The people of Scranton have been crushed by the burden of excessive taxation. Taxes are terribly high and Scranton taxes breach what is allowable by state ordinances. St. Fleur brought attention to Act 511. St. Fleur filed a lawsuit against the Scranton government to lower taxes and won.
There remains something to consider. Why does the city of Bethlehem have roughly the same population of Scranton (approx. 75,000) but its budget is 30 million dollars less than Scranton’s? That is a jaw-dropping discrepancy. Two-thirds of Scrantonians live on fixed incomes. The average fixed income is 15k a year. Every cent is a matter of life and death. The increased taxes put on Scrantonians resulted in lowered home values, destroyed equity and reduced job prospects.
Gary St. Fleur wants to reverse this, having fair taxation. The previous administration leached off of Scranton for their own selfish gain. On his first day in office, St. Fleur will conduct a deep dive into the Scranton budget and find where adjustments can be made to provide the Scranton people the tax relief they deserve. This will be done at zero cost to the taxpayer!
Complete a deep dive investigation into the Scranton budget (no cost to the taxpayer),
Reform the budget through efficiencies already in practice in other municipalities.
Pass on any savings to citizens and businesses through lowered fees and costs.
The American economy has experienced one of the greatest expansions of wealth in our nation's history in the past 30 years. Nevertheless, the people of Scranton have not experienced these same gains. Why: the previous administration’s economic policies. The local government sold public assets which increased cost and fees and prompted wealth destroying initiatives. Furthermore, former mayor Bill Courtright was involved in extorting businesses and blocked other businesses from coming into the city.
As mayor, St. Fleur will not block any businesses from entering Scranton. He will welcome them. He will be the city’s cheerleader and continually encourage businesses to come to Scranton. The removal of unfavorable business taxes and fees will make the city of Scranton attractive for growth. We will do this by finding efficiencies that can be made in the city government. There are potentially 30 million dollars that can be circulating in this city’s local economy. That is a burst of capital ready to use for job creation and further economic growth.
Reduce burdensome fees that unfairly punish businesses.
Create an economic initiative where business owners can meet with Gary to discuss concerns.
Court businesses to come to Scranton and build in the city, creating good jobs for all.
The city of Scranton has recently suffered the disgrace brought on by its former mayor Bill Courtright pleading guilty to corruption, conspiracy, and extortion. This is a high handed offense that should never have happened. As a citizen, St. Fleur wrote publicly about Scranton corruption for the past four years and ran investigations into it. He maintained contact with the Department of Justice since 2016 and this resulted in the arrest of the former mayor. St. Fleur demonstrated that the fruits of his labors were noticed. There is more that can and will be done!
St. Fleur will see to it that Scranton is no longer associated with corruption. It will be known for being a beacon of light to surrounding areas. In addition to the formation of a civilian ethics board, all actions in city hall will be known. This will be accomplished through an upgrade to the website and the social media of the Scranton government. We will make sure that all Scranton government information will be efficiently communicated and easily accessible.
Furthermore, St. Fleur wants the people of Scranton to know that they can come to him with any problems regarding the unethical conduct of government employees or public officials. St. Fleur will personally take initiative that justice is done and no one will take advantage of anyone in this city! In light of recent events, we should be encouraged to work together and make Scranton the great city that it can become.
Put a stop to any corrupt dealings in city hall. Enough is enough!
Update the government website, making it easy to navigate and to access information.
Develop a city app that provides updates, information, and dates to important city events.
Update the city government social media.
Create a civilian ethics board where complaints regarding any ethics violations will go directly to Mayor Gary.
Gary's door will always be open to address the concerns of the people.
Gary will zealously defend the interest of the Scranton people and will personally see to it that any unethical acts be prosecuted.
Property values in Scranton have remained depressed for some time. This coincides with the distressed status of the city. Homes and buildings are dilapidated, run down, and near valueless. Gary will create a program that addresses this problem. This program will engender job creation and home building, permitting anyone to obtain ownership of a home within the city’s landbank. The only necessity is that the new owner fix and bring the house up to code within six months.
This program places new homes on the tax roll and incentivizes construction opportunities. For those who own homes and suffer from crushing property taxes, St. Fleur will lower property taxes through budget reform.
Lastly, burdensome condemnation of homes needs to stop. St. Fleur will make sure homes are not unfairly condemned and he will revise the ordinance requiring $10,000 of escrow. The extortions in the housing market will come to an end.
Make the permit office efficient, streamlined, and fast.
Get rid of nuisance ordinances that make life difficult for business owners and property owners.
Change the ordinance that requires $10,000 escrow to fix violations to homes.
Create a landback that gives land freely to those willing to develop it.
COLLEGE GRADUATES AND YOUNG PROFESSIONALS
There is a brain drain in Scranton where talented young students come to be educated and then leave. St. Fleur wants to reverse this tide through strategic partnerships with local universities and the Scranton Chamber of Commerce. Together, we will make sure that businesses and schools are integrated to find internships for students and other enriching programs. St. Fleur will make sure this city attracts more young professionals and keeps the ones already here. The amount of talented people in Scranton is corollary with amount the city improves.
Create a youth council to discuss the concerns of our city's young people.
Create partnerships with local universities to encourage students to participate in government and the city.
Promote integrated programs that allow young people to gain experience through internships and other enrichment opportunities.
There is a perception that environmental issues are merely public sector concerns. St. Fleur disagrees. Environmental issues are everyone’s concern. All of us benefit from a clean and sustainable environment and our natural assets are priceless. Truthfully, St. Fleur believes environmental initiatives can be lucrative. He will promote the development of green technologies with a bias towards the creation of green jobs. As we look to the future, we need to find innovative ways to deal with environmental issues; there is no reason why Scranton cannot lead the charge in this endeavor. Not only will this create jobs, but it will make our world a better place.
Explore the opportunities in green energy solutions.
Court green tech companies to come to Scranton.
Create a civilian environmental board where concerns can be directed straight to Mayor Gary.