

           13              going fast, the cars.

 

           14                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Maybe they are just

 

           15              not paying attention.  There is a light

 

           16              there, Jim, maybe they are not obeying it,

 

           17              but there is a light there.  Okay?

 

           18                       MR. STUCKER: Yeah.  And my buddy

 

           19              Pat told me to tell you hello.  He is

 

           20              working over the VA Hospital.  They ain't

 

           21              found my bike yet.  I think that bike is

 

           22              gone.

 

           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I think it's gone,

 

           24              Jim.

 

           25                      MR. STUCKER: I think so.


 

 

                                                                      54

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Yeah.

 

            2                      MR. STUCKER: So we need more cops

 

            3              out there.  The kids with the skateboards

 

            4              ain't too many out there now.

 

            5                      MR. COURTRIGHT: It's getting cold,

 

            6              they will go home.

 

            7                      MR. STUCKER:  The one today I seen

 

            8              more kids out, so -- oh, over in Hamm Court

 

            9              they didn't fix that hole yet in the middle

 

           10              of the road.

 

           11                      MR. COURTRIGHT: They didn't?

 

           12                      MR. STUCKER: Nope.

 

           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Well, we'll get on

 

           14              that, Jim.

 

           15                      MR. STUCKER:  I was over there

 

           16              today.

 

           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Hamm Court.

 

           18                      MR. STUCKER: Yeah.

 

           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Okay.

 

           20                      MR. STUCKER:  That's been like that

 

           21              for about a month.

 

           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: All right.

 

           23                       MR. STUCKER: What about them houses

 

           24              and stuff on the corner of Mulberry and --

 

           25              Greenridge, that red one, you know, and the


 

 

                                                                      55

 

 

            1              one by the Mercy, there are two empty ones

 

            2              there.

 

            3                      MR. COURTRIGHT: They boarded the one

 

            4              up on Greenridge Street, they got that far,

 

            5              they didn't tear it down yet though.  It's

 

            6              coming, Jim.

 

            7                       MR. STUCKER: And there is two of

 

            8              them on -- there is two of them up the

 

            9              hill -- going up the hill by the Mercy.

 

           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT: You got to get the

 

           11              addresses, okay?  Give them to Neil.

 

           12                       MR. STUCKER: Ones right across the

 

           13              street from the Mercy because one is a stone

 

           14              house with a stone in front of it --

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT: A stone house, okay.

 

           16                      MR. STUCKER: And there is one

 

           17              behind, that's the only one I know.

 

           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Okay, Jim.  All

 

           19              right.  Thanks, Jim.

 

           20                      MR. MCCLOE: Good evening.  My name

 

           21              is Brett McCloe, homeowner and Scranton

 

           22              taxpayer.  Mr. McGoff, last week you made a

 

           23              statement at council and it was quoted in

 

           24              print that Mrs. Evans and Mr. Courtright

 

           25              used supposition as a reason for asking for,


 

 

                                                                      56

 

 

            1              inquiring and demanding further insight and

 

            2              answers from the Scranton Parking Authority

 

            3              and that doing so will virtually ensure that

 

            4              the public meeting would never happen.

 

            5                      I have to disagree.  Mr. McGoff, it

 

            6              was your "no" vote followed by your

 

            7              statement about supposition that virtually

 

            8              insured that a public meeting would never

 

            9              happen.  As president of Scranton City

 

           10              Council, you gave this gentleman a reason

 

           11              and the okay not to appear before council in

 

           12              public.  The demands -- the demands were not

 

           13              based on supposition or hypothesis because

 

           14              now there are numbers to backup and support

 

           15              Mrs. Evans' assertions.  The numbers are

 

           16              telling a story that the people should hear.

 

           17              It is wrong to undermine the status or the

 

           18              dignity of her statements by labeling them

 

           19              as supposition.

 

           20                      At this stage, Mrs. Evans is well

 

           21              into the realm of the theoretical, although,

 

           22              I will say that theories are not facts nor

 

           23              can theories turn into them, but they are

 

           24              also not completely separate and opposite of

 

           25              each other.  Theories are an attempt to


 

 

                                                                      57

 

 

            1              explain the facts through observation and

 

            2              investigation.  That's a grade school lesson

 

            3              anyone can follow.  More information is

 

            4              needed to complete and that information has

 

            5              to come from Mr. Scopelitti directly to the

 

            6              people of this city without benefit of a

 

            7              proxy council.  Why?  Because it's not

 

            8              rocket science.  The people of this city are

 

            9              capable of understanding the nature of the

 

           10              questions that will be asked and more than

 

           11              able to digest the answers for themselves or

 

           12              maybe you are another one of those who

 

           13              thinks that the citizens of this city will

 

           14              get it wrong.

 

           15                      Nobody wants to delve into his man's

 

           16              private life.  No one wants to prove he did

 

           17              anything incorrectly or illegally.  It's

 

           18              about job performance and the apparent

 

           19              possible misuse of hundreds of thousands of

 

           20              dollars of local, state and federal tax

 

           21              dollars.  Accountability will never factor

 

           22              in where none is demanded.  Our city

 

           23              government has been turned into a collection

 

           24              of private corporations accountable to no

 

           25              one but the mayor.  All of this council does


 

 

                                                                      58

 

 

            1              is hold the purse strings and the people's

 

            2              pockets open while these many corporations

 

            3              corporations take what they want to misuse

 

            4              with impunity.

 

            5                      Mrs. Evans has the courage enough to

 

            6              say enough is enough while the majority of

 

            7              this council continues to let these mini-

 

            8              corporations take their fill.  I'm not going

 

            9              to say my last statements are fact, but it

 

           10              is what you have been doing and that is the

 

           11              theory that forms my truth because in this

 

           12              city facts and truths may not always coexist

 

           13              and are easily explained away.

 

           14                      For instance, the FBI.  You can't

 

           15              convict the inept, also giving a free pass

 

           16              to the majority of this council to sweep a

 

           17              $12 million issue under the rug.  OECD on

 

           18              delinquent payments.  Well, that's just the

 

           19              way we do our jobs or in the case of the JAG

 

           20              grants it's just a big misunderstanding and

 

           21              now $4 million this city was supposed to get

 

           22              is now being held up by a computer glitch

 

           23              and most assuredly will be explained away at

 

           24              a later time.

 

           25                      Your statements painted a picture


 

 

                                                                      59

 

 

            1              with pastel colors like you do with every

 

            2              other issue involving taxpayer money.

 

            3              Mrs. Evans needs to paint this picture in

 

            4              bright, bold colors enough for everyone to

 

            5              see instead of the cabin color smoke and

 

            6              mirrors that cloud the viscous of the

 

            7              citizens of Scranton.

