DROP allows city employees who are eligible for retirement to collect both a city salary and a pension for up to four years after they join the program. The pension payments go into an escrow account, earning 4.5 percent interest, payable to the employee in a lump sum when he or she leaves the city payroll.
Public anger has been stoked by elected officials participating in DROP - including a couple who signed up for it, ran for re-election, "retired" for a single day, collected six-figure DROP payments, then resumed collecting city paychecks. Three Council members enrolled in DROP plan to run for re-election - Marian Tasco, Frank DiCicco and Frank Rizzo. Another three will retire.
"Let's get it over with," Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. said of the DROP issue. "There's at least 25 good issues we could be discussing."
In other news:
* Council yesterday gave final passage to legislation that would attempt to close the so-called Florida gun loophole.
The legislation would require people carrying concealed weapons in the city to have a permit from the state of Pennsylvania. Currently, a Pennsylvania resident can obtain through the mail a nonresident permit from another state to carry a concealed weapon, even without a permit in Pennsylvania. The loophole is unpopular with Philly cops because it allows those denied permits locally to get them elsewhere.
The bill's sponsor, Councilman Darrell Clarke, acknowledged that the bill would likely be challenged in court, like other local gun-legislation efforts. But he said he hoped the legislation could stand up to any challenge.
Nutter is likely to sign the bill into law, said spokesman Mark McDonald.