1 SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL MEETING
7 Tuesday, October 13, 2009
10 Council Chambers
11 Scranton City Hall
12 340 North Washington Avenue
13 Scranton, Pennsylvania
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR - OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER
2 CITY OF SCRANTON COUNCIL:
MR. ROBERT MCGOFF, PRESIDENT
6 MS. JUDY GATELLI, VICE-PRESIDENT
MS. JANET E. EVANS
9 MS. SHERRY FANUCCI
MR. WILLIAM COURTRIGHT
12 MS. KAY GARVEY, CITY CLERK
MR. NEIL COOLICAN, ASSISTANT CITY CLERK
15 MR. AMIL MINORA, SOLICITOR
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. Ms.
8 MS. FANUCCI: Here.
9 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
10 MR. COURTRIGHT: Here.
11 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Here.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Please let the record
14 show that Mrs. Gatelli did call me and say
15 that she may not be able to make tonight's
16 meeting. She was engaged in doing flu
17 vaccines through the school district and she
18 was not sure whether she would be finished
19 in time. Dispense with the reading of the
21 MS. GARVEY: Third Order. There is
22 no business at this time.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Announcements from
25 MS. EVANS: Yes. Please remember in
1 your prayers all those who are died this
2 week, particularly Thomas Knoll and his wife
3 and family he leaves behind. His daughter,
4 Angela, is a dedicated city employee and a
5 very good friend to many of us.
6 Tomorrow evening, October 14, the
7 Interfaith Friend's Committee in cooperation
8 with Friendly's Restaurant invite you to
9 dine at Friendly's in Dunmore from 5 to
10 8 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the St.
11 Francis of Assisi Food Kitchen. As we face
12 the winter months, increasing high
13 unemployment and a harsh economy, you can
14 make a difference. By dining at Friendly's,
15 you can help to feed the hungry and needy in
16 your community.
17 Attention young people of our area
18 and the young at heart who wish to support
19 our First Responders. There will be a
20 benefit for Foundation 58 this Friday
21 October 16, from 5 to 9 p.m. at Heil's Place
22 located at 1002 Wheeler Avenue in Scranton.
23 Entertainment will be provided by Yacondo
24 Cortezo, lead singer of Lesson One, Grace's
25 Downfall, and No Where Slow. In addition,
1 50/50 raffles, Leah Sophia jewelry sales and
2 basket raffles will be held. Foundation 58
3 is a 501-C-3 nonprofit organization
4 dedicated to providing financial assistance
5 to firefighters, police officers and EMS
6 personnel who are diagnosed with cancer and
7 donations are tax deductible. It will be a
8 great time for everyone and proceeds will
9 help our First Responders who devoted their
10 lives to keeping all of us safe.
11 An Octoberfest 2009 fundraiser will
12 be conducted at the Parker House Cafe, 12
13 East Parker Street, Scranton, on October 17
14 from 7 to 10 p.m. tickets are $10.00 and are
15 available at the door. All proceeds benefit
16 the James N. Lynett speech and debate
17 invitational tournament. Celebrate
18 Octoberfest and support a great cause.
19 Saints Peter and Paul Russian
20 Orthodox Church on Washburn Street in
21 Scranton hold a delicious roast beef dinner
22 this Sunday, October 18, from noon to
23 2:00 p.m. at the Parish Hall. Tickets are
24 available at the door and takeouts will be
1 The Women's Society of St. Joe's
2 Malachite Church will sponsor a spaghetti
3 dinner October 22 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the
4 church hall located at North Street and St.
5 Francis Cabrini Avenue. Tickets are $8.00
6 for adults and $4.00 for children under ten
7 and are available for parishioners and at
8 the door.
9 The Providence United Methodist
10 Church will conduct a turkey dinner and
11 bazaar on October 24 from 5 to 7 p.m.
12 Takeouts are available from 4 to 5. Tickets
13 are $9.50 for adults and $5.00 for children
14 between the ages of 5 and 12 years of age.
15 Children under five are free. Tickets are
16 available at the door. And I can tell you
17 this is one wonderful meal. It's one of my
18 very favorites in this city and it's just
19 like having a Thanksgiving dinner a month
21 And the next day St. Stanislas
22 Polish National Catholic Cathedral will hold
23 it's preholiday homestyle turkey dinner on
24 October 25 at 12:30 p.m. in the Youth Center
25 at 530 East Elm Street. Tickets are $10 for
1 adults, $5 for children under 12, and are
2 available at the door.
3 We have two chances, you see, in the
4 same weekend to enjoy mouthwatering turkey
5 dinners at very reasonable prices and in
6 this economy isn't it good to know that we
7 can enjoy wonderful meals and parties so
8 cheaply and at the same time we can be
9 helping those who are less fortunate, and
10 that's all.
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: I just have one
12 here. Sunday and Monday for the next three
13 Sunday and Mondays Holy Cross basketball
14 will be holding their signups from 6 to 8
15 p.m., and that's for the boys and girls
16 basketball, so it's this Sunday and Monday
17 and for the next three weeks 6 to 8 p.m. at
18 the Holy Cross Hall.
19 MR. MCGOFF: Following last week's
20 meeting, Attorney Minora and I discussed the
21 Rules of Council that apply. Given the fact
22 that there was some breaches of those rules,
23 I did ask Mr. Coolican to put just a little
24 reminder of what those rules are. There is
25 nothing different than what we've practiced
1 in the past, and with that I have also asked
2 members of council if they would please
3 assist in helping abide by the Rules of
4 Council by not interrupting speakers and
5 also ask them if they would answer any
6 questions that may be made that those
7 answers would be made during our motion's
8 time. Hopefully the incidents that occurred
9 last week will not be -- would not be
11 I should say that I did receive a
12 couple of phone calls from people that were
13 upset with some of the comments made by
14 speakers, especially ones that were sexual
15 in nature. They did not believe that it was
16 something that was appropriate to our
17 meeting nor to public television. So,
18 again, I would just please be aware of where
19 we are and what we are doing and hopefully
20 we can have a better business meeting. And
21 with that, citizens' participation. Joe
23 MR. DWYER: Good evening, members of
24 council and concerned citizens of Scranton.
25 Last week I came here and I talked briefly
1 about the homeless situation, both the
2 helpless and the working poor in this
3 community. I was greeted with I was
4 argumentative and that should turn over the
5 people's names of who were in living out in
6 the tents and shelters who did not have a
7 home. That frustrates me.
8 I came here looking for some
9 compassion. I came here looking for people
10 who are elected to this community to be
11 leaders, to guide us, to show us how we
12 should be citizens of this community and yet
13 that isn't what we received. I'm here again
14 asking for the same kind of help.
15 The mayor lives in a house that was
16 condemned and blighted, what's so different
17 about him that he can rehab a house and
18 there is so many homes in this city that
19 could be used for the people who do not have
20 the means to buy a house, to pay rent for a
21 house. There is moms who are working at
22 McDonald's whose hours were cut back and
23 they have make a choice of whether to pay
24 the rent or by food for their kids. I told
25 you last year about a mom in this situation.
1 This week I met three people, two of them
2 are very much -- come from prominent
3 families in the community. Their own family
4 doesn't even know they are living in the
5 street because when they go to their house
6 they are well-groomed.
7 There is a girl who she was 17 years
8 old and she was kicked out of the house.
9 She was just an average kid doing average
10 kid things. She hooked with a guy who was
11 45 years old. We don't need that. When I
12 went and I told a prominent member in this
13 community what I wanted to rehab a house
14 for, and for a girl similar to that so she
15 wouldn't end up in prostitution or have to
16 look for a bed to lay in just so she would
17 have a roof over her head, he had the house
18 bulldozed to the ground a week later. That
19 isn't what we need. We need people to stand
20 up. We need people to say, "How can I
22 We need people to say, "What can I
23 do to make this situation change?"
24 I'm asking you as members of this
25 community, as leaders of this community, to
1 offer that hand, to raise people up, not to
2 keep uprooting people. Will you help?
3 Last year we were promised by the
4 mayor a list of all of the city available
5 lots that weren't being used to plant
6 gardens, to raise fruits and vegetables. We
7 never got them. We were stonewalled. I'm
8 asking you for that list so we can plant for
9 this next growing season, so we can utilize
10 that property that isn't being used, and I'm
11 asking that the mayor doesn't send his
12 henchman out to go and intimidate other
13 people who offer their lands to us, who may
14 have a lien against the property and don't
15 have the resources to pay that lien. They
16 don't want the property themselves, but the
17 city won't take it either because they need
18 ten years before they can acquire a
19 property, but the citizens don't need to be
20 threatened or intimidated not to use the
21 land for something good.
22 So it's nice to see that the
23 community itself is saying, hey, we
24 recognize that there is a problem here and
25 there isn't enough food to feed the people
1 in this community, like Macy's, like the Boy
2 Scouts, the Girl Scouts, local churches. We
3 need more activity like that. We need you
4 to stand up and say what can we do as a
5 community to feed the people who don't have
6 the food. It isn't a budget crises that
7 caused this, and this situation isn't
8 getting any better. If you listen to the
9 economist telling the story that's about to
10 happen, you know, we got commercial real
11 estate that's about to crumble. We have the
12 bond market that's about a crash. We are
13 not hearing that, but go and talk to
14 business people, talk to people who have
15 investments and they will tell you how bad
16 it is, and we are the last block.
17 Scranton usually gets the tail end
18 of the big stone and we've see that. We've
19 seen the major foreclosures on homes that
20 are coming to this community now. It would
21 have to be more, but we are going to have a
22 greater fallout now because more people are
23 being displaced from work and their hours
24 are being cut back and they don't have the
25 means to pay the bills. Can I have your
1 support? Will you give us your support, I'm
2 asking you or are you going to stay numb?
3 Can I have a response?
4 MR. MCGOFF: We will respond during
5 motions. Thank you, Mr. Dwyer.
6 MR. DWYER: Thank you.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Andy Sbaraglia.
8 MR. SBARAGLIA: Andy Sbaraglia,
9 citizen of Scranton. Fellow Scrantonians,
10 Agenda Item 5-E, that's a loan to a fitness
11 center at 5 percent, I guess it's a fitness
12 center, by the way the name is written
13 Fitness 53 I guess that would be a fitness
14 center. So there is isn't much and that, 5
16 So we move onto 7-C, donation of
17 land. A woman I guess from the backup
18 inherited it and I don't blame her for
19 dumping it. I'm glad the city is taking it
20 over, at least she ain't paying tax on it.
21 I hope it's just everything on the surface
23 Okay, let's get down to real --
24 there is a dark cloud gathering over
25 Scranton financially. One is with the Sewer
1 Authority and, as you know, they could have
2 put in for any kind of a grant, that went by
3 the wayside. Now we are going to be hit
4 with huge fines that somebody has to pay.
5 They are saying up to a hundred -- I think
6 it was 120 million may cost the tax -- the
7 ratepayers of the City of Scranton and
8 Dunmore to fix the sewer system. I don't
9 know why it costs that much. I don't really
10 put much faith in the people that are
11 running the sewer system, but unfortunately
12 we have to put up with them and until they
13 can be changed, but that's one thing, the
14 sewer system.