 

            8                      Over the past couple of months I

 

            9              have had some time to just take a look at

 

           10              things.  I have had a lot of time on my

 

           11              hands, and I have done a lot of reading and

 

           12              I have done a lot of listening, and I would

 

           13              just like people to get a better insight

 

           14              into not how to think, but just get more

 

           15              insight.  There is a gentleman, he is a

 

           16              professor of behavioral economics, his name

 

           17              is Dan Auriella.  He is a professor of

 

           18              behavioral economics at Duke University.  He

 

           19              is a burn patient and he is authored a book

 

           20              called "Predictably Irrational."

 

           21                      And he covers corporate and consumer

 

           22              decisions.  Look him up on-line, probably on

 

           23              Youtube and look up things about cheating,

 

           24              and then look up things about corporate

 

           25              mismanagement and you will find some very,


 

 

                                                                      60

 

 

            1              very scary similarities to what goes on here

 

            2              in Scranton.

 

            3                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?

 

            4                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Good evening,

 

            5              Council.  Marie Schumacher, resident and

 

            6              member of the Taxpayers' Association.  I'll

 

            7              be brief tonight.  I came -- I had the

 

            8              misfortune of coming down Spruce Street and

 

            9              turning onto Adams Avenue this afternoon and

 

           10              I thought I was dropping down into the

 

           11              mines.  I don't know who is in charge, if

 

           12              it's the Sewer Authority or if it's the DPW,

 

           13              but that -- if you get in the right-hand

 

           14              lane, which I have done many times, and just

 

           15              recently apparently if has sunk

 

           16              tremendously.

 

           17                      MS. EVANS: Where on Spruce Street?

 

           18                      MS. SCHUMACHER: Adam's right in

 

           19              front of the courthouse annex and it's --

 

           20              it's very, very not good for your car, and I

 

           21              don't know who could ferret that out, who is

 

           22              responsible, but that certainly needs to be

 

           23              fixed because that's a highly used

 

           24              right-turn lane and you can't avoid it if

 

           25              are you in the proper lane.


 

 

                                                                      61

 

 

            1                      Next, I would like to talk about the

 

            2              de facto grant that you all have made to I

 

            3              believe it's LRCA, the Lackawanna County

 

            4              River Corridor Association.  Awhile back

 

            5              there was legislation about the Silkman

 

            6              House and providing a new furnace for the

 

            7              Silkman House and making some other repairs

 

            8              and I inquired with that and I was told that

 

            9              was occupied by LRCA and by formerly the

 

           10              library, so I sent a Right-to-Know to the

 

           11              city and asked how much the LRCA was paying

 

           12              to the city in rent.  I got letter back,

 

           13              delinquent, of course, but nonetheless I got

 

           14              a letter back informing me that that was a

 

           15              verbal agreement that went back long time

 

           16              between the library and the LRCA.

 

           17                      As luck would have it, the trustees,

 

           18              the library trustees meeting was at noon the

 

           19              next day after I received a letter, so I

 

           20              went and I asked them how much they were

 

           21              receiving on a monthly basis, and they said

 

           22              they haven't received any money for years.

 

           23              When the library moved out it's the city's

 

           24              property and LRCA took over the whole

 

           25              building, so essentially we are paying the


 

 

                                                                      62

 

 

            1              maintenance on the building, we own the

 

            2              building, we are paying I assume the

 

            3              insurance on the building and a nonprofit is

 

            4              using it for free without the approval of

 

            5              council, which I say is a de facto grant and

 

            6              I'm not saying that -- making any comment

 

            7              about what they use it for, but if you are

 

            8              going to do that I think it should be

 

            9              approved by council.

 

           10                      I also would like to speak on the

 

           11              CDBG proposed budget a little bit more.  I

 

           12              know there is $150,000 for the Parking

 

           13              Authority to replace, not repair, but

 

           14              replace the sidewalks at the initial -- the

 

           15              initial parking garage at North Washington

 

           16              and Linden.  I did walk those.  There are

 

           17              maybe two huge slabs in what used to

 

           18              Flashbacks that do need to be replaced, but

 

           19              the others could certainly -- the others are

 

           20              only in somewhat disrepair and I'm sure

 

           21              could be repaired and that $150,000 could be

 

           22              better used and I would recommend that some

 

           23              of that, I know Mr. Santolli ran out of

 

           24              money again this year or he spent his

 

           25              budget, let me say that, and I know there is


 

 

                                                                      63

 

 

            1              still an awful lot of dangerous trees that

 

            2              are marked for removal around the city

 

            3              including at the -- at Nay Aug Park, and I

 

            4              think that some of that money should be

 

            5              transferred -- allowed to remain in the --

 

            6              put in the city's budget, but directed

 

            7              towards removal for Mr. Santolli.

 

            8                      And then finally I would like to ask

 

            9              what happened to the Home Rule Charter

 

           10              Revision.  You all voted on it once.  Isn't

 

           11              in your court to take the next step and get

 

           12              it on the ballot?  Mrs. Gatelli, I believe

 

           13              it was you who proposed it.

 

           14                      MS. GATELLI: Yes, but no one else

 

           15              showed any interest.

 

           16                      MS. SCHUMACHER: I believe the vote

 

           17              was in favor for it.

 

           18                      MS. GATELLI: Well, that's exactly

 

           19              where it's gotten.  No one else seemed

 

           20              interested in it.

 

           21                      MS. SCHUMACHER:  May I ask if the

 

           22              balance of the comment -- whether the

 

           23              balance of the council members are in favor

 

           24              of a Home Rule Charter review?  We are past

 

           25              the five-year mark?


 

 

                                                                      64

 

 

            1                      MS. EVANS: Um-hum.

 

            2                      MS. GATELLI: We are way past the

 

            3              five-years.

 

            4                      MS. FANUCCI: Yeah.

 

            5                      MS. SCHUMACHER: I suggest it be

 

            6              brought back to the forefront then.  Thank

 

            7              you very much.

 

            8                      MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening,

 

            9              Council.  Nelson Ancherani, First Amendment

 

           10              Rights, expressing my opinion.  I was

 

           11              wondering what the delay is on the

 

           12              renovations to the Connell building?  I have

 

           13              been asking for about three weeks.

 

           14                      MS. EVANS: Actually --

 

           15                      MS. FANUCCI: We got a letter.

 

           16                      MS. EVANS: -- we did receive an

 

           17              update on that and I'll announce that under

 

           18              motions.

 

           19                      MS. FANUCCI: I was going to do it,

 

           20              but that's okay.

 

           21                      MR. ANCHERANI: Six more weeks and

 

           22              the 2010 city budget has to be presented to

 

           23              city council.  What does the city do now

 

           24              that it may, and I say may, get the money

 

           25              from the Single Tax Office?  The money from


 

 

                                                                      65

 

 

            1              the tax office was used to balance the 2009

 

            2              budget.  Not getting the money could

 

            3              guarantee another 25 percent tax increase,

 

            4              and don't forget that the 2007 25 percent

 

            5              tax increase was approved by Mrs. Fanucci,

 

            6              Mrs. Gatelli, and Mr. McGoff and they get to

 

            7              vote on the 2010 budget.  I won't forget it

 

            8              because that 25 percent tax increase came

 

            9              while $12 million was, in my opinion, hidden

 

           10              in the Single Tax Office to make it appear

 

           11              that the city was still depressed, I mean,

 

           12              distressed.

