Nutter and Council get ready for a DROP showdown

    Mayor Michael Nutter sent his DROP recommendations to City Council this week, but Council is not ready to take the advice and end the program. Seven of them are signed on to DROP and they are waiting for more support of their cause.

    Mayor Nutter and Philadelphia City Council are at a standoff over ending the deferred retirement plan that has given big lump sum payments to departing city officials.

    Nutter wants Council to end the DROP program, citing a study that showed it’s draining the city pension fund. But it’s a delicate issue for Council members – because seven of them are signed up to get big checks, and because city unions want to keep the benefit.

    Nutter and Council are up for re-election next year, and Nutter says they should listen to the voters.

    “The public has spoken pretty loudly,” he says. “And financially we can’t afford it.”

    Council majority leader Marian Tasco – who’s signed up to get a DROP check and may still run for re-election – isn’t so sure the public is outraged.

    “I’ve heard the Inquirer and some news media have their opinion,” she says. “There are other people in the community who’ve not expressed their interest and that’s what we want to hear from.”

    Council leaders won’t commit to ending the program, saying they want to hear first from the consultant they hired to evaluate its cost.

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