2014-07-15 Council Minutes

MINUTES
HAZLETON CITY COUNCIL
REGULAR MEETING
TUESDAY, JULY 15, 2014


Call to Order:  Council met in regular session on Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 2014 in Council Chambers. The meeting was called to order at 6:50 p.m.

Silent Meditation and Pledge of Allegiance:  A silent moment was taken followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Roll Call:  Bast-absent; Cusat-present; Mope-present; Sosar-present; Mundie-present

Minutes of Previous Meetings:  The minutes of the June 17, 2014 Work Session and Regular Meeting were approved unanimously.

Proclamations/Communications:  None.

Courtesy of the Floor:  Grace Cuozzo, 948 James Street, Hazleton commented on Resolutions 2014-83 and 2014-84. She believes both applications should be thrown out and done over correctly. The dates are wrong on the applications. She added that $65,000 was the original cost, but this was done in 2011, and the cost may have gone up. Cuozzo wondered if the $65,000 would be enough to cover the project. She said these Resolutions should not have even been brought to Council with so many mistakes on them. Cuozzo said the PPL Agreement said it took effect in June of 2014, and it is just being shown to Council now. She asked Council to get more information on both of these Resolutions before voting on them.

Norman Tarantino, 154 North Lee Court, Hazleton asked if the automated red light enforcement will give tickets automatically when they run the red light, or is it just to improve the traffic lights at these intersections. He said the City should not be using the kind that automatically gives tickets when a police officer is not there because a lot of municipalities are phasing out those types of units. There have been a lot of problems with them, and we do not need them.

Dee Deakos, 43 West Mine Street, Hazleton commented on Ordinance 2014-10. She said she believes there should be on-street parking on Chestnut Street on both sides. She said she does not agree that the spaces should be non-metered because the parking spaces beyond Chestnut Street are metered. This would mean that the spaces which are farther away are metered, and the closer ones are not. People will be competing for the spaces on Chestnut Street. Deakos said this will also take business away from the Parking Garage. She said these spaces should be metered. South Laurel Street between Chestnut Street and Mine Street should be added as well. Deakos felt once the other parking garage is built, there is not going to be enough on-street parking spaces.

Mark Rabo, 8 West 1st Street, Hazleton commented on Ordinance 2014-8. Rabo asked if the City will still be able to apply for more grant money once the Comprehensive Plan is updated. Fermin said only the amounts listed on the Ordinance will be carried over to 2014, and nothing else. She added that she is still waiting for this year’s grant allocation from HUD. Sosar asked if that will be for 2014 or 2015. Fermin responded it will be money for 2014, and then she will do the budget for 2015. She is currently working on the 2015 budget. Rabo asked how the new Comprehensive Plan will affect the budget. Fermin said it will be separate for future years.

Ted Sherrock, Hazleton asked that Council contact the Housing Authority with regard to these parking ordinances and get their input. Mundie said they will do that. Sherrock said he noticed the Police Department is going from .45 caliber handguns to 9mm handguns. He wanted to know what is going to happen to the old firearms, and the leftover .45 caliber ammunition.

                                                    

Old Business:

ORDINANCES

Ordinance 2014-8    Amending the Annual Plan for the Community Planning and Development Programs with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for Fiscal Year 2014 (2nd Reading)

Presented by Mope. Seconded by Cusat.

On the Question:

Sosar asked Fermin if there are any programs this year to help children in this area. Fermin’s response was inaudible. Sosar said there are people who need to get in touch with Fermin about that matter. He said there are a lot of children in town who would benefit from some programs that he has discussed with Fermin, such as mentoring programs, children-at-risk programs, etc. He said this would be helpful for teenagers who are interested in improving themselves and doing better. Sosar asked Fermin to keep this matter in the forefront and look for some “guardian angels” throughout the City. There is a $30,000 need to help out 30 children who are looking for mentoring, so that they do not run the risk of getting into trouble. Sosar asked that perhaps something could be next year. Mope agreed.