 

           13                      I hope everyone out there is reading

 

           14              between the lines.  It's as plain as the

 

           15              noses on our faces.  The groundwork is being

 

           16              prepared as we speak.  First, prepare a 2009

 

           17              budget in which at least the $5 million

 

           18              deficit or not receivable in 2009.  Give us

 

           19              a deficit from the get-go.  Next, prepare

 

           20              the sheep hold for the next sheering.

 

           21                      A newspaper story comes out six

 

           22              weeks before the 2010 budget is to be

 

           23              presented to council saying the city may not

 

           24              have at least 4 million that is coming from

 

           25              the Single Tax Office until the end of the


 

 

                                                                      66

 

 

            1              year because of the computer glitch.  Wow.

 

            2              12 million discovered in this secret account

 

            3              for the past tax collector reign, two

 

            4              million missing because of accounting errors

 

            5              and now the third strike, computer glitch

 

            6              delaying the 4 million and opening the door

 

            7              for the 25 percent tax increase that I

 

            8              predict and the three people still on

 

            9              council that gave us the last 25 percent

 

           10              increase, I predict that 25 percent

 

           11              increase.

 

           12                      All we are missing now is that Cross

 

           13              guy from PEL and the begging bankers to be

 

           14              here.  They will start showing up at

 

           15              council, wait and see.  They are getting us

 

           16              prepared for the inevitable.  Tax increase.

 

           17              Thank you.

 

           18                      MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council.

 

           19              My name is Nancy Krake.  First I would like

 

           20              to say that I believe the gentleman that was

 

           21              speaking about the Lackawanna County Prison

 

           22              had a right to do so because Scranton police

 

           23              do bring prisoners there, sometimes directly

 

           24              and sometimes first to the processing

 

           25              center, so the city does and should have a


 

 

                                                                      67

 

 

            1              say in what goes on there.

 

            2                      It's been nine years since I've

 

            3              started coming to speak at council.  People

 

            4              have grandchildren born, people have passed

 

            5              away, speakers, but I must say in all of

 

            6              this nine years that the most arrogant and

 

            7              blatantly disrespectful thing that has

 

            8              happened for the Scranton residents yet.

 

            9              Mayor Doherty is campaigning full out not

 

           10              for mayor, but for governor in the 2010

 

           11              governor's race.  Today's Washington Post

 

           12              runs a campaign story or ad, more like it,

 

           13              complete with picture.  I recommend everyone

 

           14              read it in full for themselves because I'm

 

           15              going to give my interpretation and wouldn't

 

           16              like to speak for anyone else.

 

           17                      I disagree with the claims in the

 

           18              article.  For example, Doherty elected in

 

           19              2001 took a city on the verge of economic

 

           20              collapse.  Urr.  Wrong.  Surplus.  Surplus.

 

           21              And without a bond rating.  Yep.  True, but

 

           22              he paid over $1 million for bond insurance

 

           23              to get a rating which we have since lost.

 

           24              He mustn't have paid the insurance again,

 

           25              and immediately brought in 500 million in


 

 

                                                                      68

 

 

            1              new construction investments.  Well, that's

 

            2              debatable, they were KOZ's and many of them

 

            3              were long vacant.

 

            4                      Oh, and he is also included the

 

            5              state's first new medical school built in

 

            6              50 years.  I don't know if Senator Mellow

 

            7              reads the Post, but I do believe he would

 

            8              take umbrage with that remark.

 

            9                      There is a couple more things here.

 

           10              The Doherty forces.  He has eight media

 

           11              consultants, Tad Devine, Julia Mulvey,

 

           12              pollster Margie Omero, I believe I'm

 

           13              pronouncing it right, and communicator

 

           14              advisor Mark Nevans.  Big bucks for those

 

           15              people.  Big bucks.

 

           16                      But then it goes onto say, "Doherty,

 

           17              to his credit, seems to grasp that reality.

 

           18              My challenge is to raise money and make the

 

           19              argument that government does a play a role

 

           20              in people's lives."

 

           21                      His campaign tousing has raised more

 

           22              then $1 million, he has actually closer to

 

           23              two, for his last races and there is much

 

           24              more and he goes on that's pretty sickening,

 

           25              so I don't want to keep reading that.  The


 

 

                                                                      69

 

 

            1              bottom line is raising money, takes a lot of

 

            2              time.  How can he be elected mayor when he

 

            3              is really, really, really running for

 

            4              governor.  Read the article yourself once

 

            5              again.  See there is nothing in it about who

 

            6              is running for Mayor of Scranton, just two

 

            7              months from now.  We don't matter to him.

 

            8              All that Scrantonians in our city are and

 

            9              ever were to him or stepping-stones for his

 

           10              political career.  It's very sad commentary

 

           11              on our city.

 

           12                      And I do have one more question.

 

           13              Finally, is the city paying for

 

           14              Mrs. Gatelli's private lawsuit against a

 

           15              private citizen --

 

           16                      MS. GATELLI:  No, they are not, Mrs.

 

           17              Krake.

 

           18                      MS. KRAKE: I did need to know.

 

           19                      MS. GATELLI: No, they are not, and

 

           20              please stop insinuating it.

 

           21                      MS. KRAKE: I believe it was just a

 

           22              question.

 

           23                      MS. GATELLI: They are not.

 

           24                      MS. KRAKE: I'm sorry you felt --

 

           25                      MS. GATELLI: There has been a ruling


 

 

                                                                      70

 

 

            1              from a judge.  You are not entitled to the

 

            2              personal information.  The city is not

 

            3              paying for my personal lawsuit.

 

            4                      MS. KRAKE: Thank you for clearing

 

            5              that up.  Thank you.

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?  Mrs.

 

            7              Evans.

 

            8                      MS. EVANS: Good evening.  I'd like

 

            9              to begin with some promising news, a

 

           10              proposed bill by State Representative Murphy

 

           11              if approved by a vote of the full house

 

           12              would change billing for city real estate

 

           13              taxes, and thereby, assist many elderly,

 

           14              unemployed and poor homeowners in Scranton.

 

           15              To better understand Representative Murphy's

 

           16              bill we need to go back to 2007, when the

 

           17              mayor and city council majority enacted an

 

           18              ordinance for delinquent real estate tax

 

           19              payments that attached 23 additional fees,

 

           20              costs, and fines to delinquent tax payments.

 

           21              These additional fees, costs and fines are

 

           22              not received by the city, rather, they are

 

           23              paid to Northeast Credit and Collections.

 

           24                      One of the final provisions of this

 

           25              ordinance authorizes the taxes of the homes


 

 

                                                                      71

 

 

            1              by sheriff's sale.  Although, I support the

 

            2              collection of tax delinquencies I opposed

 

            3              this harsh Draconian ordinance, but I lost.

