May 26, 2011 |
City Council's effort to reform the unpopular DROP program will finally be unveiled today. Councilwoman Marian Tasco is set to introduce legislation that is expected to adjust the interest rate that participants earn and would require city workers to wait two more years before enrolling. "This is not my bill; it's Council's," said Tasco, who has drawn public ire for enrolling in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan, but then running for re-election this year. If she wins in November, she'll "retire" for a day to collect $478,057 and then return.
May 10, 2011
ABOUT NOW, the only people who like DROP are the ones in it - and even they hate elected officials who "retire" for a day, collect a pot o' gold, then slink back to their taxpayer-paid jobs. In that latter category are City Commissioner Marge Tartaglione, Register of Wills Ron Donatucci, at-large Councilman Frank Rizzo and 9th District Councilwoman Marian Tasco, who's ready to grab a $478,057 Instant Cash payout. Donatucci and Rizzo both have expressed remorse and tried to extricate themselves from the program.
April 24, 2011
In the last couple of weeks, Mayor Nutter has made three endorsements (a fourth is expected soon), all in heated races to fill open district City Council seats. Considering that Council newcomers could cast the deciding votes on the next Council president, some politicos have speculated the mayor is engaged in a little quid pro quo to secure backing for his presumed choice, Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco. All three endorsed candidates - Mark Squilla in the First District, Marty Bednarek in the Sixth, and Cindy Bass in the Eighth - have said that's simply not so. Nutter also is expected to endorse Kenyatta Johnson in the Second District.
March 24, 2011 |
A Common Pleas Court judge ruled Wednesday that City Council members Frank Rizzo and Marian B. Tasco and City Commissioner Margaret Tartaglione can run for reelection despite participating in DROP, the city's early-retirement program. Judge James Murray Lynn delivered sharp criticism of the petitioners, who argued that the three incumbents had made an irrevocable decision to retire when they enrolled in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan. Lynn said participants were not required to "remain forever retired" from the city and could stay on the May 17 primary ballot.
March 18, 2011 |
A Common Pleas Court judge said Friday he would rule "in due course" on whether Philadelphia City Council members Marian B. Tasco and Frank Rizzo and City Commissioner Margaret Tartaglione can seek reelection in the May primary. In three separate cases rolled into one, lawyers for political opponents of the trio urged Judge James M. Lynn to bump them from the ballot because each made an "irrevocable" decision to retire when they enrolled in the DROP pension program. The same judge heard arguments by a lawyer for Mayor Nutter, who is trying to disqualify T. Milton Street Sr. from challenging him in the primary.
March 15, 2011 |
City Councilwoman Marian Tasco faces a court challenge for her spot on the May 17 Democratic primary-election ballot because she is enrolled in the controversial Deferred Retirement Option Plan, also known as DROP. Two voters in Tasco's 9th Councilmanic District, Leta Thomas and Antoine Thomas, yesterday asked a judge to throw her off the ballot, claiming she is ineligible to run for re-election due to DROP. They are the wife and brother of Lamont Thomas, one of three Democrats who filed last week against Tasco in the primary.
March 14, 2011 |
Political rivals of six-term Philadelphia City Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco submitted paperwork Monday to force her off May's primary ballot because of her participation in the city's DROP pension program. The lawsuit is similar to a legal challenge filed Friday against Republican at-large Councilman Frank Rizzo, who besides Tasco is the only other Council member set to receive a DROP payment and also seek reelection this year. Both suits make essentially the same argument: Tasco and Rizzo are ineligible to run again since each promised to retire by the end of their current terms by enrolling in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan.
March 8, 2011 |
And then there were two. City Councilman Frank DiCicco's announcement yesterday that he would not seek re-election means that the number of Council members looking to take DROP payments and serve another term is down to just two - Frank Rizzo and Marian Tasco. On top of another term, Tasco is also seeking to serve as the next Council president. If she can pull it off, should her nickname be Teflon Tasco? "It depends on who the new people are, that could have an impact," said DiCicco of Tasco's presidential chances in a Council that will have at least five new members.
February 28, 2011
There's an unseemly rush by the city Board of Ethics - with ample prodding from City Council - to get new rules in place that would free city workers from the decades-old ban on political activity. No matter what the timing, it's a bad idea that risks even more politics in the day-to-day operations of City Hall. With his passion for ridding the city of its pay-to-play political culture, Mayor Nutter should be in the forefront opposing such a backward step. With no credible opposition to his own reelection, it's even more troubling that the mayor is just going along.
February 10, 2011
SMART GENERALS avoid battles they can't win. In the second Punic War, when Roman Consul Lucius Aemilius Paullus took on Hannibal in 216 B.C., almost 80 percent of the entire Roman army left the field in shrouds or in chains. When the Spanish sent their Armada against the English in 1588, more than half the ships and troops went to the bottom. Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812, and Hitler's re-creation of the folly in 1941, ended in disaster. A smart general doesn't pick fights he can't win, and I don't believe City Council Majority Leader Marian Tasco can be defeated in November when she runs for her Lucky Seventh term on Council.