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October 2, 2007 Meeting Minutes
BETHLEHEM CITY COUNCIL MEETING
10 East Church Street – Town Hall
Tuesday, October 2, 2007 – 7:30 PM
2. PLEDGE TO THE FLAG
3. ROLL CALL
President Schweder called the meeting to order. Reverend Eugene F. Sharkey of Messiah Lutheran Church offered the invocation which was followed by the pledge to the flag. Present were Jean Belinski, Karen Dolan, Robert J. Donchez, Joseph F. Leeson, Jr., Gordon B. Mowrer, Magdalena F. Szabo, and J. Michael Schweder, 7.
President Schweder announced that City Council met in Executive Session this evening, Tuesday, October 2, 2007 at 6:00 PM in the Mayor's Conference Room. The purpose of the Executive Session was to hold an information session related to the negotiation or arbitration of a collective bargaining agreement; and, to consult with the attorney or other professional advisor regarding information in connection with litigation and issues on which identifiable complaints are expected to be filed.
4. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The Minutes of September 18, 2007 were approved.
5. COURTESY OF THE FLOOR (for public comment on ordinances and resolutions to be voted on by Council this evening)
6. OLD BUSINESS
Use Permit Agreements – City Fields
Ms. Dolan asked for an update on how the various sports clubs complied with the Use Permit Agreements in 2007, how the fields will be utilized in 2008, and the status of new Use Permit Agreements and whether it is believed that will help solve the problems experienced in 2007 and perhaps prior years. Ms. Dolan further asked whether consideration could be given to Bethlehem-based teams, and about enforcement of the Agreements as detailed in the memorandum dated April 4, 2007 from the Parks and Public Property Department.
BEDCO – Request for Information
President Schweder noted he sent a memorandum in June requesting information regarding BEDCO and Tony Hanna, Director of Community and Economic Development, advised that a more complete response would be provided. President Schweder wondered when the response would be received.
Tony Hanna, Director of Community and Economic Development,
affirmed he spoke with President Schweder and a meeting was
to be held to review the information but had to be cancelled.
Mr. Hanna further responded to President Schweder that he
would attempt to send the information now.
Third Street – Garbage along Greenway
Ms. Szabo informed the Members of notification received advising that 4.19 tons of garbage was cleaned up by Scott Sterner of the Health Bureau in the vicinity of Third Street along the Greenway. Ms. Szabo expressed her thanks and pointed out it has improved the neighborhood. She stated that a copy of the notification will be sent to Members of Council.
A. Business Administrator – 2007 Pension State Aid
The Clerk read a memorandum dated September 27, 2007 from Dennis W. Reichard, Business Administrator, advising that a check for State Aid for Pension Funding was received September 27, 2007 in the amount of $2,808,798.60. The proceeds have been allocated as follows: Police - $921,105.68; Fire - $921,105.67; O&E - $81,346; and Pension Bond Payment – April 20, 2007 - $885,241.25.
President Schweder stated that the authorizing Resolution will be placed on the October 16 Agenda.
B. City Solicitor – Article 342 – Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA)
The Clerk read a memorandum dated September 28, 2007 from John F. Spirk, Jr., Esq., City Solicitor, to which was attached a proposed Ordinance to amend Article 342, Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA).
President Schweder stated that Bill No. 27 and Resolution 11 B are listed on the Agenda.
8 . REPORTS
A. President of Council
1. Administrative Order – Ronald W. Lutes – Zoning Hearing Board
Mayor Callahan appointed Ronald W. Lutes to the Zoning Hearing Board, effective until September 2010. Mrs. Belinski and Mr. Donchez sponsored Resolution 15,161 to confirm the appointment.
9. ORDINANCES FOR FINAL PASSAGE
10. NEW ORDINANCES
A. Bill No. 27 – 2007 – Amending Article 342
– LERTA – Enterprise Development Area
The Clerk read Bill No. 27 – 2007 – Amending Article 342 – LERTA – Enterprise Development Area, sponsored by Mrs. Belinski and Mr. Donchez and titled:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF BETHLEHEM,
COUNTIES OF LEHIGH AND NORTHAMPTON,
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, AMENDING
ARTICLE 342 OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES
ENTITLED LOCAL ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION TAX
ASSISTANCE - ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT AREA.