 

            4              I believe the vote was 3 to 2 with

 

            5              Mr. Courtright and I voting against.

 

            6                      Within the following year and a half

 

            7              I twice drafted legislation to amend that

 

            8              ordinance.  My amendment cut or decreased

 

            9              several of the unnecessary costs, fees and

 

           10              fines and eliminated the possibility of a

 

           11              sheriff's sale.  Both times I presented such

 

           12              motions at council I was defeated.  Again,

 

           13              the votes were 3 to 2.  Mr. Courtright and I

 

           14              voted in favor of these amendments and three

 

           15              council members voted against.  As a result,

 

           16              the ordinance still stands in it's original

 

           17              form.

 

           18                      Because I couldn't succeed in

 

           19              helping the elderly, the unemployed and the

 

           20              less fortunate through city council, I took

 

           21              my case to Kevin Murphy.  Soon after his

 

           22              swearing in as state representative of the

 

           23              113 District, he and his assistants met with

 

           24              me to discuss state legislation that would

 

           25              separate the city real estate tax bill from


 

 

                                                                      72

 

 

            1              the Scranton School District tax bill.  They

 

            2              are currently combined on one bill while the

 

            3              county taxes are a separate bill to be paid

 

            4              separately.

 

            5                      Rather than paying these two

 

            6              combined bills, which is highly burdensome

 

            7              for many city residents, a separate payment

 

            8              could be made for the city and for the

 

            9              school district.  Remember, only nonpayment

 

           10              of city taxes can result in a sheriff's sale

 

           11              of your home.  When this tax bill is

 

           12              separated from the school district taxes it

 

           13              becomes easier to pay city taxes, which are

 

           14              far less than those of the school district,

 

           15              and thereby, prevents losing your home.

 

           16                      In addition, the option to pay

 

           17              delinquent costs, fees and fines on a

 

           18              payment schedule would also be created.

 

           19              Mr. Murphy was very pleased to take the ball

 

           20              and run with it.  Last week, this proposal

 

           21              passed unanimously in the Urban Affairs

 

           22              Committee.  It now awaits a vote by the full

 

           23              house when it returns to legislative

 

           24              session.  This legislation affects only the

 

           25              City of Scranton and the Commonwealth of


 

 

                                                                      73

 

 

            1              Pennsylvania.  It is my greatest hope that

 

            2              Representative Murphy's bill will pass and I

 

            3              ask all viewers of this council meeting to

 

            4              contact your state representative and urge

 

            5              him or her to pass this legislation to help

 

            6              the struggling people of Scranton.

 

            7                      Finally, I do not believe that

 

            8              separate tax bills may increase mailing

 

            9              costs.  All three tax bills, the city, the

 

           10              school district and the county can be sent

 

           11              together in the same envelope.  Also, I hope

 

           12              our next tax collector, Mr. Courtright, will

 

           13              be open to this plan and consider it's

 

           14              merits for the people.

 

           15                      Additionally, I thank Representative

 

           16              Murphy for his hard work and continuous

 

           17              efforts in Harrisburg to help the people of

 

           18              Scranton.  I also support his second bill to

 

           19              help firefighters diagnosed with cancer who

 

           20              contracted it from their perilous job

 

           21              duties.

 

           22                      Next, city council faces a very

 

           23              serious legal issue on tonight's agenda,

 

           24              Item 6-A, an ordinance that seeks to amend

 

           25              Chapter 232 of the Code of the City of


 

 

                                                                      74

 

 

            1              Scranton to repeal Article I of Chapter 232

 

            2              Titled "Firearms" and to replace it with a

 

            3              new Article I titled "Firearms."  I voted to

 

            4              introduce this legislation last Tuesday in

 

            5              order to provide time to research this issue

 

            6              and open it to discussion.  During the week,

 

            7              I have received numerous e-mails both

 

            8              favoring and opposing this legislation.

 

            9                      I firmly believe in responsible gun

 

           10              ownership.  I understand the importance of

 

           11              registering lost or stolen firearms, but I

 

           12              also wish to remain within the scope of City

 

           13              Council authority.  Several years ago, four

 

           14              members of city council proposed and passed

 

           15              a smoking ban in the City of Scranton, an

 

           16              act which violated state law.  As a result,

 

           17              the city smoking ban was invalidated.

 

           18                      Eventually, the state legislature

 

           19              enacted a statewide smoking ban which placed

 

           20              businesses on a level playing field and

 

           21              restricted all citizens of Pennsylvania from

 

           22              smoking in public places.  The firearm's

 

           23              legislation presents a similar situation.

 

           24              The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, based on

 

           25              the research I have conducted, has


 

 

                                                                      75

 

 

            1              preemption laws that prevent local

 

            2              jurisdictions from imposing ordinances more

 

            3              restrictive than laws passed by the state

 

            4              legislature.  In other words, state law

 

            5              supersedes local government in firearms

 

            6              issues.  In fact, several cases remain in

 

            7              litigation statewide concerning cities that

 

            8              legislated the issue of filing to report

 

            9              loss or stolen firearms.  I don't wish to

 

           10              see the City of Scranton engaged in costly

 

           11              additional legal battles.

 

           12                      Our city, unlike many of the cities

 

           13              who has passed this legislation, is a

 

           14              distressed city.  It suffers financially

 

           15              from a shaking tax base that has been

 

           16              devoured by nonprofits, 25 percent of our

 

           17              city is eaten up by nonprofits who do not

 

           18              pay taxes.  It has a significant population

 

           19              of senior citizens and it's unemployment

 

           20              numbers are higher than the state average.

 

           21              In the face of these facts, our city has

 

           22              already wasted millions in legal fees to

 

           23              attorneys and courts in it's attempt to

 

           24              violated contracts and break municipal

 

           25              unions.


 

 

                                                                      76

 

 

            1                      Rather than add to our financial

 

            2              woes, I would like council to send a letter

 

            3              to the State Attorney General to seek his

 

            4              opinion of this Scranton ordinance before it

 

            5              is presented to council for a final vote.  I

 

            6              would like to know if he believes this

 

            7              legislation is legal and enforceable, and I

 

            8              would send that letter on behalf of council

 

            9              if my council colleagues are agreeable.

 

           10                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Sure.

 

           11                      MR. MCGOFF: Well, can we -- we are

 

           12              going to get into a debate on this before

 

           13              it's even presented.  We are acting, again,

 

           14              this has already been -- similar bills have

 

           15              already been enacted -- similar laws have

 

           16              been enacted in 11 municipalities throughout

 

           17              the state.  I think if there were a question

 

           18              from the Attorney General that it would

 

           19              probably would have been addressed by now.

 

           20                      MS. EVANS: Nevertheless, I would

 

           21              like to send the letter.

 

           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Can I say something?

 

           23                      MS. GATELLI: I want to say

 

           24              something, too.