15 Now, I got another thing with the
16 Parking Authority. I don't know if they
17 used their letter of credit and paid off
18 their loan yet, but that could come, too,
19 and now they are borrowing. Now, they come
20 up and they say, "Our pension funds are in
21 bad shape. Huge amounts of money have to be
22 paid to the pension funds."
23 And that all falls on the taxpayer.
24 We are being hit from all sides with
25 increased costs at a time when the country
1 is actually tanking. Wall Street says
2 things are great, well, they are great for
3 the banks, but the poor people, I think it's
4 9.8 percent now are out of work and they
5 expect it to be 10 percent and they are also
6 reading that, I mean, maybe two years before
7 things pick up.
8 Our electric rates are about to
9 increase 30 percent if we don't dump PPL and
10 go with somebody else. There is another
11 tragedy. We sat by and let the legislature
12 split up PPL to a generation and then the
13 selling. We already paid -- we have already
14 paid for those generation plants. We got
15 nothing for it. We were putting in for the
16 lines. I mean, we should be able to buy the
17 lines and just thump them out and be done
18 with them and hire a -- I mean, the State of
19 Pennsylvania should take care of all the
20 line, hire a crew and take care of them
21 ourselves. The way it's going now isn't the
22 best and it's not going to improve.
23 All of these things are being pushed
24 upon the taxpayers or even people -- the
25 aging, which I feel sorry for them more than
1 anybody. My sister has electric heat. She
2 was already paying $400 last year a month,
3 30 percent increase is going to be
4 skyrocket. I have to advise her to dump PPL
5 and go with some of the other people coming
6 in, and if you go out and follow the legals
7 in the paper you see four or five, six
8 people put in to sell electricity, and while
9 the chamber was arranging for low rates for
10 the big consumers of electricity, but for
11 the common people they weren't doing
12 nothing. I think there is a municipality up
13 in Dunmore that sells their own electricity.
14 I believe, of course, they have to buy it
15 from PPL then sell it to people that live up
16 there, and if Olyphant can do it maybe we
17 should look somewhere along the line of
18 joining groups, cooperative groups to buy
19 electricity from other sources and PPL to
20 help them out on their rates. I feel sorry
21 for them. I really do, for people who use
22 electric heat.
23 I'll never forget, well, the lady
24 was -- it was gas, four years ago, five
25 years ago who got her gas shut off, went to
1 electricity, started a fire and burnt down
2 the house and she died. I didn't forget
3 that and I don't like to see that happen
4 again. I really don't. I think we should
5 do whatever we can, being if you looked at
6 what the statements said they were cutting
7 back heat rebates and federal government was
8 doing this and federal government was doing
9 that. I mean, the poor people in this
10 state, in the city is going to be hit real
11 hard. Well, enough of that. Thank you.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Mike Dudek.
13 MR. DUDEK: My name is Mike Dudek,
14 608 Depot Street up here in Scranton. I
15 live down in the Plot. I'd like to begin by
16 picking up where Mr. Dwyer left off. He is
17 a member of the Pax Christie. This is an
18 organization that over the last I'd say 20
19 to 30 years has been pillared by virtually
20 every district attorney and most of the
21 county commissioners in this county because
22 this is the organization that kept bringing
23 forward extremely unbelievable abuses in the
24 Lackawanna County Prison and over the last
25 20 to 30 years Pax Christie has always been
1 correct and right on the button about it, so
2 when somebody from Pax Christie comes here
3 to speak about an issue this is a person
4 that is really worth listening to.
5 And in dealing with the homeless
6 situation, I'm going to ask council to think
7 inside the box on this one. You have a lot
8 of homeless people out there. Now, what I'm
9 thinking of a facility for a lot of homeless
10 people I think I would like something that
11 would have a lot of rooms in it, kitchen
12 facilities, lavatories, showers and maybe
13 even a meeting hall in case the organization
14 that runs it wants to meet with all of the
15 tenants that are inside. What are we doing
16 with Bishop Hannon High School, the old
17 Bishop Hannon High?
18 All that thing is doing right now is
19 collecting pigeon poop. That building has
20 everything in it that I just described and
21 that building has probably big enough to
22 encapsulate and sweep up every homeless
23 person within the boundaries of the City of
24 Scranton and then some. It would take very
25 little to renovate some of those classrooms,
1 which are small to begin with. Those are
2 your dormitories.
3 All of the other facilities that I
4 just mentioned that should be there are
5 already there. Who owns the building that
6 I'm calling Bishop Hannon? The Diocese. If
7 I'm not mistaken I think the Catholic Church
8 is committed to helping the sick and the
9 poor and the homeless.
10 I think we have a very natural fit
11 there and I think city council and the
12 members of, you know, the appropriate people
13 in the Diocese of Scranton ought to meet and
14 to discuss the possibility of using this
15 facility as a homeless shelter, whether it
16 would be run by the Diocese or run by the
17 city or Pax Christie or whomever.
18 This is a problem that adults can
19 fix. If this problem is not fixed by using
20 that school as a good temporary homeless
21 shelter, then it's only because adults are
22 not thinking properly in order to help with
23 the city problem. Thank you.
24 MR. MCGOFF: Lee Morgan.
25 MR. MORGAN: Good evening, Council.
1 The first thing I have here, it's ashame,
2 Mr. McGoff, that you can't speak tonight,
3 but I have a copy of the Home Rule Charter
4 here and the previous meeting prior to last
5 week's meeting you were talking about the
6 Single Tax Office. Now, when I was talking
7 about subpoenas I wasn't talking about the
8 Single Tax Office because they don't operate
9 under the authority of city council, but
10 there are numerous entities in the city that
11 do like the Housing Authority, the Parking
12 Authority, there is the Sewer Authority. I
13 mean, these are all things that council
14 could investigate and if you go to Section
15 312 in the Home Rule Charter you will find
16 that, okay?
17 I mean, I just -- I really found it
18 troubling two weeks ago when you tried to
19 say that council wasn't responsible for
20 where this city is. I thought that that
21 statement by yourself was very disingenuous.
22 You have the opportunity to do subpoenas and
23 find out what the situations are whether
24 it's the Parking Authority or the Sewer
25 Authority, and then when you go to Article
1 V, and you go to six, Section 502, it says:
2 "Regulate the rates for it's services by a
3 municipal-owned public utility."
4 That's the Sewer Authority. So what
5 I -- what I would like to request is -- I
6 would like to request information that
7 explains how council lost the ability to set
8 sewer rates in the city because this is the
9 Home Rule Charter and the voters in the City
10 of Scranton voted this in, so evidently who
11 overruled it I would like to see that and if
12 the agreement with American Anglican fell
13 apart and allegedly you lost that authority
14 then after that agreement ended that
15 authority should have come back to council.
16 And I agree with -- many speakers
17 have come here and said, Andy Sbaraglia has
18 spoken about this for an extremely long
19 period of time. This -- I do say though
20 that the first speaker who came here tonight
21 really had a lot to say that was very
22 important because there is a lot of homeless
23 people in this city. There is lot of
24 poverty in this city and in my opinion it
25 all comes back to council. This is an
1 election year. You know, people make
2 promises they can never fulfill.
3 There is no youth programs in the
4 city worth talking about, there is not a
5 playground program in the city worth talking
6 about. We have gang activity in the city
7 that was spoken about a decade ago and
8 nobody did anything. We have overtaxed the
9 residents. We have roving poverty that's
10 spread through far through the city we have
11 condemnations throughout the whole city and
12 we are blaming landlords. When the council
13 in my opinion has created ordinances that
14 allow inspectors to come into a property for
15 no valid reason.
16 And the other problem I think we
17 have in this city is some of our inspectors
18 have been grandfathered by Mr. Shimkus when
19 he was in office and they are not even
20 qualified to do their job. So, I mean, we
21 have got some real serious problems here and
22 then we have last week, okay, I didn't come
23 last week because my brother passed away on
24 Monday, but you know something he was a
25 Vietnam veteran and Phyllis came up here and
1 she said a couple of things about religion
2 and we always talk about how we talk about
3 how the people in the military protect us
4 and protect our rights, when did we lose the
5 ability to have freedom of speech in this
6 chamber or any other chamber? And you try
7 to go back and talk about judge's decisions,
8 the judge's decisions weren't to muzzle the
9 residents of this city, we have done that
10 for too long. Maybe we should listen to
11 them. Thank you.
12 MR. MCGOFF: Lynn Bloom.
13 MS. BLOOM: Good evening, ladies and
14 gentlemen. I'm first going to apologize in
15 case I stumble, it's been quite awhile since
16 I spoke publically. I know all of you, you
17 have no idea who I am, so I'm just going to
18 take a little bit of time --
19 THE COURT: Can you just state your
21 MS. BLOOM: I'm sorry. Lynn Bloom,
22 B-L-O-O-M. My husband is a native of
23 Scranton. He was born and raised here and
24 left to join the service in 1977. He was
25 discharged from the United States Army
1 honorably after 13 years of service. When
2 he was discharged in 1991, I wanted to
3 relocate to Scranton to raise my children
4 here. Flat out forbid it. He did not come
5 here, he did not want to live here, he did
6 not think there was any employment
7 opportunities. He thought we would have a
8 better standard of living going to where I'm
9 from. It took me 15 years to convince a
10 native son to come back to where he was born
11 and raised. I have a nine-year-old child.
12 I made the conscious decision to raise my
13 child in this city.
14 I have been sick for six weeks. I
15 many so outraged by the behavior that goes
16 on in these chambers I came here tonight.
17 My husband asked why I'm so outraged. I
18 asked him to pick a subject. I expect more
19 decorum from my nine-year-old child than I
20 see going on in this chamber. I'm not
21 directing towards anyone personally because
22 I, unlike some of you, don't believe in
23 bringing personalities into it. When we
24 have lost the ability for common courtesy
25 and politeness in a city in council chambers
1 that is televised to the elderly, to young
2 children, to mothers, to children, there is
3 a real problem.
4 Two weeks ago there were armed men
5 and women in this chamber. For whatever
6 reason, this meeting was allowed to
7 continue, but when someone who appears to be
8 mentally challenged has the nerve or
9 confusion to address topics, which I
10 personally feel are completely inappropriate
11 for the setting, but my mother taught me the
12 good common sense that if you don't have
13 nothing nice to say you don't say anything.
14 When someone is speaking is more
15 objectionable than armed men and women that
16 I don't know from Adam, there is a problem
17 in this city.
18 I was in charge of background
19 investigations for a region of New York
20 City. I'm a retired Department of Treasury
21 employee. If you want my opinion it's not
22 going to count for much, but when you have
23 one police officer with I'm assuming at
24 least one round in the chamber and maybe a
25 couple of speed loaders in their belt and
1 about ten people carrying weapons, you have
2 crossed a line. We can argue about the
3 legalities and I will the first one to tell
4 you, you can find a law to justify just
5 about anything in this country. I will
6 never bring my nine-year-old child to watch
7 this government work because I don't know
8 who is going to be carrying a weapon in the
9 audience? How short are our memories?
10 Lubby, Texas. Kaline, a place I used to
11 live, people having dinner, shot.
