Explanation sought on DROP hearings holdup

The state board that oversees Philadelphia’s finances, PICA, has sent a message to City Council about DROP, the controversial early retirement program.

The two-page missive asks why Philadelphia City Council has not held hearings on DROP, which the Nutter administration says costs $260 million.

Sam Katz, chairman of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, wrote the message.

“The letter says the council had committed to hold hearings on DROP,” Katz said. “The letter also points out, at the point of origination of DROP, the language of the ordinance says if there were any costs at all associated with the program it would be terminated.”

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Asked about the letter, Council President Anna Verna said, “I don’t know about the letter. I haven’t seen the letter.”

Previously, Verna said it was unlikely the DROP hearings would be held before the May 17 primary election.

PICA has the ability to reject the city’s five-year financial plan and block state funding to Philadelphia.

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