Roll Call:  Bast-absent; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

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Ordinance 2014-8    Amending the Annual Plan for the Community Planning and Development Programs with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for Fiscal Year 2014 (3rd Reading)

Presented by Mope. Seconded by Cusat.

Roll Call:  Bast-absent; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

ORDINANCES PASSES

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Ordinance 2014-9    An Ordinance to Authorize the Erection of a Stop Sign at 19th and Peace Streets (2nd Reading)

Presented by Cusat. Seconded by Sosar.

Roll Call:  Bast-absent; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

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Ordinance 2014-9    An Ordinance to Authorize the Erection of a Stop Sign at 19th and Peace Streets (3rd Reading)

Presented by Cusat. Seconded by Mope.

Roll Call:  Bast-absent; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

ORDINANCE PASSES

                                                    
RESOLUTIONS

Resolution 2014-77    Awarding Audit for 2013, 2014 and 2015 (TABLED 6/17/14)

At this point, Mope made a motion to remove the Resolution from the table, and Cusat seconded the motion.

Motion to Remove from Table:

Presented by Mope. Seconded by Cusat.

Roll Call (on Motion to Remove from Table):  Bast-absent; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

MOTION TO REMOVE FROM TABLE PASSES

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Mope.

On the Question:

Mundie made a motion to award the contract to SB & Company for the first year at $35,905, the second year at $36,976, and the third year at $38,172. Mope seconded the motion. Mundie said the local accounting firm who bid on the audit was Dennis Moore & Associates, and their bid was $45,900 for all three years. He said the first year’s savings is almost $10,000, and the total savings over three years is $26,647 for the life of the contract. Mundie said they are looking out for the taxpayers of the City, and we owe it to the people of Hazleton to do so. He stated that if there was a minimal difference in price, they would have gone with the local firm. Mope agreed. Mundie said it is no reflection on Dennis Moore or the work he or his company has done. Cusat was concerned with a new firm coming in at such a late time in the year. Mundie stated SB & Company said they would have no problems with started from scratch. Mope said last year’s audit was not started until October. She said unpredictable circumstances happened last year, so it took longer to complete. Mundie said they are not placing blame on anyone as to when they received the audit last year. Mundie felt going with SB & Company will give the City significant savings.  

Motion to Amend:

Presented by Mundie. Seconded by Mope.

Roll Call (on Motion to Amend):  Bast-absent; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

MOTION TO AMEND PASSES

Roll Call:  Bast-absent; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

RESOLUTION PASSES AS AMENDED

                                                    

New Business:

ORDINANCES

Ordinance 2014-10    An Ordinance Allowing On-Street Parking on the South Side of Chestnut Street (1st Reading)

Presented by Cusat. Seconded by Mundie.
On the Question:

Mundie said this Ordinance could be amended later on to add metered parking, and Cusat agreed. Cusat said meters cost $750 to $1,000 each to put in, and the Mayor wants to go to the Pango App eventually. He said to spend almost $28,000 for 28 meters in this area cannot be justified at this time. If the area is filled up over time, it may be an investment worth making. Cusat said we need to see how many spaces are being utilized first. Mope asked the Streets Department employees to keep an eye on how many people are parking in this area over time.

Roll Call:  Bast-absent; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

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Ordinance 2014-11    Adding New Line Items to the City of Hazleton’s Budget (1st Reading)

Presented by Cusat. Seconded by Mope.

On the Question:

Mundie said he has no problem with this. He talked to the previous administration to changing the whole system to make it look like Reading’s or Lancaster’s budget format. Mundie said these city’s audits are more in line with their budgets. Sosar said he would also like to have a narrative with the budget. Mundie said in Lancaster’s budget there is a narrative for each line, which is what he wanted. Mope said that is something that Mundie may have to resubmit to Pribula. Cusat said they are working on the budget right now, and he wanted this to be in place as soon as possible. Mope said some of these may have been on prior budgets, and may already have a number. Sosar said the narrative is not what this Ordinance is about, but he would like to see it in the near future. He stated he would like to see an explanation of what is being presented, why it is being presented, how it impacts this year and subsequent years, etc. That is the way a true budget needs to be done. Mope said Mundie brought up a budget last year that was “beautiful,” and she would like to see that format implemented before we proceed any further. Mundie said he will get that to Pribula, and maybe he could look at it. Mope said she appreciates that these new line items will make things more specific. Cusat said he looked at the past several budgets, and none of them had these line items in them.