12 Columbine, McDonald's, school yards, pick a
14 Now, I heard tonight that we can't
15 do anything about it because this isn't a
16 courtroom and that's why the Feds across the
17 streets can bar weapons. Newsflash, move it
18 to a courtroom. If that is the only thing
19 that is preventing armed men and women from
20 attending council meetings, put it in a
21 temporary setting until you can find a law
22 that justify a sign that says "No Firearms
24 I would be more and happy to sit
25 down with your solicitor and pour over the
1 US Constitution, the Commonwealth and the
2 city code because I can tell you with my
3 bachelor's degree I'll find a law that makes
4 it inappropriate at a civic meeting, I'm
5 sorry I sound hostile, but I was born and
6 raised and lived my adult life around
8 There is no reason in this day and
9 age that anyone that has a right to carry
10 permit in the State of Pennsylvania can
11 enter a civic meeting. You have a police
12 officer because one of the board members
13 said it was a hostile environment? That
14 police officer would be gone ten seconds.
15 That's not protection. I don't feel you
16 folks need protection, I feel we all need
17 protection, and until you do something to
18 change it, you are going to be seeing me a
19 lot because my son is being raised here and
20 I want better for him than what every one
21 here is giving him.
22 MR. MCGOFF: Les Spindler.
23 MR. SPINDLER: Good evening, council.
24 Les Spindler, Scranton resident, homeowner
25 and taxpayer. Mr. McGoff, I think this is a
1 first, but I agree with what you did last
2 week in asking for a recess during the
3 meeting. I don't think religion has any
4 place in politics, I said that for years.
5 This isn't the forum for that. I wouldn't
6 go to the Bishop to have my sidewalk fixed
7 so my sidewalks don't get flooded, so I
8 don't think people should talk about
9 religion here. Although, I might get more
10 satisfaction with my sidewalks from the
11 Bishop than I do from this city.
12 Next thing, I was driving by the Mt.
13 Pleasant Corporate Center site last week,
14 which I do everyday going to work, and for
15 the first time I looked at the sign it said,
16 "Mt. Pleasant Corporate Center," and the
17 upper right-hand corner I saw something that
18 shocked me it said -- there was a little
19 sign that said, "KOZ/KOEZ approved."
20 Did I miss something? Because I
21 know that wasn't approved by the school
23 MS. FANUCCI: The extension wasn't
24 approved, but there is still I believe
25 remaining two years on the KOEZ or what is
1 it until --
2 MS. EVANS: 2013.
3 MR. SPINDLER: Oh, is that what it
5 MS. FANUCCI: Yes, so there is a few
6 more years on it.
7 MR. SPINDLER: Thank you. A few
8 weeks ago, Mrs. Evans, you spoke about Mrs.
9 Aebli saying the Connell building is an
10 ongoing project. I think it was only like a
11 day or two later the Doherty newsletter
12 stated that the developer needs more money
13 now, there is nothing being done. Where
14 does he expect that money to come from? If
15 these people want to develop building in our
16 city and don't have money, they shouldn't
17 come to council for money. If they don't
18 have it themselves they shouldn't come here
19 and try to develop anything, and I hope he
20 doesn't come to council for more money
21 because this city just doesn't have anymore
22 money to give out.
23 For the last few days I had the
24 opportunity to drive up Mulberry Street.
25 Between the blocks of Taylor and Harrison on
1 Mulberry there were many, many, many
2 pavecuts made, especially between Prescott
3 and Harrison. There has to be anywhere from
4 10 to 15 pavecuts. They are not filled in
5 all of the way and it's terrible to drive on
6 the streets. I don't know if that's PennDOT
7 or the city, but I hope those streets are
8 going to be blacktopped pretty soon because
9 it's like driving on a minefield there.
10 Next thing, Mrs. Evans, quite a few
11 months ago you made a request when I said
12 something about the lines on Mifflin and
13 Mulberry and nothing has still been doing.
14 There is still people making wrong turns
15 from different lanes if we can look into
16 that again, please?
17 MS. EVANS: Yes.
18 MR. SPINDLER: Thank you. And
19 lastly, I said I was going to do this until
20 the election, we have three weeks to go
21 until the election, November 3, and we need
22 a mayor who wants to be mayor of our city
23 and only our city and not galavanting trying
24 to raise money to be governor, so I'm urging
25 everybody on November 3 to not for Chris
1 Doherty and write someone else in who wants
2 to be mayor of our city. Thank you.
3 MR. MCGOFF: Ronnie Ellman.
4 MR. ELLMAN: Ronnie Ellman, member
5 of the Taxpayers' Association. Hello,
6 council. You all ready? I find it
7 inconceivable and totally unconscionable
8 that this pathetic biased excuse of a
9 newspaper continually leaves local items out
10 that are of interest to the whole city, but
11 we don't mind printing a bunch of blatant
12 lies like our 6,000 jobs and 500 million
13 dollars that was brought here. If you don't
14 print facts then it's just a lie to me.
15 This past election if I was
16 Mr. DiBileo I would have mastered or passed
17 some filthy dirty tactics that Mr. Doherty
18 used, but I understand Mr. DiBileo is too
19 much of a gentleman to meet those tactics.
20 You know, there was a political
21 meeting last week and it should have been
22 covered. Just trying -- this newspaper
23 trying to avoid it and that's not helping.
24 You know, Andy said a couple of what during
25 the summer about everyone has a right when
1 some signs were taken and all and I
2 certainly agree with them. I got a whole
3 bunch of things here, but I'm not going to
4 get involved with getting everybody all
5 alienated today.
6 It seems to me it's past due time
7 for the city to get out of the real estate
8 business. We have just lost -- we lost in
9 the motels with everything being touched it
10 just turned sour on the city. The taxpayers
11 there is just nothing left. You just can't
12 go back. Last night I heard a discussion
13 that all of the state pension plans will be
14 coming in pretty soon and going up ten of
15 millions of dollars more in taxes. This
16 city is just so totally mismanaged. Where
17 is it going to come from?
18 Every day I read the real estate
19 notices to see how much property Lackawanna
20 College is going to take over. The
21 University, according to Mr. Phillips in
22 15 years, they shorted school board out of I
23 think he said $28 million. That's just the
24 school board. In another 15 years if
25 Lackawanna College has their way we'll be
1 shorted out their 20, 15, $20 million, it's
2 just -- where is the money going to come
3 from? A fourth of the city is not paying
4 taxes. We are losing more -- you know, we
5 are losing houses all of the time, they are
6 being -- blight, torn down, burn down.
7 People are losing them left and light. I'd
8 like see how -- where is this tax base?
9 What are we going to do about it? You know,
10 nobody has any answers.
11 I don't see why anybody would want
12 to be the mayor of this city personally, but
13 I certainly it's time we had some new fresh
14 blood in there because it's been mismanaged
15 by a phony and a fraud for years. It's
16 just -- it's just can't go on. You know, we
17 don't need more million dollars sidewalk and
18 we don't need no $1,500 a month apartments
19 downtown for students. I have talked to
20 some students, I was having my car washed
21 down at Able Brake briefly and there was
22 some boys in the parking lot that recognized
23 me from coming down here and we were
24 talking. I said, "You know, why don't you
25 move into these $1,500 a month apartments?"
1 Everybody is snickered and had --
2 they are supposed to be for students. Now
3 they don't have money to finish them. You
4 know, it just doesn't go. Just like it was
5 just said, if they don't have money for
6 their projects can them. You can't keep
7 falling back on the public in this city.
8 It's just not there. The people just don't
9 have it. Thank you.
10 MR. MCGOFF: Bill Jackowitz.
11 MR. JACKOWITZ: Good evening, City
12 Council. Bill Jackowitz, South Scranton
13 resident. The next four years Scranton will
14 have three new council members and more than
15 likely the same mayor, that is if the mayor
16 is not elected to the governor's seat. If
17 he is elected, then Scranton basically has
18 an all new city government. That would be a
19 perfect opportunity for Scranton to start
20 making changes and improve the city for all
21 of the people, not just the chosen few.
22 Remember, the mayor is not always
23 correct and neither are the council members.
24 There are some very intelligent speakers who
25 come before this council with some very good
1 ideas and are ignored. I feel that Mayor
2 Doherty made a big mistake by not attending
3 city council meetings occasionally. If
4 council would have monitored the Parking
5 Authority, Recreation Authority and Housing
6 Authority possibly they would not be in the
7 position that they are in. Some council
8 speakers have spoken before the authorities
9 and have been ignored just like they are
10 ignored at council meetings. The speakers
11 were pointing out the problems and costs,
12 but yet they were ignored by the authorities
13 and the elected officials.
14 Also, I feel that far too many votes
15 have been taken without council members
16 realizing and knowing what exactly they were
17 voting for. The City of Scranton has some
18 very serious financial problems plus this
19 there a very little to offer. The working
20 people of Scranton, the wages are just too
21 low and I am still waiting for all of these
22 high paying jobs that have been promised by
23 the Chamber of Commerce and city government.
24 In the local metro area, 5.7 percent
25 of mortgage payments are 90 days or more
1 delinquent. That figure is up 48 percent,
2 48 percent from 2008, which was just last
3 year. Homeowners have a choice, do I pay my
4 mortgage or do I pay my taxes? Pay me now
5 or pay me later?
6 Also, I would like to know has the
7 project in the 500 black of Lackawanna
8 Avenue been completed?
9 MS. FANUCCI: I don't believe it's
10 finished, Bill.
11 MR. JACKOWITZ: Okay.
12 MS. FANUCCI: They are working on it,
13 I know that there is people there today, but
14 I don't believe it's 100 percent finished
15 yet, I'm not sure.
16 MR. JACKOWITZ: Does anybody know if
17 we have any tenants for any of those
18 buildings yet?
19 MS. FANUCCI: I have no idea. We
20 could send a letter to the owners and see if
21 you want.
22 MR. JACKOWITZ: Yeah, if you could
23 find that out for me, Sherry, I would
24 appreciate it.
25 MS. FANUCCI: I definitely will.
1 MR. JACKOWITZ: With your permission,
2 Mr. McGoff, I would like to ask each council
3 member one question.
4 MR. MCGOFF: Depends on what the
5 question is?
6 MS. JACKOWITZ: The question is, if
7 the 2010 budget is short will you vote for
8 more bonds or will you vote to raise taxes
9 or neither of the two?
10 MR. MCGOFF: I will ask the members
11 if they care to respond? Mrs. Evans?
12 MS. EVANS: Before I would entertain
13 either of those possibilities I think there
14 are a great deal of cuts that could be made
15 to the budget that have not occurred in the
16 last seven to eight years and I'm not
17 speaking specifically to manpower as much as
18 I am to a leaner management team and more
19 appropriate salaries to replace the
20 monumental salary increases that have been
22 MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Fanucci?
23 MS. FANUCCI: I certainly would have
24 to look at the entire budget. I'm going to
25 say that I would entertain probably more of
1 a bond than I would a tax increase, but
2 hopefully that will be the case and I do
3 agree that we need to make some cuts.
4 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Courtright?
