Sunday, March 3, 2013

Personal Cell, Public Number

The King and company got caught by the Times Leader a few months ago abusing the cell phone program

  • By not adhering to minute plan constraints 
  • In some cases streaming music all day causing massive data plan overruns that cost the taxpayers huge in overage fees. 
  • Top of the line devise upgrades

Now in an effort to correct their mishap the city has implemented a stipend plan to compensate employees for what they call “use of personal property”.


  • Do you really need a cell, or would a 2 way radio work?
  • Do 17 people need Smartphone’s?
  • Do you pay $40 or $80 for your share everything plan?

City spokesman Drew Mc-Laugh-lin also acknowledged that in some cases the city is now paying more per phone with the stipend than it did when it had its own plan.

  • WHY Drew?

Shouldn’t we only be reimbursing employees for the part of their bill that impacts them, and not the entire bill? It’s as if you are assuming none of these folks would have cell phones anyway, and the city is burdening them by asking them to go to Verizon and get one. 

Mayor Chris Doherty of Scranton said the city stopped providing cellphones in January 2011, and There have been no problems at all. Everyone has a phone anyway.

Is it only in Scranton where folks carry a person cell? I thought with the president handing them out as part of the Food Stamp program everyone had one these days.

Current problem:

When the city had city owned phone the citizens had the numbers of each user to call for whatever. Now the employees don’t want citizens having their personal number.

Under Pennsylvania Right-to-Know law city owned the phones, the records and bills were available to the public. Melissa Melewsky, media law counsel at the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, said she believed that should still be the case.

"They're still paying for it, and it's related to government access. Are they spending 12 hours on the phone a week, or 12 minutes? I think that's relevant," Melewsky said. "You shouldn't get less access because they're moving to a stipend system."

Oh I couldn’t agree more Melissa, in fact a Right-to-Know seeking the numbers of the following 28 people is currently pending, and will be available soon.

11 regular phone allowances
Cost: $440 per month
  1. James Elias, health inspector
  2. Paul Ginter, health officer
  3. Frank Kratz, chief building inspector
  4. Edward McDade, animal enforcement officer
  5. Peter Monka, public works foreman
  6. Frederick Pape, code inspector
  7. Dennis Sabestinas, master electrician
  8. Leon Schuster, deputy zoning director
  9. JoAnn Semenza, rental inspector
  10. Carol Smith, rental inspector
  11. Delphine Torbik, city nurse

17 data plan allowances
Cost: $1,360 per month
  1. Greg Barrouk, director of economic development
  2. James Delaney, fire chief
  3. Gerard Dessoye, police chief
  4. Michael Dunleavy, purchasing director
  5. Butch Frati, director of operations
  6. Robert Hughes, captain of police operations
  7. Theodore Kross, health director
  8. Louis Lau, information technology director
  9. Thomas Leighton, mayor
  10. David Lewis, public works foreman
  11. Marie McCormick, city administrator
  12. Drew McLaughlin, administrative coordinator, spokesman
  13. Phillip Myers, police officer
  14. Charles Pahler, bioterrorism coordinator, traffic signal coordinator
  15. Kenneth Pahler, public works deputy director
  16. Melissa Schatzel, human resources director
  17. Michael Simonson, public works assistant director

Wake Up Wilkes Barre



  1. So the city is losing 1800$ a month because these greedy sheisters want cell phones they dont have to pay for?
    That's an extra 21,600$ a year. I say we cut it! Use your own phone!
    I like your radio idea. No monthly payment and most good ones have a range large enough to cover the city.

  2. They are using their own, that's why we must now pay those greedy shysters, who make 2 or 3 times what you or I make, yet we pay for everything for them, even their gas to get to work. As for the radio, keep in mind the city is only 7 sq miles with city hall in the center so most crappy ones would cover the whole city. Tourches and pitchforks people!!!!!!

  3. Will the taxpayer still have to pay for the Mayor to disrespectfully play with his phone, while a taxpayer is addressing the City Council?

    I think that exclusive of the on duty policeman at the Council mtgs, ALL cell phones should be turned off during said mtgs.


Wake Up Wilkes Barre TV