Roll Call:  Bast-absent; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

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Ordinance 2014-12    Repealing Ordinance 96-28 and Ordinance 99-7, and Amending Ordinance 88-1, Ordinance 96-5, and Ordinance 2012-11 and Chapter 4, Article VI, §4-26 and Chapter 116, Article I, §116-1 of the Code of the City of Hazleton Regarding the Procedures for the Reception, Opening, and Awarding of Bid Contracts (1st Reading)

Presented by Mope. Seconded by Sosar.

Roll Call:  Bast-absent; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

                                                    

RESOLUTIONS

Resolution 2014-82    Appointment of a Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the City of Hazleton Police, Fire and Non-Uniformed Employees’ Pension Plans

Presented by Mope. Seconded by Sosar.

Roll Call:  Bast-absent; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

RESOLUTION PASSES

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Resolution 2014-83    A Resolution Authorizing the City of Hazleton to Enter into an Agreement with PPL Electric Utilities Corporation to Allow for Attachments to be Placed on Poles Owned by PPL Electric Utilities Corporation

Presented by Cusat. Seconded by Mope.

On the Question:

Sosar asked if this includes any new poles or just the existing poles. DeAndrea said no. This agreement is a standard agreement that PPL makes municipalities sign before they will even entertain a municipality hanging anything on any of their poles. DeAndrea said he called Vito and asked him how many poles the City owns, and Vito explained that there are approximately 1,500 poles in the City. PPL owns 1,200 and the City owns 300, therefore, the majority of poles in the City are PPL owned poles. DeAndrea stated this agreement has been reviewed by the City Solicitor. He said it states that the City will follow PPL’s rules and contact them so they can review and examine anything prior to us actually hanging anything on their poles. He stated this Attachment Agreement pertains to existing poles, as well as any future poles they install. Mope questioned the date on the Agreement. DeAndrea said this date can be changed because the Agreement has not been executed yet. This is a standard form that comes off of their website.

Roll Call:  Bast-absent; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

RESOLUTION PASSES

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Resolution 2014-84    Approving Automated Red Light Enforcement (ARLE) Transportation Grant Agreement No. 04R162 and Authorizing the Mayor to Sign Said Agreement

Presented by Cusat. Seconded by Mundie.

On the Question:

DeAndrea stated the date that the form was printed is the date that showed up. Lieb’s name is on the form because she was the Acting Administrator at the time that this form was completed. He said this $65,000 grant has already been awarded to the City, but he needs Council’s approval in order for the Mayor to execute the grant. DeAndrea said he could have the contact person’s name changed with a phone call. He said the Agreement states the City of Hazleton will provide any additional funding for this project, however, it is highly unlikely that will happen. This is simply the grant, and the grant is only going to return the money to the City after we show that we spent it. The bid spec still has to be put out for people to bid on. DeAndrea said the bid specifications will explain that it cannot exceed $65,000. Mope asked if things would be eliminated if the project goes over $65,000. DeAndrea said yes. He said he spoke with the City Engineer regarding this matter, and everything that is listed on the first page of the Resolution is able to be covered in that $65,000 cost. The City Engineer has the current estimates to do the Broad Street Corridor project, so he is confident this amount will cover everything. Mope asked if this was just for Cedar Street. DeAndrea responded it is for Diamond Avenue at Cedar Street. He submitted for Wyoming Street and for Alter and Third Streets, but only received a grant for Cedar Street. Mope asked about the issuance of red light tickets. DeAndrea said the money for this is from the Automated Red Light Enforcement. As a Third Class City, Hazleton is restricted by the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code from ever issuing red light tickets, because it is illegal. DeAndrea said the only municipalities that can do that are First Class Cities. Philadelphia does it and they generate millions of dollars per year in revenue, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has required Philadelphia to take a portion of the revenue generated from the red light cameras, make a fund, and share that money with the other municipalities who cannot issue red light tickets. DeAndrea stated this is where the money is coming from to provide for this grant. He said approximately $22 million was spread across Pennsylvania from Philadelphia’s red light enforcement. Sosar was concerned with the cost because of inflation, and this was done about two and one-half years ago. DeAndrea responded there are places where expenses could be cut, so that we come in at $65,000.