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: I would go with the
6 other two council members just said. First
7 I would like to see what kind of cuts we
8 could make and if all the cuts are made then
9 I would deem it necessary and there was
10 still a short fall then I would look at
11 those other two options.
12 MR. MCGOFF: And I would prefer to
13 wait until the -- rather than dealing
14 hypothetically when it does occur what
15 options are available.
16 MR. JACKOWITZ: Okay. I thank all
17 three council members for answering the
18 questions and I respect you also,
19 Mr. McGoff.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Joanne Williams.
21 MS. WILLIAMS: Good evening. Joanne
22 Williams, city resident. Well, I'd first
23 like to touch on what Mike said about the
24 homeless. It's an unfortunate thing. I see
25 it under the Harrison Avenue bridge not far
1 where I live where I walk my dog. I see
2 poverty, also. I see foreclosures, but it's
3 not only a Scranton problem. That's what I
4 don't get. People come up here and make you
5 realize and think it's only -- it's not only
6 a Scranton problem, you know, unfortunately,
7 we are in hard economic times in this
9 People wonder why I come here
10 certain times, I come here because like I
11 said before I love this city and I do
12 believe in this mayor and I believe in
13 candidates and I stand by them. Someone
14 needs to have the courage to come up here
15 and state what they believe in rather than
16 the majority sitting here does or does not.
17 You know, I don't want to -- last
18 week I heard -- I don't watch city council.
19 I don't watch myself, you know, I read the
20 newspaper, people approach me tell me this
21 was said, that was said. Mrs. Krybom had a
22 few things to say about me last week about
23 why I was not concerned about the mayor
24 running for governor. Well, if that's his
25 choice, that's his choice, you know. I feel
1 he has done a good job being mayor. You
2 know, I said it before, Mrs. Evans ran for
3 state rep and I didn't hear Mrs. Evans
4 complaining then, and let's go to
5 Mr. Spindler, my name was mentioned once
6 again, wanted to know why I attend meetings
7 during an election time. Once again I will
8 say anyone can attend these meetings. You
9 know, it's our right. And believe me,
10 Mr. Spindler --
11 MR. MCGOFF: Please, address counsel.
12 MS. WILLIAMS: I'm addressing you,
13 Mr. McGoff.
14 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
15 MS. WILLIAMS: I didn't get any
16 political favors from Mr. Doherty -- or
17 Mayor Doherty. I know what hard economic
18 times are. I lost $20,000 from a contractor
19 this spring and I'm about to lose my home,
20 too, and Mayor Doherty hasn't come running
21 to me or any political people, and I don't
22 expect him to, so I want to make that clear,
23 too. I'm tired of that.
24 Mrs. Stulgis spoke about this person
25 about running with a record which I strongly
1 am against, okay? She brought up about him
2 having, you know, such a small thing as open
3 beer cans, traffic violation, parking
4 tickets, boy, I remember, Mrs. Fanucci, when
5 you had parking tickets they were ready to
6 put you in jail and throw the key away, you
8 MS. FANUCCI: That's true.
9 MS. WILLIAMS: But now it's okay
10 from a police officer, it's okay to have
11 that. I am hoping that the Taxpayers' Group
12 when they interview -- when they interview
13 candidates they have the courage to ask
14 candidates, like ask you guys a few weeks
15 ago, "Do you have a record? Do you have a
16 record? Do you have a record?"
17 All of you said, "No." I hope not.
18 I don't want you sitting there you if you
19 have a record. I don't want to associate
20 with someone sitting there who has a record.
21 My last thing, too, is I had the
22 pleasure of walking through Nay Aug Park
23 yesterday and I walk up to people and talk
24 to them. Wayne County, Dunmore, Moosic,
25 Clarks Summit, they express how much they
1 enjoy the park. Positive changes since the
2 mayor took office. The man from Moosic
3 spoke of how he grew up in the Hill Section
4 and since the improvements in the city him
5 and his wife are going to be purchasing a
6 house on Colfax Avenue.
7 Another mom talked to me and also
8 stated about the handicapped swingset which
9 she is from Clarks Summit, has a neighbor
10 who has a handicapped child and I think
11 Mr. Doug Miller spearheaded that and he was
12 on Junior City Council. There are lot of
13 positive things. They also spoke about how
14 they enjoyed the beauty of the park,
15 Christmas light display. They don't
16 understand the negativity that goes on here
17 week after week after week. I didn't see
18 last week's meeting. I heard it was
19 atrocious. I'm just going to finish this,
20 give me a few minutes, if I may, Mr. McGoff.
21 MR. MCGOFF: Please quickly.
22 MS. WILLAIMS: Oh, I will quickly.
23 It's about time that the people start
24 thinking when they go to vote. You better
25 think and think hard because that person who
1 I said about this record does have one start
2 investigating, start looking into it --
3 MR. MCGOFF: Please.
4 MS. WILLIAMS: -- start doing that.
5 I'm done. Mr. McGoff, let me say this to
6 you, okay? No, I'm going to say it to you.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Williams --
8 MS. WILLIAMS: No, Mr. McGoff, I'm
9 going to say this to you. You let other
10 people finish, but you don't let me finish.
11 MR. MCGOFF: I --
12 MS. WILLIAMS: You know, I don't
13 think that's fair.
14 MR. MCGOFF: I let you finish. Thank
16 MS. WILLIAMS: No. No. You let other
17 people ramble on longer than I, but you cut
18 me off quite often, you know, and I do not
19 appreciate that, Mr. McGoff, not at all and
20 you are a Mayor Doherty person --
21 MR. MCGOFF: Please.
22 MS. WILLIAMS: And that just goes to
23 prove --
24 MR. MCGOFF: You are out of order.
25 MS. WILLIAMS: And that goes to
1 prove, you know, I'm not looking for favors
2 from anybody.
3 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you. David
5 MS. WILLIAMS: Thank you, Mr. McGoff.
6 Real funny, isn't it? See, you let them
7 laugh at me and not bang your gavel. That's
8 the problem.
9 MR. DOBRZYN: Good evening, Council.
10 Dave Dobson, resident of the Scranton,
11 member of the Taxpayers'. On that last
12 note, anybody that appears before the
13 Taxpayers if they have a criminal record
14 will be undoubtedly exposed by their
15 political enemies, so what do they need me
17 Now, something was mentioned here
18 about pensions and a few weeks ago we had a
19 little conference on pensions from a local
20 school board director and there was also a
21 write-up in the Times about it on pensions
22 due to the fact that they are not funded
23 from the school board by 2012 I think you
24 can expect about an average of $730.
25 One of the things that drives me
1 crazy about politicians anymore is that they
2 also seem to legislate something that's
3 going to take effect long after they're out
4 of office. The next guy gets the hit for it
5 like our electric bills. That was a Ridge
6 deal and now if the state backs out of it,
7 undoubtedly there will be some subsection of
8 the contract that says, well, if they are
9 not going to go through with it and the
10 state gets to pay the rest of the bill and
11 PPL has a right to sue, so people should
12 really be aware of that in the future and,
13 for instance, trade packs they always get
14 negotiated for the next guy's term on a
15 national basis. So, you know, I was no
16 lover of George Bush, but I will concede
17 that he got hit with an awful lot of
18 problems that the trade packs the previous
19 administration, was caused by the previous
20 administration and their unwillingness to
21 just take it on as a challenge.
22 Now, I would like to bring up the
23 subject of this homeless situation and
24 everybody should be concerned about it. I'm
25 not criticizing the homeless for this, but
1 in this country I seen on a documentary, if
2 a person is homeless for three years for
3 every three years of homelessness there is
4 $155,000 bill left behind at the hospital
5 that these people get kicked, punched, run
6 over or whatever, shot, stabbed, raped or
7 whatever, and then the hospital has a big
8 bill that they can't turn anybody away by
9 law and by their own ethics and somehow
10 $155,000 bill gets left behind and certainly
11 a homeless person doesn't have the money for
12 a top notch medical policy or something like
13 that, so that's something to consider.
14 And what I'm leading up to is we
15 really need to start to lobby. Town
16 government can do a little bit but they're
17 basically powerless, they don't have the
18 resources to deal with national issues and
19 you can thank both of the Democrats and the
20 Republicans for these trade packs. Too many
21 countries I have seen and checked into it
22 and people work at the business end of a
23 machine gun, so it's not real fair trade,
24 it's just something some corporation, a
25 bunch of Nazi scum that want to --
1 MR. MCGOFF: Please.
2 MR. DOBSON: -- want to take
3 advantage of the poor in this world and they
4 don't bring up their living standard. What
5 can you do locally here? Well, as soon as
6 we get our other business out of the way we
7 really better look into a food drive and let
8 state, federal and the representatives know
9 that this problem has to start to be dealt
10 with. It's been going on for 30 years.
11 They started to appear in 1980 and, yeah,
12 you know, the best answer to a solution to
13 socialism is a good job market. You know,
14 everybody says, oh, oh socialism. Ooh.
15 Ooh. Well, it's all -- socialism is a poor
16 substitute for a good job market and the
17 people who had work and other than a few
18 people that have illness issues and so forth
19 and a decent paycheck coming in they
20 wouldn't have to worry about this.
21 And in the future I think instead of
22 a party we should spend the OECD or OCED
23 money on, once again, trying to attract
24 industries in this area, real industries
25 that produce goods not just -- not just
1 restaurants that somehow go under two years
2 later and then you have to sue them and
3 maybe you will get your money and maybe
4 every other restaurant that they own the
5 chain is in the same shape and this one is
6 two steps behind it and you are going to get
7 pennies on the dollar for what you spent.
8 But I feel a lot of these
9 development money was intended to mitigate
10 some of the China trade packs and the NAFTA
11 trade packs and it just wasn't used for the
12 right purpose, so something to consider and
13 we really do have to try and get these
14 people a thumbs up even though --
15 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
16 MR. DOBRZYN: We are probably getting
17 settled with people up and down the valley,
19 MR. MCGOFF: Any other speakers?
20 MS. HUMPHRIES: I want to move
21 forward, I don't want to move backwards.
22 When all of yous were running I'm sure
23 nobody cut you off. I'm not rich. I don't
24 have a college education. I want to run for
25 city council. I felt a lot of people have
1 been clueless when they got on this seat and
2 then they learned as they went along. I am
3 for the poor, the downtrodden, the Veterans
4 our police, our fire department, our postal,
5 but most of all our Veterans and our
6 children. I don't intend to knock at doors.
7 I intend to knock at hearts.
8 Over the years what has transpired
9 with me and the documents I have not
10 under -- not really looking at the time,
11 they will be used for what I plan to do. In
12 the process of this, I ask everybody to pray
13 for me. I ask that God reigns in this place
14 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. I ask and I
15 besiege all the children. The children are
16 hurting. They are hurting. The poor are
17 hurting. This national budget that the
18 number is 101 I represent the mother of the
19 101 tears. I lived in Washington
20 temporarily, my apartment was 101. One is
21 for the OD the zero represents Omega and one
22 is fr the new eve.