 

           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT: As somebody who,


 

 

                                                                      77

 

 

            1              might know, I sat on a board with the

 

            2              Pennsylvania State Police and Frank Moroski,

 

            3              who is a colonel of the state police sits on

 

            4              that board with me.  There is also a member

 

            5              in the second or third command of the

 

            6              Attorney General's Office, his name is Ray

 

            7              Sheetz, he sits on that board also with me.

 

            8              The chiefs of police of some of the cities

 

            9              that have passed it Reading, Philadelphia,

 

           10              they sit on that board with me and they are

 

           11              all in favor, but I understand your concern

 

           12              of the legality.  I will personally call Ray

 

           13              myself.  I think we could send myself, but I

 

           14              will call Ray Sheetz from the Attorney

 

           15              General's Office myself and ask him on a

 

           16              personal level what his opinion is.  And if

 

           17              he -- if we get the information back and

 

           18              it's legal then I'll vote in favor of it.

 

           19              I'm going to vote in favor of it tonight.

 

           20              We are only in Sixth Order; correct?

 

           21                      MS. GARVEY: Yes.

 

           22                      MR. COURTRIGHT: I'm going to vote in

 

           23              favor of it tonight to move it to Seventh

 

           24              Order and I'll contact Ray between now and

 

           25              our next meeting, but I'm all for sending


 

 

                                                                      78

 

 

            1              the letter.

 

            2                      MS. GATELLI: I was just going to

 

            3              vote "no" tonight, but it doesn't look like

 

            4              it's going to be voted down.  From the

 

            5              research that I have done, it is already

 

            6              before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

 

            7              People have challenged -- you know, written

 

            8              these laws and they were challenged and it's

 

            9              before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, so

 

           10              for us to enact this while something is

 

           11              before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is

 

           12              just ludicrous.  The DA's, I believe, were

 

           13              informed by the Attorney General not to

 

           14              proceed with this until the case is settled

 

           15              in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, so I'm

 

           16              going to be voting "no."

 

           17                      MS. EVANS: I'm just going to finish

 

           18              off now which is connected to my remarks.

 

           19              Therefore, I am going to ask tonight that we

 

           20              table Item 6-A on the agenda until council

 

           21              can determine if it may be in violation of

 

           22              state preemption law, and also I believe it

 

           23              is wiser to consider the outcome of

 

           24              litigation on this matter against other

 

           25              cities throughout the Pennsylvania before we


 

 

                                                                      79

 

 

            1              move ahead.  It seems to be the state

 

            2              legislature who should address this issue in

 

            3              order to provide uniformity statewide.

 

            4                      And finally, I have citizens'

 

            5              requests for the week:  601-603 Wheeler

 

            6              Avenue, neighbors report that there is an

 

            7              open door leading into the basement in this

 

            8              vacant home.  Please ask the DPW to board up

 

            9              the door.  Also, I am aware that Mr. Oleski

 

           10              sent letters to the owner who may be an

 

           11              out-of-town resident and that letter

 

           12              concerned the overgrown conditions of this

 

           13              property.

 

           14                      A city resident reports that the

 

           15              "Walk/Don't Walk" sign at the corner of

 

           16              Lackawanna Avenue and South Washington

 

           17              Avenue is facing downhill rather than facing

 

           18              pedestrians who are trying to cross

 

           19              Lackawanna Avenue.  A truck turning onto

 

           20              South Washington nearly struck this resident

 

           21              as he was crossing that intersection.  He is

 

           22              concerned for the safety of senior citizens

 

           23              and children when crossing.  Please turn

 

           24              this traffic signal in it's proper visible

 

           25              direction.


 

 

                                                                      80

 

 

            1                      At last week's council meeting, a

 

            2              city resident asked for an update on the

 

            3              Connell building project.  Ms. Aebli, OECD

 

            4              director, responds as follows:  "Please be

 

            5              assured that the Connell building is still

 

            6              an active ongoing project.  This office is

 

            7              in communication with Scranton Connell LP on

 

            8              a regular basis."

 

            9                      Also, the corner of Spruce and Adams

 

           10              Avenue at the courthouse annex, the right

 

           11              turn lane suffers from a deep depression,

 

           12              and if we could please get someone from DPW

 

           13              out there to take a look at that as soon as

 

           14              possible.  And that's it.

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF:  Mrs. Gatelli.

 

           16                      MS. GATELLI: Yes, I just have a few

 

           17              items.  The first thing I would like to

 

           18              thank Mr. Oleski for the demolition of the

 

           19              property at 612 Gibbons Street.  It was

 

           20              condemned for quite a few years and rat

 

           21              infested and just a blight on that block and

 

           22              I'm very pleased to announce that it has

 

           23              been demolished.

 

           24                      I also have with me a list of

 

           25              streets that are going to be paved by the


 

 

                                                                      81

 

 

            1              gas company.  They include the 500 block of

 

            2              Ripple Street, 1600 of East Gibson, Leggett

 

            3              Street from Market to Loop, Leggett Street

 

            4              from Loop to the dead end.  Leggett Street

 

            5              from Ballua to Durkin.  Kelly from the dead

 

            6              end to Gilbert.  Ballau from Leggett to

 

            7              Gilbert.  Durkin near Leggett to Gilbert.

 

            8              Gilbert from Kelly to Ballau.  Gilbert from

 

            9              Ballau to Durkin.  Adams from Gibson to the

 

           10              -- Gibson to Gibson, that doesn't make sense

 

           11              but that's what it says.  Myrtle from

 

           12              Washington to Adams.  14th from Luzerne to

 

           13              Fellows.  Luzerne from 13th to 15th.

 

           14              Electric from North Washington to Sunset.

 

           15              Electric from Sunset to Sanderson.  Electric

 

           16              from Sanderson to Dickson.  Capouse from

 

           17              Popular to Walnut.  Capouse from Walnut to

 

           18              the railroad tracks.  Pine from Jefferson to

 

           19              Madison.  Pine from Madison to Monroe.

 

           20              Division from South Sumner, to South Hyde

 

           21              Park.  Division from South Hyde Park to

 

           22              South Main.  Vine from Harrison to Wheeler

 

           23              and Wheeler from Vine to Olive.

 

           24                      So, I'm pleased to announce that the

 

           25              gas company will be doing paving on these


 

 

                                                                      82

 

 

            1              roads where they have done a numerous amount

 

            2              of work.  We should be getting our paving

 

            3              list from the city very shortly.  If was bid

 

            4              out and depending on the amount that would

 

            5              determine the number of streets that would

 

            6              be paved, and that's all I have.  Thank you

 

            7              very much.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Fanucci.

 

            9                      MS. FANUCCI:  I just want to speak

 

           10              on the legislation tonight that we are

 

           11              speaking of.  I, myself, feel the same way.

 

           12              With the legislation being created through

 

           13              us and it being in the Supreme Court right

 

           14              now and not having a ruling on that maybe we

 

           15              need to take a better look at it and see

 

           16              what we really should be doing here.

 

           17              Whether or not I believe it's right or wrong

 

           18              is not the issue, it's more of the issue of

 

           19              what will come to be after we do make the

 

           20              legislation.