Roll Call:  Bast-absent; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

RESOLUTION PASSES

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Resolution 2014-85    Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG) FY 2014 Local Solicitation Grant Application Approval

Presented by Cusat. Seconded by Mundie.

On the Question:

Sosar asked what happens if we do not get the grant. DeAndrea responded that we already received the grant. He said he was notified by the Wilkes-Barre’s Chief of Police that we were awarded $10,778.00. DeAndrea said he never submitted an application for this grant. This is one of the grants that every year the Federal Government, through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, goes into each county. Two cities in Luzerne County were given the money. It was given to Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton because we meet the criteria for size. He said three years ago, this paid for the computers in the cars, etc. He said there was a response period from Wednesday of last week until Friday to get what we were going to use this grant for back to Wilkes-Barre to submit. DeAndrea said he was on the firing range at the time, so it seemed to make the most sense to use this money for weapons, weapons training, ammunition, etc. He said he filled this out for Council because, if it is acceptable, he can use this money to offset some of the costs for the transition to the new weapons. He said if it is not approved, we will not get the money. He cannot submit a different application because that period is over. Sosar asked what happens to the old weapons and the old ammunition. DeAndrea said the ammunition and weapons are normally replaced by trading them into the company, and asking them to offset some of the cost for the new weapons and ammunition. He said they are working with Sig Sauer right now, and they are doing just that. He said he will not sell a Hazleton Police Department weapon, and have it turn back up on the street and used to commit a crime. They will either go to federal firearms licenses dealers, or Sig Sauer, the manufacturer. This also goes for the ammunition. Mundie said DeAndrea’s email said the current weapons have been malfunctioning, such as not chambering rounds, etc. He asked if this happened in the field or on the firing range. DeAndrea responded that there are very few times in the City that police officers have to discharge their weapons. Over the last few years, these weapons have been notorious for malfunctioning constantly on the range. He said he is stringent on making sure the weapons are cleaned and maintained properly. The maintenance of the weapons is not the issue. The manufacturer has replaced the magazines, and the heavy duty springs in the magazines, and yet they still continue to malfunction. DeAndrea said there is no comfort level with these weapons, and he questions the liability for the City if it did malfunction in the field. Mundie asked how he decided on going with the Sig Sauer instead of the Glock. DeAndrea said they went through a three-day testing of a Glock 21 and 17, Sig Sauer 226 in both 9mm and .40 S&W, and the Springfield XD. Mundie asked how much ammunition the 9mm will hold. DeAndrea replied it will hold 15 rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber. During the three-day testing period, 1,100 rounds were fired from 9mm Glock 21, and it malfunctioned nine times. This was done by multiple shooters. The Glock was disqualified because it malfunctioned too many times. Mope asked what the track record is with the Sig Sauer. DeAndrea said they used 2,500 rounds with eight different shooters, and the Sig Sauer did not malfunction. Mope asked if all of the guns are being replaced, and DeAndrea responded yes.

Roll Call:  Bast-absent; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

RESOLUTION PASSES

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Resolution 2014-86    Appointment of City Engineer and Director of the Public Works Department

Presented by Sosar. Seconded by Mope.

On the Question:

Sosar said he would like to make things clearer and make sure there are no misunderstandings, he made motion to amend the Resolution. He said in the second paragraph it says “the City Engineer serves at the Director of Public Works.” He asked to eliminate paragraph two, and eliminate the title of “Director of Public Works” from paragraph three. He wants to delineate between a Department Chairman versus the actual job and function of the City Engineer. He also wants to place a Request for Proposals (RFP) for this job. Mundie seconded the motion.

