Towing contract issue is pressed

January 9, 2013

WILKES-BARRE – City councilman Tony George wants to know when the special committee set up to review the city's contract with LAG Towing Inc. will meet.

George asked the question at Monday night's council meeting, which began with a moment of silence for deceased former city council members Jim McCarthy and Eric Redick.

George said he is a member of the special committee to look into LAG's receipts to determine if enough evidence exists to recommend termination of its contract with the city. That call would be made by Mayor Tom Leighton, who did not attend council's work session.

In addition to George, committee members are Leighton, Police Chief Gerry Dessoye, Administrative Coordinator Drew McLaughlin and Councilwoman Maureen Lavelle.

I want to make sure we follow up with this, George said. We said we were going to review LAG's receipts, and that's what we should do and then make a recommendation.

George asked Leighton in July to terminate the contract awarded to owner Leo Glodzik III, alleging price gouging and failure to respond to the city's request for receipts after complaints from people whose vehicles were towed. No other council members supported George's request, but they did agree to form the committee to review the contract and focus on the performance and severability clause.

Glodzik has said he welcomes the review. His company is in the third year of its second five-year contract that pays the city $50,000 per year.

Council Chairman Bill Barrett said he agrees with having the committee review the LAG contract and receipts. We should follow through on this, he said.

In other business, council previewed Thursday's agenda. Among the items set for vote are:

• Awarding a contract to Petroleum Services, 454 S. Main St., for fuel oil. Marie McCormick, city administrator, said the company was the sole bidder for the service. Approximately 104,000 gallons are required. Bid price is $2.87 per gallon for 87-octane fuel and $3.30 per gallon for diesel fuel.

• Approving an ordinance amending the city code titled streets, sidewalks and other public places to establish fees and penalties for pave cuts.

• Appointing Dr. Nancy Gilhooley, director of Urgent Care at Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre, to the city's Board of Health; and reappointing members Donna Reilly, Thomas Harfman, Dr. David Westawski, Dr. Henry Smith and Dr. David Kasper to the board.

• Approving a three-year contract with Orkin Pest Control Services for city-owned properties.

• Approving a resolution establishing zoning fees.

What's next

Council meets at 6 p.m. Thursday in regular session. Public comment is allowed. Meetings take place in council chambers, City Hall.