 

           21                      With that, I will say the smoking

 

           22              ban, and what I believe with the smoking ban

 

           23              was we did that to step up to create the

 

           24              buzz and make sure that the state stepped up

 

           25              and did their job.  Whether or not that's


 

 

                                                                      83

 

 

            1              what is being done here with the other

 

            2              municipalities who have enacted this

 

            3              ordinance, that might be what is being done

 

            4              and that's -- and that sometimes is the only

 

            5              way to get it done, so just knowing that

 

            6              other people are doing it is not enough.  My

 

            7              heart was in this smoking ban and in the

 

            8              legislation that was created there and I

 

            9              cannot say that that's where I am with this

 

           10              legislation right now.

 

           11                      So with that being said, I don't

 

           12              really believe that until we have all of the

 

           13              answers that we are looking to for that it's

 

           14              something that we should be considering at

 

           15              this time, and that is all I have.  Thank

 

           16              you.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF:  Mr. Courtright.

 

           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Mrs. Evans, maybe I

 

           19              can save myself a whole bunch of phone calls

 

           20              of you're going to make a motion to table it

 

           21              then I will vote to table and I won't have

 

           22              to make all those calls tomorrow.

 

           23                      Sloan Little League, there has been

 

           24              some problems back there as far as kids

 

           25              hanging around and I have asked the police


 

 

                                                                      84

 

 

            1              on several occasions to go back there and

 

            2              they have, but as always, you know, when the

 

            3              police are there they leave, the police

 

            4              leave they come back, and I think what we

 

            5              need to do is I will try to get in touch

 

            6              with Pete is that one of the neighbors feel

 

            7              that if we lock -- there is a gate that goes

 

            8              by there, if we lock that it will be little

 

            9              bit of a deterrent, I will do that.  I

 

           10              haven't had an opportunity to call Pete, but

 

           11              he is very cooperative and I am sure he will

 

           12              be willing to do that.

 

           13                      Just one more thing, I think it was

 

           14              Mrs. Krake that spoke about the medical

 

           15              school who said that, mentioned about the

 

           16              medical school, somebody made mention anyway

 

           17              about the medical school this evening, and

 

           18              it's funny they brought it up because this

 

           19              morning I had this conversation, whether you

 

           20              like Senator Mellow or dislike Senator

 

           21              Mellow, whether you like his politics or

 

           22              dislike his politics I don't think there is

 

           23              anybody here that can deny he is the reason

 

           24              the medical school is here in the City of

 

           25              Scranton.  The Senator pushed very hard for


 

 

                                                                      85

 

 

            1              it, he has been in the Senate a long time

 

            2              and he has seniority there, and I truly

 

            3              believe the sole responsibility fro that

 

            4              coming here was him.  And again, whether you

 

            5              like him or dislike him, I don't think there

 

            6              is any denying that.  And that's all I have.

 

            7              Thank you.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF: A couple of things.

 

            9              First, I would appreciate if somebody is

 

           10              going to quote me that they quote me

 

           11              correctly.  Last week I said that the

 

           12              failure to pay bills due by the Parking

 

           13              Authority was based on supposition.  I

 

           14              believe I was quoted out of context and

 

           15              incorrectly and I wish that if the future

 

           16              people would not do that.

 

           17                      Also, on the smoking -- just very

 

           18              quickly on the smoking ban since it's being

 

           19              brought up again, I'd like to know how much

 

           20              it cost the city when the smoking ban was

 

           21              repealed?  I believe the answer would be

 

           22              nothing.  There was no Court cases involved

 

           23              in which we were a party, we didn't spend

 

           24              any money on it when was repealed, so it

 

           25              really didn't cost us anything.  I know that


 

 

                                                                      86

 

 

            1              you may, you know, people may say that it

 

            2              cost businesses, but as far as the city is

 

            3              concerned there was no cost to the city in

 

            4              it's repeal.

 

            5                      MS. FANUCCI: Pilcheksy filed a suit.

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF: Excuse me?  Also, when

 

            7              we keep coming back to NCC and people keep

 

            8              telling me that, you know, I voted for it

 

            9              and yes, I did, but we should be accurate

 

           10              here.  How many homes have been lost to

 

           11              sheriff's sale because of those measures

 

           12              enacted.  I believe the answer would zero,

 

           13              and when I voted for that I believe that

 

           14              punitive measures were needed in order to

 

           15              collect taxes and I still believe that and I

 

           16              believe helping to -- you know, no one is

 

           17              going to pay us and we were paid what was

 

           18              it, 1.8 million or 2.8 million in order to,

 

           19              you know, for NCC to receive those, so we

 

           20              did receive, you know, quite a bit of money

 

           21              and nobody is going to do that unless they

 

           22              have the power to actually collect the

 

           23              taxes.

 

           24                      And lastly, I should mention this,

 

           25              last week I was present when the University


 

 

                                                                      87

 

 

            1              of Scranton presented the city with a check

 

            2              in lieu of taxes in the amount of $110,000

 

            3              and they are the only school in the city to

 

            4              do so.  And with that said it might be -- I

 

            5              know the University takes some hits here on

 

            6              a number of things, they are the only school

 

            7              that -- and really the only large nonprofit

 

            8              that does pay anything in lieu of taxes

 

            9              when, in fact, they are fifth in acreage

 

           10              among the nonprofits.  Johnson College, for

 

           11              example, has more acreage that is nonprofit

 

           12              than the University of Scranton.  And with

 

           13              that, also, in the last four years the

 

           14              University of Scranton has paid somewhere

 

           15              around 1.4 million dollars to the city in

 

           16              fees and permits for the building that's

 

           17              gone on and add to that the Mulberry Street

 

           18              project that they are doing at their

 

           19              expense, that will also add to the

 

           20              enhancement of the city.

 

           21                      So they do do something that other

 

           22              schools and other nonprofits could not do

 

           23              and I think they should be thanked for that,

 

           24              and that's all.

 

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


 

 

                                                                      88

 

 

            1              AN ORDINANCE - AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO.

 

            2              49, 2008, AN ORDINANCE ENTITLED "GENERAL

 

            3              CITY OPERATING BUDGET 2009" BY TRANSFERRING

 

            4              $4,400.00 FROM ACCOUNT NO. 01.051.00051.4010

 

            5              (LICENSE & INSPECTIONS- STANDARD SALARY) TO

 

            6              ACCOUNT NO. 01.051.00051.4101 (UNIFORM

 

            7              ALLOWANCE-MILEAGE) TO PROVIDE FUNDING TO

 

            8              REIMBURSE EMPLOYEES IN THE LICENSE &

 

            9              INSPECTIONS DEPARTMENT FOR MILEAGE.

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll

 

           11              entertain a motion that Item 5-B be

 

           12              introduced into it's proper committee.

 

           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

           14                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

           16              in favor signify by saying aye.

 

           17                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           18                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           19                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

           22              ayes have it and so moved.

