City solicitor says Philadelphia can end DROP

    Mayor, city council president differ on how quickly to move on ending the controversial retirement incentive program.

    While the Philadelphia’s City Solicitor has ruled that City Council can vote to end the Deferred Retirement Option Program known as DROP safely, Mayor Michael Nutter and Council President Anna Verna differ on the timeline for such a move.

    Nutter, pleased with the ruling on ending the controversial retirement incentive program, hopes the council will move swiftly to pass a bill ending the program. But Verna is saying not so fast.

    The 13-page ruling by City Solicitor Shelly Smith says the council can put an end to DROP for all but currently enrolled city workers. Nutter says now is the time to move swiftly to end the early retirement benefit.

    “The program needs to go away,” says Nutter. “We can’t afford it. I’ve always believed it had to be taken away by ordinance. If that’s what the solicitor’s opinion is, that is fine. We need to move.”

    In a written statement, Verna says the ruling is not so clear. She wants the council to continue its independent review of the situation, but it may not begin hearings until next month.

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