23 Our forefathers brought here the
24 constitution of the United States brought
25 Christianity. They took the land away from
1 American Indians and they striped it. They
2 striped them like Jesus. What I plan on
3 doing and I would like to meet with city
4 council because over the years when I told
5 them what has happened to me I was
6 misdiagnosed. I was exonerated of any
7 mental disorder other than post-traumatic
9 My home has been pillaged. I have
10 been attacked. Every week there is
11 violence. Now we have the bug situation.
12 Well, I will tell you the truth about the
13 bug situation, when I came I was told by --
14 I won't mention their names, brought it to
15 the office at Mulberry Tower in Trenton they
16 were embarrassed, but I was telling the
17 truth, but when I went to the hospital I
18 brought the bugs and what transpired there
19 is they says they were not normal bugs, they
20 were lavatory bugs.
21 They also put maggots in my
22 apartment, I took those out. Now, mind you,
23 I have a lot of things in my house. A lot
24 was taken away from me by illegal lawyers
25 and judges that would be revealed and they
1 will be removed from their seat I want you
2 to know right now.
3 It's a felony if you stand before
4 everybody and proclaim truth and truth in
5 the highest of God and your life, people
6 should really act upon it. I have asked
7 numerous people to come into my apartment,
8 but they treated me like a witch, an evil
9 person. Well, on October 20 I will be in
10 court. My hearing is going to be for the
11 Glory of God and to put God back in our
13 Now, last week there was a boy that
14 came here I kind of heard he said he wanted
15 the cross and the star taken off of the
16 police and security guards. Well, I'll tell
17 him this, if that's the great way, the way I
18 heard it, I'm not too sure, I represent the
19 Cathedral, the Magnifica and St. Thomas
20 Aquinas and the Holy Catholic Church. I
21 wanted to reign of David and of Jesus and if
22 you don't believe that then you got a lot to
23 think about it.
24 Our mission is of divine forgiveness
25 and love of each other, but sometimes you
1 have to step back, step back because we do
2 have police, we do have FBI, we do have
3 homeland security and these boys to the job
4 of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
5 So I'm going to leave with this, if
6 anybody wants to speak to me, if anybody
7 wants to see my documents which I did get my
8 documents that showed I was attacked, my
9 medical, and I was told by the city council
10 get a lawyer. Well, like 97 percent of the
11 lawyers are --
12 MR. MCGOFF: It's your time, Phyllis.
13 MS. HUMPHRIES: Listen, I love yous,
14 let's move forward, not backward.
15 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
16 MS. HUMPHRIES: That's all I ask.
17 God bless you, and, please, just like a
18 child when people come up here.
19 MR. MCGOFF: Next.
20 MS. HUMPHRIES: Treat them as your
21 children, how you treat your children, your
22 wife and your family.
23 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
24 MS. HUMPHRIES: And you will go so
25 far ahead. God Bless you.
1 MR. MCGOFF: Next speaker.
2 MS. HUMPHRIES: And Barry Gordon, if
3 he wants to come --
4 MR. MCGOFF: Please. There is
5 someone else that wishes to speak. Thank
7 MS. GALLAGHER-HAHN: Good evening.
8 My name is Ann Marie Gallagher-Hahn, and I
9 live at 816 Gibbons Street. My deceased
10 son, he got killed about five years ago,
11 built the apartment that I'm living in and
12 the four townhouses in the back and that is
13 the 2100 block of South Irving Street and
14 that's deplorable. It's right across from
15 Connell's Park, which is beautiful, and just
16 perpendicular to it across the street is
17 where my son built these townhouses, it was
18 never paved.
19 In fact, Channel 16 came there a
20 couple of years ago and told them about it
21 and they -- all they did there it was graded
22 a little bit and today it's even worse.
23 Then he built right on that street for the
24 disabled people from Marywood and they live
25 there permanently. He built that home that
1 they are living on on Irving Avenue, and I
2 have gone to so many -- around election day
3 they promise you everything, Jeff Brazil I
4 saw -- oh, what's his name now, oh, Donny
5 Davis, I asked him to put my name down and
6 he said, yeah, he would tell Jeff Brazil to
7 put it down. I kept calling, Jeff Brazil
8 never even gave me the courtesy to call back
9 to say when or if the street would be paved.
10 Then Charlie -- I called there and
11 evidently I got Charlie Matthews. Well, he
12 was away, but he did have -- he did have the
13 sense to call me back and he told me he
14 said, "Well," he said, "lots of our money
15 was stolen," and he said, "But I'll do
16 everything I can if I can scrape some money
17 up for this street."
18 MS. FANUCCI: Stolen?
19 MS. GALLAGHER-HAHN: But, like I
20 said, it's 20 years like that. How long do
21 we have to wait? And then another thing my
22 grandson took it over now and his name is
23 Jessie Gallagher and he bought just last
24 year the front of where the townhouses are,
25 but that would be -- well, on Gibbons Street
1 and then the side of South Irving. He
2 wanted to build another apartment there, but
3 he certainly is not going to build it, and I
4 told him this, on a dirt street, so I don't
5 know this is my last hope is coming here.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: Where do you live?
7 MS. GALLAGHER-HAHN: Pardon?
8 MR. COURTRIGHT: 2100 block of
9 Irving, right?
10 MS. GALLAGHER-HAHN: 2100 block of
11 South Irving.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Okay.
13 MS. GALLAGHER-HAHN: Thank you.
14 MR. COURTRIGHT: You're welcome.
15 MR. MCGOFF: Other speakers?
16 MR. MCCLOE: Good evening. My name
17 is Brett McCloe, Scranton resident and
18 taxpayer. First off, I want to apologize to
19 Mr. McGoff for possibly quoting him out of
20 context about two weeks ago. It was not my
21 intention because words are very important
22 and should never be taken at face value.
23 The responsibility is on the citizens to
24 take the time to decipher the words from
25 this council because it becomes a basis for
1 legislations that have been passed, are now
2 being passed, and will be passed in the
3 future. People need to trust the words that
4 are spoken from our elected officials.
5 There has been a lot of talk about
6 speakers having personal agendas. This may
7 be so, but it comes from a place of good.
8 What's wrong with not wanting the city to be
9 in such debt? What's so terrible about
10 exposing corruption and waste? Is it so bad
11 to demand fiscal responsibility? And most
12 importantly, who stands to benefit from the
13 efforts of some council speakers? Everyone.
14 This should be a personal agenda for
16 Where did we go wrong as a society
17 that we still continue to rebuild and
18 fortify the same power structure that has
19 existed for more than 100 years. Restoring
20 pride, yes, they sure are. Back to the
21 1800's and early 20th century where coal
22 barons, wealth bankers, textile, iron and
23 train moguls ruled Scranton by making every
24 worker indebted to the company in one form
25 or another. Those were the grand times for
1 the very few.
2 A 100 years later, they take pride
3 in trying to repeat that grand old society.
4 There are new educational barons, new
5 construction moguls and new wealthy medical
6 institutions all of whom derive their money
7 from taxpayer dollars or their ability not
8 to have to pay those dollars.
9 There are new enforcers called NCC
10 to ensure that you owe your soul to the
11 company store. With your legislative
12 blessing and 25 percent tax increase, you
13 threw the citizens of this city against the
14 wall, pointed a NCC weapon at us and ordered
15 the people to cough it up or hand it out.
16 Simply because you haven't pulled the
17 trigger yet doesn't mean that doesn't lessen
18 the severity of the crime because not all
19 corruption is illegal and most of it can be
20 explained away as this council often does.
21 A substantial dollar amount is
22 attached to the so-called personal agendas
23 of council speakers, $200,000 here, $800,000
24 there, 25 percent of the city nontaxable
25 swept underneath hoping and praying we can
1 get on top of our $4 million gap in our city
2 budget surrounded by something no other city
3 of our size can come close to, a
4 $270,000,000 debt as our Nero watches our
5 city economically burn to the tune of
6 hundreds of millions of dollars he prepares
7 to head for Harrisburg.
8 Just because these problems are not
9 totally something that Scranton -- is unique
10 to Scranton doesn't mean we should just sit
11 on the swings at Nay Aug and forget about
12 them. One person says this is a place to do
13 city business. Well, what kind of business
14 are we running? As a city we ask for
15 success and show us debt. We yearn for
16 opportunity, you bring us opportunist. We
17 look for the future, you restore a not so
18 glorious past. As for hating election time,
19 why? This is the time when politicians
20 count their accomplishments to get into
21 office or ram legislation through to create
22 a legacy before they are thrown out.
23 I believe the word hypocrite was
24 used a week ago as a catch phrase of the day
25 to benefit those who take everything
1 including your words at face value. It
2 takes about two seconds and two brain cells
3 to look at underneath the issue hypocrisy
4 and you would find that is a matter of form
5 or substance. Mr. Pilcheski's lawsuit was
6 born out of the need to expose the substance
7 of corruption and deceit. While at the
8 opposite end there seems to be a need to
9 form a container to maintain and control
10 dissent at taxpayers' expense, I might add.
11 Never fear to practice, reinforce
12 and participate in citizenship by coming to
13 these city council meetings which is a
14 voluntary civic responsibility that is
15 sponsored by the government, protected by
16 the constitution and attended by the
18 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?
19 MS. KRAKE: Good evening, Council,
20 and good evening to all the folks in
21 Dunmore, especially those that helped us
22 solve the Channel 61 debacle. I'm not sure
23 if everyone is aware that people were having
24 trouble finding Channel 61, well, because of
25 some people I got in touch with Comcast who
1 solved the problem very quickly. There are
2 two separate issues and the bottom line is
3 you can call their call center now and they
4 will be able to help you.
5 First I would like to address Mrs.
6 Williams. I think probably we will always
7 have difference of opinion, but that's what
8 this podium is for. Pretty much it comes
9 down to record versus residency. Since
10 Mrs. Williams is so eager to expose what she
11 wrongly feels is an issue, I would ask her
12 to embrace an investigation of the rumor of
13 a possibly residency violation. This would
14 be about another candidate since she is so
15 concerned about the subject of people
16 lawfully serving on council. There has been
17 possible violations of election law,
18 possible address incorrections, possible --
19 you know, I hate to sound like Mrs. Williams
20 so I believe I'm going to stop there. Once
21 again, she opens a Pandora's box by going
22 down the road she travels.
23 The second thing I would like to
24 tell tonight is about an article that
25 appeared in the Philadelphia Daily News on
1 October 7. A city resident who answered
2 that article has given me permission to read
3 the letter they wrote. It's addressed to
4 the author of the article, Mr. Davies. She
5 says, "I'm a resident of Scranton which
6 Chris Doherty is our mayor. I had the
7 opportunity to read your article penned by
8 you on October 7. I was wondering where you
9 got the idea that Scranton is "Now
10 financially stable and more prosperous"?
11 When Chris Doherty took office in
12 2002 we had a $2.9 million surplus. This
13 year we have a $6 million deficit. In 2002,
14 we had a long-term debt totaling
15 approximately $70 million. Today our debt
16 is approaching $300 million. In 2002, we
17 had debt payments in $3.5 million. Today
18 our debt payments are over $16 million."
19 That's 19 cents of every tax dollar
20 collected goes to pay the debt Mayor Doherty
21 created, that's 20 percent. Hold that
22 number in your minds for a moment. Then she
23 gives a laundry list: Our population
24 continues to decrease; our crime is way up;
25 our streets are deplorable; our unemployment
1 rate is the highest in the state and we have
2 more empty storefronts and "For Sale" signs
3 on homes than ever before.