 

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

 

           24              AN ORDINANCE - AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO.

 

           25              49, 2008, AN ORDINANCE ENTITLED "GENERAL


 

 

                                                                      89

 

 

            1              CITY OPERATING BUDGET 2009" BY TRANSFERRING

 

            2              $390.00 FROM ACCOUNT NO. 01.040.00040.4201

 

            3              (BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION- PROFESSIONAL

 

            4              SERVICES) TO ACCOUNT NO. 01.040.00040.4120

 

            5              (BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION-LIFE/DISABILITY

 

            6              INSURANCE) TO PROVIDE FUNDING TO COVER THE

 

            7              REMAINING 2009 PAYMENTS FOR THE BUSINESS

 

            8              ADMINISTRATION LIFE/DISABILITY INSURANCE

 

            9              PREMIUMS.

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll

 

           11              entertain a motion that Item 5-C be

 

           12              introduced into it's proper committee.

 

           13                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

           14                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.

 

           15                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

           16              in favor signify by saying aye.

 

           17                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           18                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           19                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           20                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

           22              ayes have it and so moved.

 

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

 

           24              AN ORDINANCE - AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO.

 

           25              49, 2008, AN ORDINANCE ENTITLED "GENERAL


 

 

                                                                      90

 

 

            1              CITY OPERATING BUDGET 2009" BY TRANSFERRING

 

            2              $1,610.00 FROM ACCOUNT NO. 01.011.00071.4390

 

            3              (POLICE DEPARTMENT-MATERIALS & SUPPLIES) TO

 

            4              ACCOUNT NO. 01.011.00071.4120 (POLICE

 

            5              DEPARTMENT-LIFE/DISABILITY INSURANCE) TO

 

            6              PROVIDE FUNDING TO COVER THE REMAINING 2009

 

            7              PAYMENTS FOR THE POLICE DEPARTMENT

 

            8              LIFE/DISABILITY INSURANCE PREMIUMS.

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll

 

           10              entertain a motion that Item 5-D be

 

           11              introduced into it's proper committee.

 

           12                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

           13                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.

 

           14                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  All

 

           15              in favor signify by saying aye.

 

           16                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           17                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           18                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF:  Aye.  Opposed?  The

 

           21              ayes have it and so moved.

 

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

 

           23              AN ORDINANCE - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND

 

           24              OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS TO ACCEPT

 

           25              AND RECORD A DEED CONVEYING OWNERSHIP OF AN


 

 

                                                                      91

 

 

            1              UNOPENED PORTION OF SWETLAND STREET, MORE

 

            2              FULLY DESCRIBED AS LOT 173, BLOCK 13, WARD

 

            3              21 IN THE CITY OF SCRANTON, TAX MAP NUMBER

 

            4              13320-010-034.

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll

 

            6              entertain a motion that Item 5-E 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                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

           19                      MS. FANUCCI: Second.

 

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

 

           21              A RESOLUTION - APPROVING THE FINANCING BY

 

           22              THE SCRANTON-LACKAWANNA HEALTH AND WELFARE

 

           23              AUTHORITY OF CERTAIN CAPITAL PROJECTS FOR

 

           24              THE BENEFIT OF MARYWOOD UNIVERSITY, A

 

           25              PENNSYLVANIA NOT-FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION


 

 

                                                                      92

 

 

            1              SERVING THE PUBLIC; DECLARING THAT IT IS

 

            2              DESIRABLE FOR THE HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE

 

            3              OF THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY OF SCRANTON,

 

            4              LACKAWANNA COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, AND THE

 

            5              AREA SERVED BY MARYWOOD UNIVERSITY, TO HAVE

 

            6              THE PROJECTS PROVIDED BY AND FINANCED

 

            7              THROUGH THE AUTHORITY; DESIGNATING THE MAYOR

 

            8              OF THE CITY, OR, IN HIS ABSENCE, THE

 

            9              PRESIDENT OR VICE PRESIDENT OF THE CITY

 

           10              COUNCIL, AS THE PERSON TO ACT ON BEHALF OF

 

           11              THE CITY COUNCIL AS THE "APPLICABLE ELECTED

 

           12              REPRESENTATIVE" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE

 

           13              INTERNAL REVENUE CODE OF 1986, AS AMENDED;

 

           14              AUTHORIZING SUCH MAYOR OF THE CITY OR THE

 

           15              PRESIDENT OR VICE PRESIDENT OF THE CITY

 

           16              COUNCIL OF THE CITY TO TAKE CERTAIN ACTIONS

 

           17              ON BEHALF OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY AS

 

           18              SUCH "APPLICABLE ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE";

 

           19              AND AUTHORIZING OTHER NECESSARY AND

 

           20              APPROPRIATE ACTION.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF:  At this time I'll

 

           22              entertain a motion that Item 5-F be

 

           23              introduced into it's proper committee.

 

           24                      MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.

 

           25                      MS. FANUCCI:  Second.


 

 

                                                                      93

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?

 

            2                      MS. EVANS: Just a bit of information

 

            3              for the taxpayers, the approval granted

 

            4              possibly by Scranton City Council does not

 

            5              in any way pledge or obligate the credit or

 

            6              taxing power of the city nor shall the city

 

            7              be liable for the payment of the principal

 

            8              of or interest on any obligation issued by

 

            9              the authority in connection with this 2009

 

           10              project which is quite a vast undertaking.

 

           11                      It affects a numbers of buildings on

 

           12              the Marywood campus and I believe the

 

           13              project is in the amount of $6 million.  I

 

           14              have only one question, however, is Marywood

 

           15              University located in Scranton or in

 

           16              Dunmore?

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF: Both.

 

           18                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Both.

 

           19                      MS. GATELLI: Both.

 

           20                      MS. EVANS: So is the Borough of

 

           21              Dunmore involved in the approval process as

 

           22              part of Lackawanna County and a host home to

 

           23              Marywood University?

 

           24                      MR. MCGOFF: I do not know.

 

           25                      MS. GATELLI:  I don't know who is on


 

 

                                                                      94

 

 

            1              that Welfare Authority.

 

            2                      MS. EVANS: I don't either.  Maybe we

 

            3              could pose that question just by phone.

 

            4                      MS. GARVEY: I can call Mary Ellen

 

            5              Clark tomorrow and find out.

 

            6                      MS. GATELLI: I think the

 

            7              commissioners are on there, too, if I'm not

 

            8              mistaken.

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else on the

 

           10              question?  All those in favor signify by

 

           11              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. EVANS: Prior to reading Item

 

           19              6-A, I move to table Item 6-A until such

 

           20              time as a response has been received by the

 

           21              State Attorney General in relation to the

 

           22              this piece of legislation and at such time

 

           23              as the State Supreme Court rules on the

 

           24              legality and enforceability of this change

 

           25              in Firearms Code.