Motion to Amend:

Presented by Sosar. Seconded by Mundie.

Roll Call (on Motion to Amend):  Bast-absent; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

MOTION TO AMEND PASSES

Back on the Question:

Cusat asked if Sosar wants to put an RFP out for an engineer or an engineering firm. Sosar responded either one. Cusat asked if this will be a fixed term and fixed salary. Sosar said yes. Mundie said the RFP will be for the remainder of the Mayor’s term. Mope stated this is being done as a permanent thing for engineering, but the bid will only go out to the end of the Mayor’s term. Cusat said the Resolution states that it will be every four years, and Sosar said he did that because that is taken directly from the Third Class City Code, as amended, as of May 19, 2014. He put that in there so that there is no misunderstanding, no challenge, and no problem with the Council dealing with the Engineer. Cusat said he sees that the Council controls the Engineer, but he was concerned about it being every four years. Sosar said that could be written in the specifications for the RFP, rather than in the Resolution. Cusat asked if the last Council that came in when the Mayor started his term ever put in an engineer. Sosar responded no. Mope said the Mayor appointed the Engineer in 2011 or 2012 as a professional service. Cusat asked if the 2012 Council voted on the Engineer. Sosar said to his knowledge, no. Cusat said the Mayor has the right to appoint Department Heads, but Sosar took that out. Mope said the City Engineer is not a Department Head. Mundie said we should also be putting an RFP out for the UCC work as well. He feels we would get a lot of engineering firms bidding on it. Alfred Benesch is currently doing the UCC work. Mope said Council appointed an engineer for Community Development several months ago, but the Mayor still has not signed their contract. Sosar said that is holding off a lot of work in that department. He said the elevator has been out of service for a few months, and there are other projects that that engineering firm is supposed to be working on as well, but is not because the Mayor refuses to sign their contract. Sosar said that is wrong.


Roll Call (as amended):  Bast-absent; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

RESOLUTION PASSES AS AMENDED

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Resolution 2014-87    Requesting Approval for Disability Retirement for Lieutenant John Leonard

Presented by Cusat. Seconded by Mundie.

On the Question:

Mundie said he read the disability handbook and he has no problem with this. He said it states in the handbook that a person going out for a disability pension “has the inability to engage in any form of gainful employment.” Mundie asked if John Leonard qualifies under that, and DeAndrea responded yes. DeAndrea said this was discussed with several individuals. He added that he feels Leonard is a hero in his eyes and the police department’s eyes. DeAndrea said he is a combat wounded war veteran, a husband, a father, a pillar in his community, and a good cop. Leonard got injured wrestling with a drug dealer, and had to have a total knee replacement. He has risked his life on several occasions for the community. This was reviewed with the City Solicitor, the Mayor, and the City’s labor attorney. His medical documentation was reviewed, and two different doctors looked at this as well. They all feel he meets the criteria for a disability pension. DeAndrea requested that Leonard be allowed to retire on this disability. If not, once he has his 20 years in, he would still be allowed to retire at 50%. Sosar wished Leonard well, and thanked him for his service.

Roll Call:  Bast-absent; Cusat-yes; Mope-yes; Sosar-yes; Mundie-yes

RESOLUTION PASSES

                                            