4 Here is the next dollar amount or
5 net amount, "Our taxes have been increased
6 by over 27 percent. Our sewer rates have
7 increased over 103 percent. Our budgets
8 increased over 46 percent, and I don't
9 realize -- I don't think this person realize
10 that she has nailed exactly what happened
11 here. Because of our huge borrowing we have
12 20 percent of every tax dollar collected.
13 Add that to the 26 percent tax increase, you
14 now have our 46 percent budget increase in
15 the seven short years this man has been our
16 mayor. Those are the facts. This is the
17 elephant in the living room.
18 She goes onto say, "Our police
19 department, fire department and city hall
20 staffers were cut and numerous patronage
21 jobs were created in the Sewer, Housing and
22 Parking Authorities."
23 And, in fact, it's rumored our
24 Parking Authority is about to default on
25 their bond payments. The mayor is traveling
1 through the state telling everyone how
2 wonderful Scranton is doing under his watch
3 when our own city documents tell a very
4 different story.
5 I simply have one sentence left?
6 Thank you kindly. Please don't believe the
7 rhetoric Chris Doherty is telling everyone
8 about Scranton because it simply is not
9 true. If you research the city you will see
10 a very different story than the one you are
11 reading. Thank you.
12 MS. GERVASI: Good evening. My name
13 is Alyssa Gervasi. I was informed on my
14 here that Mrs. Evans already spoke on behalf
15 of Foundation 58, but I know people like
16 myself, I don't get out of work until 6:30,
17 so people miss the beginning of the meeting
18 so I'd just like to repeat and elaborate a
19 little bit on what Mrs. Evans said. And
20 again, thank you for speaking on behalf of
21 the foundation.
22 MS. EVANS: You're welcome.
23 MS. GERVASI: Foundation 58 is a
24 501-C-3 nonprofit organization established
25 in memory of Hazelton City Deputy Fire Chief
1 Gabriel Angolite, dedicated to providing
2 financial assistance to firefighters, police
3 officers, and emergency medical service
4 personnel that are diagnosed with cancer.
5 It's going to be this Friday,
6 October 16, at Heil's Place, 1002 Wheeler
7 Avenue, Scranton, PA, 18510. The time is
8 going to be 5:00 to 9:00. It's going to be
9 a $5 donation at the door and any -- if you
10 cannot come any donations you may feel free
11 to e-mail me at AMCG933@aol.com. The
12 entertainment will be Jaconda Cortozo from
13 -- who is the lead singer from Lesson One.
14 Also, Grace's downfall and no where slow.
15 They are all really great bands in the City
16 of Scranton so you are also supporting your
17 local music.
18 We have also 50/50's, basket raffles
19 and Leigh Sophia jewelry sales, which is --
20 that's my business and I'm also donating 10
21 percent of my commission back to the
22 foundation. Please everybody come out.
23 It's a really great cause and I hope to see
24 you all there. Support those who help you
25 every day. Thank you.
1 MR. ANCHERANI: Good evening. Nelson
2 Ancherani, First Amendment Rights. Since
3 September 8 I have been asking about the
4 status of the Connell building. Ms. Evans
5 said on September 29 at last week's council
6 meeting a city resident asked for an update
7 on the Connell building project. Miss
8 Aebli, OECD director responds as follows:
9 "Please be assured that the Connell building
10 is still an active ongoing project. This
11 office is in communication with Scranton
12 Connell, LP, on a regular basis."
13 I wonder if Miss Aebli knew this
14 prior to October 2 from the slimes, and if
15 she did why didn't she report it, that the
16 Connell building project halted as owner
17 seeks financing, and that was by David
18 Volchak, staff writer, published October 2,
19 2009. I guess $23 million isn't enough. A
20 state gave a $5 million grant, how much did
21 the city put into this project, anyone know?
22 And from the February 24, 2009, council
23 agenda, three pieces of legislation approved
24 2 1/2 million to the Connell building, an
25 example is Growing Greener. Thanks Anthony
1 in Scranton for that info.
2 I hate to be skeptical, but I see
3 shades of the Southern Union building and
4 also the 722,000 defaults by three
5 businesses that got OECD loans.
6 Translation, taxpayers' money.
7 And I would like to know who drafted
8 the gun legislation? Does anyone know
9 specifically who wrote that legislation?
10 Last week Mrs. Gatelli had a
11 meltdown and started chastising the council
12 audience unleashing a tirade against the
13 speakers. She referred to us as the crew
14 out there. According to her we come with
15 our agendas and highjack the meetings. At
16 least she didn't call us pathetic again. I
17 can't remember if she called us terrorists.
18 She remarked about us not going to county
19 meetings and complaining about Cordaro
20 raising county taxes 48 percent. Did she
21 forget Cordaro got voted out of office?
22 People did do something. Only in Scranton
23 do the voters vote people into office who
24 voted to raise their taxes 25 percent.
25 Example, Mr. McGoff.
1 The voters voted the other two out
2 of office who voted for that 25 percent city
3 tax increase, Ms. Fanucci and Ms. Gatelli.
4 Mrs. Gatelli even picked on me. That's
5 okay. It doesn't bother me, but what she
6 has to remember she gets paid to be here, we
8 Also, Mrs. Fanucci when she spoke
9 took up Mrs. Gatelli's cause and also went
10 after the council speakers. She started
11 about the speakers passing notes in the back
12 of the room, let's see, what council person
13 had a laptop in front of them and was that
14 person getting notes passed to them by
15 e-mail and from who. Anyone know who that
16 was? Let's see, what council person had
17 their Blackberry with them and was getting
18 tax messages while counciling at the
19 meeting? We know who that was. What
20 council person makes Monday trips into the
21 mayor's office for Tuesday meeting marching
23 MS. FANUCCI: Never. Never once.
24 MR. ANCHERANI: Anyone know who that
25 is? I know who they are and so do they.
1 Anyway, who cares? I would like to remind
2 everyone to stay on the issues, be
3 observant. Ms. Williams is coming here to
4 distract from the issues. Don't fall victim
5 to the distractions. Some of the issues,
6 300 million long-term debt; 20 million in
7 raises and new hires over the last 8 years;
8 eight record city budgets; 5.5 million
9 American Anglican arbitration loss causing
10 56 percent Scranton Sewer Authority rate
11 hike; numerous Recovery Plan violations;
12 25 percent tax hike while 12 million was
13 hidden in a secret account and then two
14 million lost accounting errors. There is
15 more. Thank you.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Anyone else?
17 MS. EVANS: Good evening. At last
18 week's council meeting some speakers raised
19 serious concerns regarding the dumping of
20 waste in our rivers by the Scranton Sewer
21 Authority and the resulting hefty fines
22 placed against the Sewer Authority by the
23 Department of Environmental Protection. In
24 addition, speakers had previously expressed
25 concern that the Sewer Authority had failed
1 to apply for federal stimulus grants at a
2 time when the authority faces approximately
3 $150 million in mandated upgrades to our
4 sewer system.
5 Therefore, I would like to invite
6 Mr. Gene Barrett, executive director of the
7 Scranton Sewer Authority, to a public caucus
8 in order that he may explain these recent
9 developments to council, and more
10 importantly, to the ratepayers of Scranton
11 and Dunmore. With my colleague's agreement,
12 Kay, I would like to send a letter to
13 Mr. Barrett inviting him to attend a public
14 caucus of Scranton City Council to discuss
15 these issues as early as convenient. And,
16 Kay, perhaps we could suggest 5:45 p.m.
17 caucus time and I would like ECTV to
18 broadcast this important caucus as well.
19 I had already spoken with
20 Mr. Barrett actually and he has indicated he
21 would be happy to attend since he, like
22 myself, firmly believes that municipal
23 authorities are responsible to the
24 ratepayers and taxpayers.
25 At next week's meeting, council will
1 cast it's final vote on the 2010 CDBG, that
2 is, Community Development Block Grant
3 allocations. I submitted a list of 12
4 editions totaling $785,000 to the
5 allocations previously selected by the mayor
6 and OECD as well as a list of cuts to the
7 mayor's and OECD's selections totaling
8 $785,000 in order to provide full funding
9 for those organizations and city services I
10 believe should receive grants. I base my
11 decisions on the needs of our struggling
12 people in this troubling economy as well as
13 the taxpayers' priorities of police
14 protection and street paving.
15 Further, I noted of many
16 contradictions in the reasons provided by
17 OECD for it's refusal to fund numerous
18 organizations. Consequently, I am
19 interested to learn if my changes to the
20 allocations will be accepted or denied.
21 As one of our speakers, I think
22 Mrs. Krake, mentioned a few minutes ago,
23 about difficulty viewing Channel 19, in the
24 last week I received numerous complaints
25 from Comcast subscribers who couldn't
1 receive Channel 19 on their television sets
2 and consequently I, too, spoke to Liz
3 Sterner, senior director of government
4 affairs for Comcast about this issue.
5 Mrs. Sterner states that Comcast
6 subscribers who cannot receive Channel 19,
7 the government access channel, should call
8 Comcast at 1-800-Comcast to report the
9 problem. A service technician will be sent
10 to your home to fix the problem which can be
11 one of two things: First, at one time
12 Channel 19 was a premium channel offering,
13 for example, Homebox or Cinemax. Anyone who
14 had a basic cable at that time had a trap in
15 his home which prevented him from receiving
16 these premium channels. That trap may still
17 be in operation and the technician must
18 remove it.
19 The second problem is that the
20 television and cable need to be reprogrammed
21 by the service technician. Either way, the
22 technician will be able to correct this and
23 you will receive Channel 19 and Channel 21.
24 Most importantly, Miss Sterner
25 states there will be no charge for the
1 service technician visit. Comcast is aware
2 of the situation and is anxious to work with
3 all subscribers to correct it. Please call
4 Comcast as soon as possible.
5 Next, I learned last week that a
6 group of volunteers joined together to
7 cleanup the Washburn Street Cemetery this
8 past weekend. Family members of the
9 deceased and a generous landscaper worked
10 tirelessly to improve long deplorable
11 conditions at the cemetery that have been
12 neglected by it's owner. This group is
13 asking for additional volunteers to work at
14 the Washburn Street Cemetery during the
15 weekend of November 7 in preparation for
16 Veteran's Day.
17 I thank and admire these families
18 and the landscaper, but this shouldn't be
19 the only solution to the problem. How can
20 volunteers continue to maintain a cemetery
21 month after month, year after year? It is
22 the responsibility of the cemetery owner and
23 when he fails to live up to his
24 responsibilities the city should respond as
25 it would to any homeowner who allows his
1 property to become blighted. The owner
2 should be fined and the property should be
3 liened by the city. It certainly seems to
4 present a case of selective enforcement of
5 city ordinances.