 

 

                                                                      95

 

 

            1                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

 

            2                      MR. MCGOFF: On the question?  I

 

            3              would like to just make one comment.  I

 

            4              disagree with Mrs. Fanucci on this.  I think

 

            5              the issue here is doing what is right and I

 

            6              firmly believe that this legislation is the

 

            7              right thing to do for the city and just as

 

            8              we did with the smoking ban I believe that

 

            9              we should act on what is right for the

 

           10              citizens and the policing the City of

 

           11              Scranton and not wait until others act for

 

           12              us.  All in favor of the motion to table

 

           13              signify by saying aye.

 

           14                      MS. EVANS:  Aye.

 

           15                      MS. FANUCCI:  Aye.

 

           16                      MS. GATELLI:  Aye.

 

           17                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Aye.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF:  Opposed?  No. The ayes

 

           19              have it and so moved.

 

           20                      MS. GARVEY: SEVENTH ORDER.  7-A. FOR

 

           21              CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES -

 

           22              FOR ADOPTION - RESOLUTION NO. 177, 2009 -

 

           23              APPOINTMENT OF PETER P.CUPPLE, M.D., 1656

 

           24              SANDERSON AVENUE, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA,

 

           25              18509, AS A MEMBER OF THE HISTORICAL


 

 

                                                                      96

 

 

            1              ARCHITECTURE REVIEW BOARD FOR AN ADDITIONAL

 

            2              FIVE (5) YEAR TERM. DR. CUPPLE'S CURRENT

 

            3              TERM EXPIRES ON OCTOBER 11, 2009 AND HIS NEW

 

            4              TERM WILL EXPIRE ON OCTOBER 11, 2014.

 

            5                      MR. MCGOFF:  As Chairperson for the

 

            6              Committee on Rules, I recommend final

 

            7              passage of Item 7-A.

 

            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

 

            9                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?

 

           10                      MS. EVANS: I'd like to thank

 

           11              Dr. Cupple for all of his years of service

 

           12              to AHA and I look forward to his continued

 

           13              term in this position.  I know he takes such

 

           14              meticulous care of every detail of his

 

           15              responsibilities and he has such a deep and

 

           16              abiding love and concern for the historical

 

           17              architecture of our city, and it is indeed a

 

           18              great pleasure to be able to approve his

 

           19              continuing term on the Architectural

 

           20              Heritage Association Board.

 

           21                      MR. MCGOFF: Roll call, please.

 

           22                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.

 

           23                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.

 

           24                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.

 

           25                      MS. GATELLI.  Yes.


 

 

                                                                      97

 

 

            1                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.

 

            2                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.

 

            3                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.

 

            4                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.

 

            5                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.

 

            6                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare

 

            7              Item 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.

 

            8                      MS. GARVEY: 7-B. FOR CONSIDERATION -

 

            9              BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -

 

           10              RESOLUTION NO. 178, 2009 - APPOINTMENT OF

 

           11              RICHARD J. LEONORI, AIA, 848 NORTH IRVING

 

           12              AVENUE, SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18510, AS A

 

           13              MEMBER OF THE HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURE REVIEW

 

           14              BOARD FOR AN ADDITIONAL (5) YEAR TERM. MR.

 

           15              LEONORI'S CURRENT TERM EXPIRES ON OCTOBER

 

           16              11, 2009 AND HIS NEW TERM WILL EXPIRE ON

 

           17              OCTOBER 11, 2014.

 

           18                      MR. MCGOFF:  As Chairperson for the

 

           19              Committee on Rules, I recommend final

 

           20              passage of Item 7-B.

 

           21                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll

 

           23              call, please?

 

           24                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.

 

           25                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.


 

 

                                                                      98

 

 

            1                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.

 

            2                      MS. GATELLI.  Yes.

 

            3                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.

 

            4                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.

 

            5                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.

 

            6                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.

 

            7                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.

 

            8                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare

 

            9              Item 7-B legally and lawfully adopted.

 

           10                      MS. GARVEY: 7-C.  FOR CONSIDERATION

 

           11              BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -

 

           12              RESOLUTION NO. 179, 2009 - APPOINTMENT OF

 

           13              JOHN T. COGNETTI, 917 SUNSET STREET,

 

           14              SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18509, AS A MEMBER

 

           15              OF THE HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURE REVIEW BOARD

 

           16              FOR AN ADDITIONAL FIVE (5) YEAR TERM. MR.

 

           17              COGNETTI'S CURRENT TERM EXPIRES ON OCTOBER

 

           18              11, 2009 AND HIS NEW TERM WILL EXPIRE ON

 

           19              OCTOBER 11, 2014.

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF:  As Chair for the

 

           21              Committee on Rules, I recommend final

 

           22              passage of Item 7-C.

 

           23                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.

 

           24                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?  Roll

 

           25              call, please?


 

 

                                                                      99

 

 

            1                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.

 

            2                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.

 

            3                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.

 

            4                      MS. GATELLI.  Yes.

 

            5                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.

 

            6                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.

 

            7                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.

 

            8                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.

 

            9                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.

 

           10                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare

 

           11              Item 7-C legally and lawfully adopted.

 

           12                      MS. GARVEY: 7-D. FOR CONSIDERATION

 

           13              BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -

 

           14              RESOLUTION NO. 180, 2009 - APPOINTMENT OF

 

           15              RALPH A. SCARTELLI, 1208 RUNDLE STREET,

 

           16              SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 18504, AS A MEMBER

 

           17              OF THE HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURE REVIEW BOARD

 

           18              FOR AN ADDITIONAL FIVE (5) YEAR TERM. MR.

 

           19              SCARTELLI'S CURRENT TERM EXPIRES ON OCTOBER

 

           20              11, 2009 AND HIS NEW TERM WILL EXPIRE ON

 

           21              OCTOBER 11, 2014.

 

           22                      MR. MCGOFF:  As Chair for the

 

           23              Committee on Rules, I recommend final

 

           24              passage of Item 7-D.

 

           25                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.


 

 

                                                                     100

 

 

            1                      MR. MCGOFF:  On the question?

 

            2                      MS. EVANS: I would be remiss if I

 

            3              did not thank Mr. Leonori, Mr. Cognetti and

 

            4              Mr. Scartelli for their dedication to AHA.

 

            5              And again, I am most pleased to be able to

 

            6              approve the extension of their terms.

 

            7                      MR. MCGOFF: Roll call, please?

 

            8                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Evans.

 

            9                      MS. EVANS:  Yes.

 

           10                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mrs. Gatelli.

 

           11                      MS. GATELLI.  Yes.

 

           12                      MR. COOLICAN:  Ms. Fanucci.

 

           13                      MS. FANUCCI:  Yes.

 

           14                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. Courtright.

 

           15                      MR. COURTRIGHT:  Yes.

 

           16                      MR. COOLICAN:  Mr. McGoff.

 

           17                      MR. MCGOFF:  Yes.  I hereby declare

 

           18              Item 7-D legally and lawfully adopted.

 

           19                      MR. COURTRIGHT: Motion to adjourn.

 

           20                      MR. MCGOFF: Thank you for your

 

           21              participation.

 

           22

 

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                                                                     101

 

 

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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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