Comments from the Audience:  Norman Tarantino, 154 North Lee Court, Hazleton said he uses an electric cart to get around the City. A lot of the sidewalks are in disrepair and he cannot drive his cart on them. He said there is no path for him to use to go over the railroad tracks by Wendy’s on Church Street. Mundie asked Tarantino to forward an email to Council with the problem areas. Tarantino stated that on Laurel Street across from Victoria’s Candies, a tree has pushed the sidewalk up very high. He is afraid he is going to damage his cart or get hurt if something is not done to fix the sidewalks. He added that the new sidewalks on Broad Street are cracking and pitting already, especially near the shopping center. Tarantino said that should be brought to PennDOT’s attention. Mope asked Tarantino to take some pictures and document what he sees. Tarantino said there are three companies that are running vans to New York on a daily basis. He asked if the City gets any fees from these companies, or if they can impose some type of fee on them. Mundie said that is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission or the UCC, and the Council cannot interfere with that. He said if they are located in the City, they would pay mercantile tax and income tax. Sosar said they are regulated by the Interstate Commerce Commission. Tarantino said he used one of the vans to New York City recently, and the van was over packed with people. This is something that should be looked into. Mundie said he would need to file a complaint with a federal agency regarding this matter. Tarantino said going from Locust to Maple Street by the cemetery, there is no proper signage and people are making a left turn on a one-way street up to Maple Street. He asked if that block is legally a two-way block. Mundie said he believes it is, but he will discuss it with Frank Vito. Tarantino also commended the City Clerk with placing the minutes and the audio of the Council meetings on the website. He said she is doing a great job with that. Mundie asked if it is the homeowner’s responsibility to keep the sidewalk cleaned and in good shape. DeAndrea said yes. Tarantino said a large portion of the City did not have their recyclables picked up today. He said it was from Maple Street to Magnolia Street. Mundie said they will check with J. P. Mascaro about it. Tarantino asked if the City will be losing any money from the state now that the County is running the Shared Ride Program. Mundie said that is something they will need to look into.
Mark Rabo, 8 West 1st Street, Hazleton said the Mayor is saying that there is only one code enforcement and one health inspector in Hazleton right now. Mope said yes. Mundie said yes, but we are in the process of hiring two more people. Rabo asked where the money for the fines is going. He also asked if anything is being done with regard to Act 90 for Code Enforcement. He also wanted to know what the total amount of fines and fees was for the past six months. Mundie and Sosar said they will try to get that information for him. Sosar said Council has not been receiving much financial information from the Administration over the past seven months. Mundie said that information should be placed online. Rabo asked when the foot patrols will be starting. DeAndrea said they are out every day. He said he believes foot patrols are a “phenomenal deterrent to crime.” DeAndrea stated if you are not in the section where an officer is walking, you are not going to know that he was out on foot patrol. This is being done as often as possible. Rabo commented on the nuisance properties. He asked that Council amend the Chronic Nuisance Properties Ordinance because he does not believe it is in conformity with the re-enacted Third Class City Code. Rabo thanked Leonard for his service. He said Leonard never got offended when Rabo told him to remember his oath. He asked about the property that burned down on Alter Street. He asked if Act 90 will be used. Mundie said Council will monitor the matter.

Maureen Moser, no address given, commented on the sidewalks. She said she had her sidewalk paved, but if you park on your own sidewalk, you are ticketed. Mundie said that people need to be able to walk through on the sidewalk, and it cannot be blocked. DeAndrea said it is illegal as per the Vehicle Code. He said you do not own the sidewalk, but you are responsible for its condition. It is a City right-of-way. DeAndrea said it is against the law to park a vehicle on the sidewalk. Moser said she sees a lot of police cars go past when cars are parked on the sidewalk, and they do not stop and ticket them. Mundie said they have ticketed a lot of people for this in the past. DeAndrea said last week on Cleveland Street, a person who lives there sent him an email that the neighbor was setting off fireworks, parking on the sidewalk, and was double-parked. He said at 6:45 a.m. the next morning, he went down there to deal with this issue. In fairness to everyone, he could not write a ticket for just one vehicle parking on the sidewalk. He said he then proceeded to ticket every car parked on the sidewalk. DeAndrea said this was done last year as well, and he assumed that the word would get around and people would stop parking on the sidewalks. Moser asked that DeAndrea look into people putting furniture on their front porches. Mope asked that some of these things be placed in the paper to give people a heads up. DeAndrea said he agrees but these types of advertisements are expensive. Mope said she is asking for cooperation from the news media or the newspaper to do this as a courtesy. DeAndrea asked the media to report that City police are going to be strictly enforcing sidewalk parking.

Judy Yurcho, 984 North Locust Street, Hazleton commented on the issue of people parking on the sidewalk. She said her mother lives on 20th Street, between James and Locust Streets. The street is narrow all the way done until you get to the development where the former Bishop Hafey School is. Yurcho said if you do not partially park on the sidewalk, you will only have room for one car. Her mother’s car recently got hit. She said there is no room to get around. Mope said maybe the traffic flow on that street should be investigated. Yurcho stated the older sections of town have narrow streets. She said someone recently parked in her mother’s handicapped spot, facing the wrong way, and on the sidewalk. She called the police, and an officer was there within 15-20 minutes. The officer ticketed that car only. She said she told the police officer that there are more people parking on the sidewalk further up the street. The officer said this street is narrow and he was not going to do that. Yurcho said she agreed with him. She then said she meant the block above that, and the officer said he would be here all day ticketing the cars if he did that. Yurcho said the police cannot pick and choose who they ticket and when they ticket. Mope said there are certain situations in Hazleton where there are problems like this, and DeAndrea should look it. She suggested making it a one-way street. Mope said they can work with the people who live in those areas. Yurcho said the reason for not being able to park on the sidewalk is because of handicapped accessibility. There has to be at least 36 inches of sidewalk which can be accessed. Mope said she has incurred these same issues in the past.

Diana Jessel, 2nd & James Streets, Hazleton said she has a handicapped sign in front of her home, and her gutter is in disrepair. She has fallen 10 times this year getting in and out of her car. She says she needs to park a few inches on the sidewalk to get her footing and get out of the car safely. Jessel said she received a ticket in the past for parking two inches on the sidewalk. Mope suggested that when someone is filling out a handicapped parking application, they make a notation on the form regarding such problems. Sosar said a little flexibility and common sense go a long way. DeAndrea said he cannot grant someone permission to break a law. He added that he does not believe that his police officers are out there with a tape measure to see how many inches someone is parking on the sidewalk. Sosar said handicapped individuals should be given some flexibility. DeAndrea said if anyone feels they were aggrieved by receiving any kind of ticket, they should go to the Magistrate. That is the recourse they have. Mundie said some of the police officers should be showing some common sense. Mope asked if the Streets Department could look at that location, and maybe build up Jessel’s curbing for her. DeAndrea said he had a lot of things on the agenda this evening, and he thanked Council for its support. Mundie said he saw recently that a law was passed that police agencies could not get reimbursed for patrolling outside of their boundaries. DeAndrea said this is stated in Title 42 (Jurisdictional Coverage). He said this was brought up with the State Police because of the Airport and St. Stanislaus’ ball field. Both are in the township, and the City either owns them or has taken possession of them. He said he cannot locate an agreement regarding this matter. DeAndrea asked the Solicitor about this. Lieutenant Gentile from the State Police said he is dealing with this issue, and he had the section of Title 42 regarding this matter. Legally, we cannot be out there, because the Township is not allowed to pick and choose. DeAndrea said he only knows of two places the Hazleton Police Department patrols outside of the City are the Airport and St. Stanislaus’ ball field on 17th and Hayes Streets. Mope asked about the high school, and DeAndrea said they do not go there. DeAndrea said since then, they have relinquished all responsibility to the State Police, and 911 will be dispatching the State Police to those locations if a call comes in.

John Homa, Hazleton said there is a constant nuisance in his neighborhood. It is between Third Street and Wilbur Court. Homa said there is a lot of garbage there, and no one can walk on the sidewalk. Mundie asked if Homa filled out a complaint form, and Homa said no. Mundie said he could get one at City Hall or online on the City’s website.

Comments from Mayor or Director of Administration:  None.

Comments from Council:  Cusat commented on the Business Parking Sign Ordinance that was passed last month. He stated the Mayor said it is the law but he would advise that no one buy a sign. He said he would like to inform the public and any businesses currently having a sign that any sign that is not applied for, approved, or paid for will no longer be enforceable. This means that those spaces will be available to the public. Cusat commented that he does not know why the Mayor would encourage people to break the law. He said he heard a new manager was hired at the Airport without the consent of Council. Mundie said he heard the same thing. Cusat stated that it was brought to his attention that people are driving their personal vehicles up and down the runway, feeding the animals, driving quads around in the wood area surrounding the Airport, and that someone backed a personal vehicle into a plane causing $38,000 worth of damage. Cusat said he asked that the sidewalks be cleaned along Route 309 where there is still anti-skid material, but it has not been cleaned up yet. Cusat felt it was time to start looking for a fixed based operator (FBO), and Mundie agreed. Cusat said there is a new head of the Recreation Department. He asked if the City’s insurance covers these people who have been illegally appointed. He said he recently spoke with the Community Development Engineer, and was told their contract is still not signed. Cusat suggested looking into having the Council President sign the agreement instead of the Mayor. He said he asked for a six-month to date expense and revenue report from Pribula, and he was told that he does not run special reports. Mope said she is still waiting for her information as well. Cusat said that according to the Third Class City Code, Council is entitled to a monthly report. Sosar said he will look into this. Mundie suggested subpoenaing Pribula to come to the meetings. Mope said under Third Class City Code, Council makes the Administrator’s duties. She said she asked that he come to the meetings, but he still has not attended. She suggested making this part of his personnel policy. Cusat said the problem is a lot of individuals are being appointed illegally to these positions. Mope said she cannot get an answer on exactly what is an executive order. Cusat said there is no such thing as an executive order. Sosar said executive orders only exist on the national level. Mope said she wished the solicitor would come here and say these things publically. Cusat said right now, there is no Director of Public Works, no Engineer, no official Director of Administration, no head of the Airport, no head of recreation, and no Community Development Engineer. He said this is a shame. He thanked everyone for coming.

Sosar said the appointments that are occurring in this City are phenomenal and City Council is being made aware of none of them. Money is being spent in the City of Hazleton, and no one knows what is happening. He said Council has not received one transfer since January, and he asked how things are being paid without transfers. Sosar said there is a TAN note that he read about in the Standard Speaker, and Council never passed such a thing. He asked the City Clerk to send a memo to Pribula and the Mayor asking for copies of every check that has been signed from April, May and June. He stated he does not want a check register; he wants to see the actual checks. Sosar said if they do not want to do it, then Council will subpoena them to do so.

Mope said she mentioned the issue with transfers since she has been on City Council, which is about three years now. They come to Council occasionally at the end of the year. She said she has asked for records from the Administrator, but she does not receive them. There are certain duties they are required to perform and they cannot continue bypassing Council. Mope said now some of the Department Heads are starting to ignore Council as well. She said this will not continue. She said contracts need to come back to Council. This was one of the duties that was given away, and it better come back. Mope said if the Mayor cannot appoint an engineer, then Council should help him along with it. She stated Council wants the contract signed for Barry Isset. They were appointed legally and it should be signed. She stated a major project needs to be addressed, and we need Barry Isset to do it, so we do not lose our grant money. This project is in its second phase and needs to be completed. Mope said “these games need to stop.” She said she is tired of it, and it is not going to happen anymore. She thanked everyone for coming.

Mundie said he agrees with his fellow Council Members. He said the Mayor does not believe Council exists, does whatever he wants to, and spends money however he wants to. Mundie commented that the Mayor does not care about the City of Hazleton, and the people know that. The Mayor sued Council, and Mundie feels confident that they are going to win that lawsuit. Mundie said the way the government works is that Council comes up with the budget, the Mayor proposes a budget, but Council decides how much money should be spent, if there is a tax increase, etc. The Mayor can only make suggestions. Council makes the laws, and he is not following them at this point. Mundie said hopefully within the next few weeks the case will go through, and the courts will make the Mayor do what he needs to do. He said Council is trying to do what is right for the City of Hazleton, and the Mayor just does not care about that. Mundie thanked Leonard and wished him well in his retirement. He said he served the City well, he was a great officer, and he hoped he enjoys his retirement. He thanked everyone for coming.

Adjournment:  Mundie motioned to adjourn the meeting with Mope seconding the motion. Meeting adjourned.