6 And finally, I have some citizens'
7 requests for the week:
8 First, citizens report that the walk
9 light located at the corner of Lackawanna
10 and South Washington Avenue is in need of
11 repair immediately. Specifically, it's the
12 walk light between Alexander's Salon and 434
13 Lackawanna Avenue. Last Friday morning
14 another pedestrian was hit by a car in this
15 crosswalk area and citizens state that the
16 walk/don't walk light needs repaired or
18 At last week's meeting, I requested
19 a letter to Daron Northeast located in lower
20 Greenridge regarding the dust and dirt
21 pollution suffered by it's neighbors. Since
22 then, residents of the Dickson Avenue -- or,
23 excuse me, residents of Dickson Avenue have
24 reported that on October 9 at 4:15 a.m., an
25 18-wheeler vehicle backed up to the Daron
1 property. Residents were awakened by it's
2 revving engine and beeping sounds that
3 accompany the maneuvers of such large
5 In addition, residents reported a
6 strong odor of diesel fuel. Such loud
7 deliveries or collections at these unusual
8 hours violate city ordinances and health and
9 welfare of Scranton homeowners. And so
10 again, Kay, Daron is to be contacted.
11 I have received several complaints
12 from city residents regarding ECTV's
13 programming. In the last weeks, residents
14 report that religious sermons presented by
15 independent churches were broadcast. In
16 addition, an infomercial for a chiropractic
17 business, which can be seen on My Space has
18 been broadcast. Residents note that this
19 infomercial was produced by Miss Davis, the
20 station manager of ECTV. I would like
21 letters sent to the Peg Channel Oversight
22 Committee and to the executive director of
23 ECTV regarding these complaints.
24 Further, I wish to know who
25 determines programs suitable for airing and
1 what is the criteria for airing of the
2 material? Please justify the broadcasts of
3 religious sermons and a chiropractor's
4 infomercial, and I am requesting a response
5 on or about October 26, 2009.
6 In response to the complaint
7 regarding the streetlights on the Lackawanna
8 Avenue between the Steamtown Mall and the
9 Radisson, Municipal Energy Management
10 reports that the streetlights have been
11 turned off because another company, Urban
12 Electric, is currently working on a project
13 in that area.
14 A letter to Mr. Seitzinger: Please
15 provide council with a list of the abandoned
16 lots within the City of Scranton on or
17 before November 6, 2009.
18 Please contact utility companies
19 regarding pavecuts made and not filled
20 completely on Mulberry Street from Taylor
21 Avenue to Harrison Avenue; and a second
22 request to paint the traffic lanes at
23 Mifflin Avenue and Mulberry Street. If
24 this, indeed, is a state responsibility
25 please notify the appropriate state
2 And I am aware that the police
3 conducted a successful raid on Prospect
4 Avenue last week and I am hoping that they
5 will continue such raids in that area.
6 There are a number of other drug houses in
7 that close vicinity, and that's it.
8 MS. HUMPHRIES: Excuse me, can I
9 leave you an article of --
10 MR. MCGOFF: Please, Phyllis. No.
11 MS. EVANS: I'll get it after the
13 MR. MCGOFF: Mrs. Fanucci.
14 MS. FANUCCI: Yes. 5-E on our agenda
15 tonight is a loan. It is a capital needs
16 loan. It's going to be $25,000 and the loan
17 will be at 5 percent interest for the term
18 of ten years. The total project cost for
19 this, this is a downtown fitness, they have
20 two floors and they will be expending to the
21 third floor for a spa and also more fitness
22 equipment. The total project costs will be
23 $75,000 and we'll be introducing that
24 tonight on the agenda. Also, because of the
25 state requirements one full-time equivalent
1 permanent position will be required, and
2 that is all I have on that. I have a whole
3 list of what will be going in and I'm sure
4 Andy will probably want to give it to him
5 next week which will be the lockers and the
6 shower stalls and new equipment and they
7 will be using the $25,000 pretty well.
8 But, I'm not sure, this was a -- let
9 me just go back. This was a business that's
10 been downtown for awhile now. It was owned
11 by two partners. This is a sole partner now
12 who is taking over the business, so it is
13 not the same partnership as it was before so
14 that is why they were expanding the
15 business, so I will give you the low down on
16 all of that next week.
17 Also, on behalf of one of our
18 residents I'd like to send a letter, Kay, to
19 the developers of the 500 block, to
20 Rinaldis, to find out if they have a target
21 date set for completion and also to ask if
22 they have potential tenants and if so what
23 are the potential tenants and if they can
24 give us the names of those tenants. They
25 probably will not give the names until it's
1 time, but if they do have potential tenants
2 it had be nice to know.
3 Also, regarding some of the comments
4 that are made tonight with NCC. NCC did pay
5 us the money for the loans, we did get money
6 from them in the beginning. It wasn't like
7 they just decided to take over, so we did
8 receive money from people who were not
9 paying their taxes. The reason being, they
10 weren't paying their taxes. One of the
11 reasons they weren't paying their taxes is
12 because it was easy not to pay city tax.
13 Our bills were separated. You could pay
14 your county, you could pay your school
15 district, but you didn't have to pay us. At
16 that point, there was really nothing that
17 was being done.
18 So, yes, we did have someone come in
19 and decide to try to get the money for us.
20 They have been doing a pretty good job, too.
21 It wasn't an easy decision and it's not a
22 great one, but when people are not paying
23 for years and years it's a good thing to try
24 to get money back into the city regardless
25 of penalties and fees. Yes, that's
1 terrible, but no different than any of us
2 have to do with your credit cards or
3 anything else we are not paying on, it's
4 unfortunate, but it has to happen. Why?
5 Because we still need to pay the employees
6 of the city. We still need to pay and keep
7 the city running, and it's also not very
8 good to have certain people paying and other
9 people it's okay for them not to pay.
10 So, unfortunately, there are things
11 you have to do and decisions you have to
12 make, and I believe that that was a good
13 one. Why? Because we got a lot of money
14 back. Money that they were not getting. I
15 don't understand why that's such a bad
16 thing. We didn't take anybody's house. We
17 didn't do anything to that extreme right
18 now, but what we did is make people step up
19 and say, "You know what, I better pay now."
20 Also in some of the comments made
21 about lawsuits last week, which I absolutely
22 love, I'd like to send a letter and, Kay,
23 I'd like to do this as a Right-to-Know
24 request, and you can do it from me if you'd
25 like as an elected official, I'd like to
1 know how much Joanne and Joe Pilcheksi's
2 lawsuits have cost the city in the past six
3 years. I also would like that sent to the
4 county. I'd like to know how many lawsuits
5 have been filed and what it has cost the
7 We seem to be at a major standstill
8 in this environment where people want to
9 know how much a certain city councilwoman is
10 paying to have herself defended, so let's
11 get it all out there. If we are not going
12 to have frivolous lawsuits and we are not
13 for spending taxpayers money that is not
14 prudent to a taxpayer, let's find out about
15 it, let's see how much we are actually
17 Also with that, Amil, I would like
18 to request that you look into some
19 legislation for me on how we can go about
20 stopping frivolous lawsuits. At the end of
21 it all, if nothing happens with these
22 lawsuits, if there are not any wonderful,
23 identified problems after all of these suits
24 are filed then what and who decides and how
25 do we go about deciding if this can be or
1 not be because in the long run it is still
2 the taxpayers' money, which means it's my
3 money and it's all your money.
4 And I know it's okay in certain
5 environments because when you are friendly
6 with people you seem to think it's okay if
7 they are doing it, but in long run it is
8 costing a lot of money, so let's find out
9 and let's talk about it and let's see if
10 then it's okay because it doesn't seem to be
11 okay on the other end, so let's find out.
12 So I'd like that for the last -- well, do it
13 to the eight years. Let's do the whole
14 eight years, the last eight years, okay?
15 And that is all I have. Thank you.
16 MR. COURTRIGHT: I will wait for Kay
17 to get done writing. We need to keep you
18 busy, Kay. I'm going to ask you to send one
19 letter. I don't remember the woman's name
20 that came about the 2100 block of South
21 Irving. Just a brief letter to Jeff Brazil
22 asking him to respond to us in writing so
23 that if we have the lady's name we can send
24 it to her. If not, then we can -- whether
25 or not they are going to pave it or not I
1 think she deserves a response.
2 The gentleman that's still in the
3 back there, I forget your name, I'm not -- I
4 don't want to go back and forth with you
5 every week about the homeless. I think you
6 have their best interests at heart and I
7 think we do, also. I know you said you
8 looked to us to show some guidance. I think
9 we are trying to show some guidance the best
10 we know how.
11 I was contacted this past week by a
12 speaker here about a woman and her children
13 that are living, I don't want to say where
14 it was, in a car, all right? And I have
15 gone their twice, I haven't been able to for
16 lack of a better word catch her because I
17 don't think some of these people want to be
18 caught and, as I said before, I don't think
19 some of them want to be helped and it's
20 difficult to help somebody that does not
21 want help. I don't think any of us up here
22 in any way mean to be disrespectful to you
23 or to any of the homeless. Have some of us
24 been disrespectful to speakers? Yes. Have
25 some speakers been disrespectful of us?
2 But when it comes to down to the
3 homeless I don't think there is anyone up
4 here that is trying to be disrespectful and
5 I think you said we weren't compassionate.
6 I disagree, I think we are all compassionate
7 when it comes to the homeless, and you also
8 asked would we support any projects for the
9 needy? I think I always have and I always
10 will. I think we all know there is a
11 problem there and the problem is probably
12 growing because of the economic times that
13 we have. I don't know exactly what you
14 would like for us to do. I believe you are
15 indicating that we have homes in the city
16 that are condemned and you would like for us
17 to rehab them and put the homeless in there.
18 MR. DWYER: I would like that.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: I don't know how you
20 would go about doing that and one of the
21 reasons I say that is because I think all of
22 us, and I have been here for six years and
23 so has been Mrs. Evans, when they condemn a
24 house it takes a real long time for us to
25 take possession of that property. Does the
1 city tear down houses? Yes. They tear down
2 houses that we do not have possession of,
3 all right? They tear them down for a host
4 of reasons, one being, you know, a safety.
5 Just because we tear a house down doesn't
6 mean the city has possession of that
7 property, and I think some people
8 misunderstand that. So for the city to take
9 over a home and rehab it and put the
10 homeless in there would take a great deal of
11 time, okay? And there is a whole bunch of
12 other issues that come with that, so I don't
13 know how viable your suggestion would be for
15 My guess would be that you would
16 talk to the people in the Vacant Property
17 Review Board and just, Kay, can give you
18 this woman's name and see I don't know if
19 your suggestion is possible. It's possible,
20 but I don't know if it's -- if it's a good
21 suggestion and if it is and it's doable I
22 don't think anybody up here would disagree
23 with you, but this will be the last week I
24 speak on it because I don't want to go back
25 and forth with you. I truly believe, I
1 don't think you believe, but I truly believe
2 we all have the same thought as you do as
3 when it comes to the homeless. I don't
4 think any of us here want to be
5 disrespectful or unhelpful or not show
6 guidance, and I'm going to leave it at that.
7 And that's all I have. Thank you.
8 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you.
9 MR. DWYER: May I speak?
10 MR. MCGOFF: No.
11 MR. DWYER: He posed us this
12 question --
13 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Dwyer, you had your
14 turn. Thank you.
