Philadelphia is known as the city of brotherly love and, apparently,
paying out massive pensions to public employees who will continue
working for the city.
Marion B. Tasco, who has been described as being “politically savvy,”
will retire from her sixth term as councilwoman, collect $478,057, and
then be sworn in on Monday to serve her seventh term, Catherine Lucy and Chris Brennan of the Philadelphia Daily News.
How does she get away with this?
Tasco, along with many of her fellow Council members, is enrolled in
Philadelphia’s Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP). DROP allows city
workers to collect salary and build up pension money during the last
four years of their employment, writes Aaron Kase of Philadelphia Weekly.
Naturally, when DROP was originally introduced, it was touted as
being “revenue neutral.” It’s been anything but that. SInce
its introduction, Philadelphia’s DROP program has cost the city $258 million in extra pension costs over a decade, according to a 2010 Boston College study.
Philadelphia’s Mayor Nutter has tried on numerous occasions to eliminate the DROP program.
“In September, Council voted to override Nutter’s veto of a bill,
sponsored by Tasco that would preserve the DROP program, while reducing
its cost,” writes Jan Ransom of the Daily. Nutter has vowed to work
“tirelessly” to abolish the program.
And his attempts didn’t deter Tasco.
“While many of Tasco’s fellow council members dropped out of the
re-election race after controversy broke out over their enrollment in
DROP, Tasco stayed in the race and won,” writes Robert Johnson of Business Insider.
That means, come Monday, she will be elected as City Councilwoman for Philadelphia’s Ninth District, with all the pay and benefits that come with that position — as well as an additional $478,057.
As Business Insider points out, the city’s web page touts Tasco “as one of Philadelphia’s most influential, politically savvy, and pro-active public officials.”
Over the next few days, Tasco could be proving that claim correct.
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