Mr. Leeson advised that he will vote no on the Bill. Mr. Leeson expressed his understanding that the proposal will exempt almost all of the land at the Bethlehem Commerce Center area which covers about 1,200 acres and could represent as much as $1 billion-$2 billion of potential development. Mr. Leeson noted the Bill would make the Commerce Center property tax exempt according to the schedule. Pointing out that almost one-third of the property was sold several years ago to Majestic Realty Company without the need for this property tax exemption, and there have been another 5-6 projects encompassing about 100 acres, Mr. Leeson emphasized that more than half of the site is already under agreement for development. Mr. Leeson asserted this shows the LERTA tax abatement tool is not needed to spur economic development at the site, and that the City and LVIP have been doing a good job. Observing that while these are nice things to have as a developer, Mr. Leeson stressed he does not believe it is necessary to have because substantial on-going development has already been established without the need for property tax exemption. Mr. Leeson noted that the success and future of the Bethlehem Commerce Center was always determined to be dependent on several factors being the close proximity to Interstate 78, the upcoming widening of Route 412, and the proximity to rail service that exists on the site. Mr. Leeson continued on to say the second reason he is opposed to the Bill is that the City needs the tax revenue. Mr. Leeson remarked that to create these property tax exemptions for this type of development causes increased reliance to be placed on homeowners to shoulder the increasing cost of government over time. Denoting that the Bethlehem Commerce Center was envisioned to be a potential boon to the City not only with respect to jobs but also to tax revenue, Mr. Leeson insisted the Bill really defeats one of the two main purposes from the City’s perspective of the value of this development in granting property tax exemptions. Mr. Leeson affirmed he will vote no on the proposal.
Mr. Mowrer stated he will vote aye on the Bill. Mr. Mowrer noted he had the opportunity to tour the Bethlehem Commerce Center area and to see some of the problems and potential problems. Mr. Mowrer stated the specific question about LERTA was posed to Kerry Wrobel, Executive Director of LVIP, on the tour and Mr. Wrobel felt without LERTA it would be extremely difficult because of the uniqueness of the property.
Mr. Donchez stated he will support the Bill, and noted he was also on the tour. Mr. Donchez said it was very clear to him that LERTA has been used quite effectively in trying to attract businesses to LVIP VII. While expressing his agreement with some of the points made by Mr. Leeson that the Commerce Center represents the economic future for the City, Mr. Donchez noted there are still some issues to be resolved in achieving a sealed deal with Majestic. Mr. Donchez, highlighting the fact that the Commerce Center site is a brownfield, exemplified that on the tour the attendees saw 30-40 foot piles of dirt as a result of remediation. Mr. Donchez, reiterating his support, expressed it is one of the tools that has to be used in order to compete with suburban greenfields. Mr. Donchez recounted that on the tour Mr. Wrobel advised that the Commerce Center development project could take 10-15 years until it is fully built out. Further recalling that Mr. Wrobel explained that LVIP VII is larger than all six industrial parks combined, Mr. Donchez pointed out that demonstrates the magnitude of the brownfield project that has added costs as a result. Mr. Donchez stated that LERTA needs to be used and he will support the Bill.
Ms. Dolan advised she was also on the tour, and saw how successful LERTA has been in terms of businesses and high quality jobs. Ms. Dolan stated the attendees also learned how difficult it is to develop on brownfields because in many cases the remediation process is much more expensive than developing on greenfields. Ms. Dolan observed that LERTA is the offset that brings people to Bethlehem. Ms. Dolan noted that much of the Majestic Realty property is not on brownfields but is land that was not used for the most part by Bethlehem Steel or affiliated companies. She continued on to say much of the Majestic property is on farmable soil, and is different than the LVIP VII properties. Ms. Dolan, stressing that Bethlehem is in competition with greenfields, expressed her belief that Bethlehem cannot risk losing development to open space and losing good jobs to the townships. Ms. Dolan noted she will vote aye on the Bill.
Mrs. Belinski, commenting she listened very carefully to the presentation by Howard Lieberman, Economic Development Coordinator, about why the LERTA program should continue especially at Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII, remarked it was an excellent presentation. Mrs. Belinski expressed her agreement that if a company is looking elsewhere they may come to Bethlehem because of the LERTA program and it can give Bethlehem the edge. Mrs. Belinski stated her belief that the City should go ahead with the LERTA program.
Voting AYE: Mrs. Belinski, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Donchez, Mr. Mowrer, Ms. Szabo, and Mr. Schweder, 6. Voting NAY: Mr. Leeson, 1. Bill No. 27 – 2007 was declared passed on First Reading.
A. Authorizing Execution of Highway Safety Project Grant – Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Mrs. Belinski and Mr. Donchez sponsored Resolution 15,162 that authorized the execution of grant documents with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for Highway Safety Project Grant No. IDP-2007-Bethlehem City-00032.
B. Revising LERTA Boundaries – Deteriorated Area
Mrs. Belinski and Mr. Donchez sponsored Resolution 15,163 that designated the LERTA boundaries in the City of Bethlehem, Northampton County, within which exemptions may be granted for improvements to deteriorated industrial, commercial, or other business properties authorized for exemption under Act 76 of 1977, effective January 1, 2007, described in the attached Exhibit A.
Voting AYE: Mrs. Belinski, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Donchez, Mr. Mowrer,
Ms. Szabo, and
Mr. Schweder, 6. Voting NAY: Mr. Leeson, 1. The Resolution passed.
C. Certificate of Appropriateness – 13 West Third Street
Mrs. Belinski and Mr. Donchez sponsored Resolution 15,164 that granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to add a 10' x 8' concrete slab with fencing at the rear of 13 West Third Street.
D. Certificate of Appropriateness – 17 East Third Street
Mrs. Belinski and Mr. Donchez sponsored Resolution 15,165 that granted a Certificate of Appropriateness to change the existing sign at 17 East Third Street.
Voting AYE: Mrs. Belinski, Ms. Dolan, Mr. Donchez, Mr. Leeson,
Mr. Mowrer, Ms. Szabo, and Mr. Schweder, 7. The Resolution
12. NEW BUSINESS
Chairman Leeson announced Finance Committee meetings on
October 4 at 4:30 PM on the 2006 Audit and also on October
9 at 4:30 PM on various budgetary transfers and amendments.
Chairwoman Szabo announced a Community Development Committee meeting on October 9 at 6:00 PM on the 2008 proposed CDBG and HOME Programs.
Chairman Donchez announced a Public Safety Committee meeting on October 23 at 7:00 PM to receive updates from the Police, Fire, and EMS Departments.
Illick’s Mill - Gala
Mrs. Belinski, noting that in an invitation received for the Illick’s Mill Partnership Gala at Illick’s Mill it references BYOB, wondered whether this would be appropriate in view of the fact that it is on City property and young people will be in attendance.
Ralph Carp, Director of Parks and Public Property, affirmed his understanding that there can be beer in cans and wine in Illick’s Mill Park, and confirmed that hard liquor would not be allowed.
13. COURTESY OF THE FLOOR
Use of Monocacy Complex Fields - Lehigh Little League
Andrew Pitsilos, 1461 Seventh Street, advised he is the head baseball coach at Liberty High School. He explained the Bethlehem Astros team was formed in order to get a team together in the fall, and he wrote a letter to request a field to play on. The response was why should a new field be made when a good field is available that is utilized by Lehigh Little League. However, Mr. Pitsilos explained it is not so easy to get on a City field, and the field at Liberty High School is used by the soccer team and is under construction. He made a request to the Parks and Public Property Department to use the field utilized by Lehigh Little League at the Monocacy Complex on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for three hours, and was told it could be used Mondays and Thursdays, but he would have to wait on a schedule that came from Lehigh Little League. Mr. Pitsilos advised the schedule showed every minute taken on the lighted field. They were able to get a permit and practiced once, the second time the sprinklers were on, and the third time they were told an hour before that a Council Member strenuously objected to their being on the field. Mr. Pitsilos explained the team decided to leave, and he then read from a letter he wrote to Mr. Carp. Mr. Pitsilos said he later found out that Nazareth and Allentown residents use the same field that Bethlehem residents are not allowed to use. Mr. Pitsilos, communicating he does not understand why City Council intervened, asked why.
Mrs. Belinski advised that Keith Ashner of Lehigh Little League was asked if the field could be used for two times, and a representative from Lehigh Little League opened the shed so the tools could be utilized. The third game was rained out, and for the fourth game the Lehigh Little League representative had a family medical emergency and was unavailable to open the shed, but the Astros team played because they were given permission. Affirming it had been stipulated in a memorandum that the fee for use of Lehigh Little League fields by other teams was $100, Mrs. Belinski noted the fee was questioned, and confirmed she was told by Mr. Brickman who takes care of Lehigh University’s fields that practice is harder on the fields than regular games. Mrs. Belinski confirmed that the fee is given to the City and in turn it is used for maintenance of the field.
Robert Sawyer, 4271 Kathy Drive, Hanover Township, stressed the issue is that it is being taken away from the kids. He questioned why the matter cannot be figured out, and why they cannot use the field. Mr. Sawyer stressed that the Astros should be given a key, and stated the parents will take care of the field. Mr. Sawyer advised that the field is going unused. Mr. Sawyer remarked that a college scout wanted to see his son play, and his son was scheduled to play at Lehigh Little League but did not play. Mr. Sawyer stressed that everyone should get on with letting the kids use the beautiful field that is at the Monocacy Complex and that is being overly protected.
George Pitsilos, Hanover Township, advised he taught and coached at Liberty High School for many years, and is helping out the Astros team as a volunteer. He applauded the volunteers at Lehigh Little League and the other Little Leagues and Legions. Mr. Pitsilos explained the problem is that the team members come from various teams and the intent of the fall program is to have the members play together to improve for the next spring season. Mr. Pitsilos queried whether in the spirit of helping kids there could be more cooperation.
Joe Stilato, 1571 Thompson Avenue, stated he is a BASD teacher,
coach, and assistant athletic director, and ran the City playgrounds
for 18 years. Noting he has seen a great relationship between
the City and the Bethlehem Area School District, Mr. Stilato
pointed out the City volleyball league uses Broughal Middle
School, the summer basketball league uses Freedom High School
when it rains, the winter basketball league uses Broughal
and Nitschmann Middle Schools, and City Line Little League
uses a field behind East Hills Middle School for free, there
are City track events at Liberty High School, and so on. Mr.
Stilato stressed that the bickering regarding use of the field
at the Monocacy Complex by the Bethlehem Astros is ruining
the relationship between the City and the Bethlehem Area School
District. Mr. Stilato expressed it is disheartening to hear
that Liberty High School’s Astros team is being charged
$100 when they do not have a field because of the work being
done on the school field. Mr. Stilato questioned why Mr. Pitsilos
cannot have a key or why they cannot go to the Recreation
Bureau to sign out a key for the shed as is done when other
City facilities are used. Mr. Stilato said he disagrees with
City Council allowing Lehigh Little League to dictate when
Liberty can use the field.
Mrs. Belinski commented that Lehigh Little League raises the money for the equipment and wants to make sure it is not damaged. In the past, the bathrooms were used and left in a filthy condition. Stressing that Lehigh Little League is responsible for the maintenance of the field, Mrs. Belinski noted that practice causes wear and tear on the field.
Chris Sule, 1028 West Market Street, representing the Bethlehem Cardinals, advised they used the field at the Monocacy Complex for 8 of 12 scheduled games. Mr. Sule, noting he coaches with Mr. Pitsilos at Liberty High School, explained the $3,500 a year is affiliated with him and a totally different organization, and the $20,000 he pays to Lehigh Little League. Mr. Sule expressed there is a lot of outside interference, he knows the feelings of Lehigh Little League, and he also expressed the hope that in another month or two the City will be doing the scheduling of the field. Mr. Sule informed the Members he was told to turn in his schedule to Lehigh Little League and they will do the scheduling for the field. Mr. Sule commented the biggest issue is that the City take back what is theirs.
Mrs. Belinski affirmed that Lehigh Little League had an independent financial audit conducted for a five year period, they have the concession stand, and raise money to pay for the maintenance of the field because the City does not have enough employees to take care of the field. Mrs. Belinski asserted the field is in the beautiful condition it is because of Lehigh Little League’s maintenance. She continued on to say that Lehigh Little League as the main user has the obligation for the maintenance of the field, and they have first choice for game schedules. Mrs. Belinski highlighted the fact that the former Parks Director had a field set up for the Bethlehem Cardinals to play in Hellertown.
Mr. Sule stressed that Lehigh Little League is leasing the City’s property for $1 and they are to maintain the fields.
Mrs. Belinski pointed out that only Liberty High School students are allowed to play on the Astros team.
Gary Albright, 604 West Union Boulevard, explained all that is trying to be done is to have the kids of families who are paying taxes be able to play on the fields. Mr. Albright stated that all of this is being taken away from the kids. Remarking it is Mr. Ashner’s field of dreams, Mr. Albright further stated that Lehigh Little League pays someone to cut the field several times a week. He added that the Ashners will not let people play on the field.
Glen Dewire, 4427 Virginia Drive, president of the Astros and Liberty High School booster club, informed Mrs. Belinski he does not know if 50% of the kids who play at the Monocacy Complex live in Hanover Township. Mrs. Belinski advised she will request that the contracts with all of the Little Leagues be reviewed to determine whether they address residency requirements. Mr. Dewire, explaining that he offered to Gene Ashner to pay for improvements to the field but Mr. Ashner did not respond, pointed out he knows what it costs to maintain a field. Mr. Dewire further advised he is not asking for anything for free. He informed the Members of a time when he told Mr. Ashner the individuals would use their own rakes, and the field was left in better condition than when they arrived. Mr. Dewire stated that Council is getting only one side of the story.
Mrs. Belinski, referring to the sprinklers coming on when a team was ready to use the field, advised that Mr. Ashner was alerted and turned them off and reset the timers. She further advised that Lehigh Little League does not want a backstop because it prevents people from seeing their children play.
Mr. Mowrer recommended that a group be formed with full representation to come together to try to negotiate the matter. He pointed out this is primarily an Administrative function.
President Schweder expressed his concurrence. President Schweder confirmed he has spoken with many individuals about the matter. President Schweder recounted that, at the request of Mr. Leeson, the Use Permit Agreements were reviewed. Continuing on to point out that with respect to enforcing behavior the Department of Parks and Public Property can correct that, President Schweder communicated he does not think the system is compromised by a Member of Council saying what cannot be done because there are contracts that must be enforced. President Schweder advised that City officials will do what they can to immediately resolve these matters.
William Scheirer, 1890 Eaton Avenue, expressed he is distressed to see high school coaches at the Meeting and to hear what is going on. Mr. Scheirer suggested that any contract entered into by the City with another organization that is not lived up to should be declared null and void.
Dana Grubb, 2420 Henderson Place, advising that he played softball for 25 years, pointed out that the baseball seasons are extended, there are fewer fields left to play on, and more teams are clamoring to use them. Mr. Grubb noted that lighting the fields is one way to extend playing times, but only if the neighbors agree. He added that the best use has to be made of the limited facilities.
Teenage Smoking - Littering
Mr. Grubb informed the assembly that students from Liberty High School cross the street and smoke in front of an ice cream store, and every day cigarette butts must be cleaned up. Asking why the litter laws are not enforced, Mr. Grubb further advised that students drop litter in the vicinity of Madison Avenue and High Street. While commending high school officials for implementing the no smoking policy on school premises, Mr. Grubb pointed out that another issue has been created in view of the litter left behind, and property owners around Liberty High School are left to deal with the problems. He reiterated that the litter laws need to be enforced.
Greenway Funding; Plans for Casino and Farr’s Building Projects
Robert Pfenning, 2830 Linden Street, highlighted the fact that Northampton County Council approved giving the City $1.1 million for the South Side Greenway project, and enumerated the seven conditions attached. Referencing an article in the Morning Call reporting on $1.7 million in sewer impact fees received by the City from the casino project, Mr. Pfenning expressed the opinion it is assumed that the Planning Commission will approve the preliminary plans submitted by the casino developers or the plans are irrelevant. Mr. Pfenning pointed out that, although the Planning Commission approved 12 residential units for the former Farr’s building at Broad and New Streets, the next day the developer announced there would be 14 units.
Edwin Rodriquez, 1845 Linden Street, thanked the Parks and Public Property Department for their efforts with Madison and Yosko Parks, and further thanked Council Members Donchez and Belinski, Jim Smith, Streets Superintendent, the Health Bureau, the Mayor and the Administration. Mr. Rodriquez stressed that for the last two years he has been bringing the issue of litter in the City to the attention of City officials. Remarking that the amount of trash referenced earlier by Ms. Szabo is pathetic and it is a shame the City has to put up with such issues, Mr. Rodriquez pointed out the burden is placed on the City because of the failure of residents of the City. Turning to the photographs he handed to the Members of Council, Mr. Rodriquez explained they show that in a vacant lot next to McNamara Park there is a large amount of illegal dumping including stone, concrete, and boulders that is overlooked but has gone on for a long time. Emphasizing this is a potential danger to the East Third Street area, Mr. Rodriquez highlighted the fact that innocent bystanders could be hurt. He read from Codified Ordinance Article 931 that addresses the issue.
Northwest Little League
John Ladics, 1527 Kaywin Avenue, explaining that Hanover
Township residents are encroaching on the residents of the
City of Bethlehem, advised he does not know of any baseball
fields in Hanover Township. Continuing on to explain that
in some cases the baseball programs are very big, Mr. Ladics
highlighted the fact that there are not enough fields and
so there is encroachment into the City neighborhoods. Mr.
Ladics informed the Members that Northwest Little League wants
to install lights at the baseball field located directly behind
Kaywin Avenue and they do not care about the Bethlehem residents.
Further, Mr. Ladics communicated that for many years Northwest
Little League has not lived up to the lease agreement for
use of the field. He noted that balls go into the neighbors
yards, and the netting that was purchased through a grant
is torn. Mr. Ladics expressed that he is asking Council to
look at the lease, act upon the lease, protect the residents
of the City of Bethlehem, and not to let the lights be installed.
Mr. Ladics remarked that Hanover Township does not contribute
a thing to the baseball fields in Bethlehem. Mr. Ladics asked
for City Council’s help to look into the matters with
the Parks and Public Property Department and to stop the encroachment
on the neighborhood.
Use of Monocacy Complex Fields - Lehigh Little League
Mary Pongracz, 321 West Fourth Street, expressed that a good sportsman will give the opposition the opportunity to play ball, and observed that the problem detailed tonight is not a new problem. Ms. Pongracz communicated there never seems to be enough of what is needed in the City. Ms. Pongracz thought it would be more admirable for the people involved to sit down like real sportsmen, and added that playing fair is the name of the game for any good athlete. Ms. Pongracz stated that having children involved in baseball is probably one of the best things that can be done for them.
Don Dolan, 1557 Kaywin Avenue, advising he is retired from banking, highlighted the fact that developers in the township are required to provide money or space towards parks. Mr. Dolan questioned why the Bethlehem Astros have not approached the Hanover Township Commissioners to ask for a field to be built, and further stated that the Township residents should ask this of their Commissioners.
Ms. Szabo, denoting she was appalled at the arguments about the baseball fields that have occurred, advised she talked to Ralph Carp, Director of Parks and Public Property, about why the matter was being discussed at Council Meetings. Ms. Szabo suggested that the matter be turned back to the Parks and Public Property Department. Adding that Mr. Carp handled it properly by trying to meet with the people in question, Ms. Szabo asked that the Department be allowed to do what it is supposed to do.
Teenage Smoking - Littering
Stephen Antalics, 737 Ridge Street, highlighted the fact that it is illegal to sell cigarettes to teenagers, and questioned why they are allowed to smoke if they are not allowed to buy cigarettes. Mr. Antalics suggested that the problem of littering would be solved by a Police Officer being stationed at the site to enforce the issue of illegal smoking.
Ms. Dolan stated that she sent an e-mail to the Health Bureau asking if it is illegal for minors to smoke, and noted that Quakertown recently passed an Ordinance.
Garbage Throughout the City
Jim Smith, Superintendent of Streets, stressed that no one more than he sees the trash throughout the City, and he is on the streets every day and on weekends. He pointed out that a lot of City workers are very conscientious. Asserting that Third Street, Mechanic Street, and Fortuna Street look like a landfill, Mr. Smith highlighted the fact that a lot of visitors will find themselves in the area as they travel to the casino development. Notifying the assembly that he, his Director, and citizens are all pushing, Mr. Smith remarked that something has to be done to clean up that area, and the help of Council and the Administration is needed. Mr. Smith noted there are other areas in the City that are also dirty, every weekend there are people throwing trash in the streets, and somebody will have to correct it. He added that for six years he has been repelled by what people are doing, and pointed out that visitors will wonder what kind of people live in the City. Mr. Smith stressed that the clean up of garbage costs the taxpayers a lot of money. He explained that some citizens think he is a Police Officer and will not assist with giving the names of perpetrators of garbage dumping. Mr. Smith said he is asking for help and support, and added that everyone should step up.
Students, Baseball, and Littering
Louise Valeriano, 3114 East Boulevard, questioning why Liberty High School students are permitted to be on the streets during school time, recounted that in the past students were not allowed outside of the school building. Ms. Valeriano related that when stray baseballs came into her yard she requested that the player ask that the ball please be returned before giving it back. Ms. Valeriano informed the assembly of a situation involving a camera and candy stolen from a neighbor’s unlocked vehicle, and the trail of candy wrappers left on the ground was followed to the doorstep of the youth who robbed the car.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m.