15 MR. DWYER: Yes, Mr. McGoff, but
16 Councilman Courtright posed those
17 statements --
18 MR. MCGOFF: Mr. Dwyer.
19 MR. COURTRIGHT: Sir, if you would
20 like to speak to me, I'll wait and I'll
21 speak to you after the meeting, he is not
22 going to allow you to speak now. I would be
23 happy to speak to you after the meeting --
24 MR. DWYER: Or maybe next week.
25 MR. COURTRIGHT: Or next week. Yes.
1 MR. MCGOFF: Just a couple of quick
2 comments. Mr. Spindler, I, too, found
3 myself agreeing with your letter that was in
4 the newspaper, so that may be two things
5 within the last month that we have agreed
6 on. What's the world coming to?
7 In response, also, to some things
8 that were mentioned about people being
9 denied their rights to speak, I don't think
10 anyone has been denied their right to speak
11 at this podium. If anything, I think that I
12 probably err on the side of the speaker. I
13 have been criticized by members of council
14 for allowing things to be said that they
15 didn't think were appropriate. There is
16 always the attempt to allow people to say
17 what they feel is, you know, or what
18 concerns them. The only thing is
19 inappropriate is when something is out of
20 order, that's not concerns of this city that
21 is, you know, inappropriate for our meeting
22 and in those cases I have made some attempt
23 to try and curtail it, but never deny anyone
24 their right to speak. I don't think that's
25 our purpose here.
1 Also, I hate to open this again or
2 to speak on this again, but the situation
3 with the firearms in council chambers was
4 something that at that time I thought was
5 unavoidable. We have gone over case law, we
6 have looked at what might have been, you
7 know, possible solutions to the problem and
8 very honestly, as I said, I agreed with
9 Mr. Spindler when he wrote that it was a
10 very disconcerting situation and I wish we
11 could have avoided it, but we didn't, we
12 couldn't, there are laws protecting people
13 carrying firearms, hopefully we don't have
14 that problem again and maybe the state,
15 maybe the state will do something in the
16 mean time that allow us to deal with that
17 problem, but at this time we can't.
18 And, Mr. Ancherani, I do talk to the
19 mayor before every meeting. I think it
20 would be irresponsible if I didn't. I think
21 that's the purpose of or one of the things
22 that the president of council should do,
23 find out what legislation is being brought
24 down, find out what's happening in the city
25 and appearing at council with that
1 information. If I didn't do that, as I
2 said, I think I would be irresponsible.
3 And the last think that I have, and
4 I should have mentioned before, I just like
5 a congratulations to the Steamtown Marathon
6 Committee. Bill Kane and Kim Cummings, Jack
7 Martz, John McGovern and others on their
8 14th Marathon. It was a great day to run,
9 runners and others were quite pleased with
10 the event and it's become an attraction for
11 the City of Scranton. Over 2,300 runners
12 participated this year, a record number, and
13 hopefully next year even more.
14 Unfortunately, I wasn't able to participate.
15 Next year. And we move to Fifth Order.
16 I'm sorry, Mrs. Garvey, before we go
17 to Fifth Order, I would like to make a
18 motion to appoint Mr. Courtright the
19 temporary chairperson for the Committee on
21 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
22 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All in
23 favor say aye. Aye.
24 MS. EVANS: Aye.
25 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
1 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
2 MR. MCGOFF: Opposed? The ayes have
3 it and so moved. Mrs. Garvey?
4 MS. GARVEY: 5-B. FOR INTRODUCTION -
5 A RESOLUTION - APPROVING THE MODIFICATION OF
6 THE EXISTING TRAFFIC SIGNAL ON WEST LINDEN
7 STREET (S.R.3020) AND SEVENTH AVENUE
8 (S.R.3029) AS PART OF THE MOUNT PLEASANT
9 CORPORATE CENTER PROJECT.
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 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
20 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
21 ayes have it and so moved.
22 MS. GARVEY: 5-C. FOR INTRODUCTION -
23 A RESOLUTION - APPROVING THE MODIFICATION OF
24 THE EXISTING TRAFFIC SIGNAL ON SEVENTH
25 AVENUE (S.R.3029) AND ROUTE 11 NORTHBOUND
1 RAMPS A&B (S.R.8027) AS PART OF THE MOUNT
2 PLEASANT CORPORATE CENTER PROJECT.
3 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
4 entertain a motion that Item 5-C be
5 introduced into it's proper committee.
6 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
7 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
8 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
9 in favor signify by saying aye.
10 MS. EVANS: Aye.
11 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
12 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
13 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
14 ayes have it and so moved.
15 MS. GARVEY: 5-D. FOR INTRODUCTION -
16 A RESOLUTION - APPROVING THE MODIFICATION OF
17 THE EXISTING TRAFFIC SIGNAL ON SEVENTH
18 AVENUE (S.R.3029) AND ROUTE 11 SOUTHBOUND
19 RAMPS C&D (S.R.8027/ACCESS) AS PART OF THE
20 MOUNT PLEASANT CORPORATE CENTER PROJECT.
21 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
22 entertain a motion that Item 5-D be
23 introduced into it's proper committee.
24 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
25 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
1 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? All
2 in favor signify by saying aye.
3 MS. EVANS: Aye.
4 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
6 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
7 ayes have it and so moved.
8 MS. GARVEY: 5-E. FOR INTRODUCTION -
9 A RESOLUTION - AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND
10 OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY OFFICIALS FOR THE
11 CITY OF SCRANTON TO ENTER INTO A LOAN
12 AGREEMENT AND MAKE A LOAN FROM THE
13 COMMERCIAL INDUSTRIAL REVOLVING LOAN
14 PROGRAM, PROJECT NO. 150.25 IN AN AMOUNT NOT
15 TO EXCEED $25,000.00 TO FITNESS 53, INC. TO
16 ASSIST AN ELIGIBLE PROJECT.
17 MR. MCGOFF: At this time I'll
18 entertain a motion that Item 5-E be
19 introduced into it's proper committee.
20 MR. COURTRIGHT: So moved.
21 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
22 MR. MCGOFF: On the question?
23 MS. EVANS: This isn't directly
24 related to this legislation, but I did want
25 to announce to the public that we received
1 our first report from the Office of EOCD
2 concerning all programs and loans that are
3 conducted through their office. I believe
4 it was a September report and I am very
5 pleased that Miss Aebli has provided that
6 information. I am even more pleased that
7 council is going to have the opportunity
8 then to keep abreast fully of what
9 businesses are current and what businesses
10 are failing to make payments on loans.
11 MR. MCGOFF: All those in favor
12 signify by saying aye.
13 MS. EVANS: Aye.
14 MS. FANUCCI: Aye.
15 MR. COURTRIGHT: Aye.
16 MR. MCGOFF: Aye. Opposed? The
17 ayes have it and so moved.
18 MS. GARVEY: SIXTH ORDER. NO
19 BUSINESS AT THIS TIME. SEVENTH ORDER. 7-A.
20 FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON
21 FINANCE - FOR ADOPTION - FILE OF COUNCIL NO.
22 89, 2009 - AMENDING FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 49,
23 2008, AN ORDINANCE ENTITLED "GENERAL CITY
24 OPERATING BUDGET 2009" BY TRANSFERRING
25 $390.00 FROM ACCOUNT NO. 01.040.00040.4201
1 (BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION- PROFESSIONAL
2 SERVICES) TO ACCOUNT NO. 01.040.00040.4120
3 (BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION-LIFE/DISABILITY
4 INSURANCE) TO PROVIDE FUNDING TO COVER THE
5 REMAINING 2009 PAYMENTS FOR THE BUSINESS
6 ADMINISTRATION LIFE/DISABILITY INSURANCE
8 MR. MCGOFF: What is the
9 recommendation of the temporary Chair for
10 the Committee on Finance?
11 MR. COURTRIGHT: As temporary Chair
12 for the Committee on Finance, I recommend
13 final passage of Item 7-A.
14 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
15 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
16 call, please?
17 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
18 MS. EVANS: Yes.
19 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli. Ms.
21 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
22 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
23 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
24 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
25 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
1 Item 7-A legally and lawfully adopted.
2 MS. GARVEY: 7-B. FOR CONSIDERATION
3 BY THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE - FOR ADOPTION -
4 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 90, 2009 - AMENDING FILE
5 OF COUNCIL NO. 49, 2008, AN ORDINANCE
6 ENTITLED "GENERAL CITY OPERATING BUDGET
7 2009" BY TRANSFERRING $1,610.00 FROM ACCOUNT
8 NO. 01.011.00071.4390 (POLICE
9 DEPARTMENT-MATERIALS & SUPPLIES) TO ACCOUNT
10 NO. 01.011.00071.4120 (POLICE
11 DEPARTMENT-LIFE/DISABILITY INSURANCE) TO
12 PROVIDE FUNDING TO COVER THE REMAINING 2009
13 PAYMENTS FOR THE POLICE DEPARTMENT
14 LIFE/DISABILITY INSURANCE PREMIUMS.
15 MR. MCGOFF: What is the
16 recommendation of the temporary Chair for
17 the Committee on Finance?
18 MR. COURTRIGHT: As temporary Chair
19 for the Committee on Finance, I recommend
20 final passage of Item 7-B.
21 MS. FANUCCI: Second.
22 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
23 call, please?
24 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
25 MS. EVANS: Yes.
1 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli. Ms.
3 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
4 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
6 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
8 Item 7-B legally and lawfully adopted.
9 MS. GARVEY: 7-C. FOR CONSIDERATION
10 BY THE COMMITTEE ON RULES - FOR ADOPTION -
11 FILE OF COUNCIL NO. 91, 2009 - AUTHORIZING
12 THE MAYOR AND OTHER APPROPRIATE CITY
13 OFFICIALS TO ACCEPT AND RECORD A DEED
14 CONVEYING OWNERSHIP OF AN UNOPENED PORTION
15 OF SWETLAND STREET, MORE FULLY DESCRIBED AS
16 LOT 173, BLOCK 13, WARD 21 IN THE CITY OF
17 SCRANTON, TAX MAP NUMBER 13320- 010-034.
18 MR. MCGOFF: As Chair for the
19 Committee on Rules, I recommend final
20 passage of Item 7-C.
21 MR. COURTRIGHT: Second.
22 MR. MCGOFF: On the question? Roll
23 call, please?
24 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Evans.
25 MS. EVANS: Yes.
1 MR. COOLICAN: Mrs. Gatelli. Ms.
3 MS. FANUCCI: Yes.
4 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. Courtright.
5 MR. COURTRIGHT: Yes.
6 MR. COOLICAN: Mr. McGoff.
7 MR. MCGOFF: Yes. I hereby declare
8 Item 7-C legally and lawfully adopted.
9 MR. COURTRIGHT: Motion to adjourn.
10 MR. MCGOFF: Thank you for your
1 C E R T I F I C A T E
3 I hereby certify that the proceedings and
4 evidence are contained fully and accurately in the
5 notes of testimony taken by me at the hearing of the
6 above-captioned matter and that the foregoing is a true
7 and correct transcript of the same to the best of my
CATHENE S. NARDOZZI, RPR
15 OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER