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January 3, 2012 / olneypost

Tasco takes part in controversial DROP program

PhillyNews.com

City Councilwoman Marian Tasco (D.) ended 2011 with retirement after serving six terms representing Olney and the rest of the 9th District.  But she wasn’t gone for long.  On Dec. 30, 2011 Tasco retired.  On Monday Jan. 2, 2012 she was back on the job.

She was paid $478,057 for her quickie retirement because of her membership in the controversial Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) program.

DROP allows city workers (not just politicians) who are 55 years old or older and have worked at least 10 years as a city worker to declare their retirement four years in advance.  The employee’s monthly pension is put into an account, that money collects a 4.5% interest and that employee gets that lump sum and their regular salary. A 2010 study found that the program spends $258 million of tax payers’ money.

Tasco sponsored a bill that would preserve DROP that Mayor Michael Nutter (D.) vetoed that was later preserved but had its cost reduced.

Tasco’s membership in DROP didn’t stop her from being reelected.  After her weekend retirement she was sworn in for her seventh term.  According to some political insiders Tasco not dropping out of the DROP program ruined her chance at gaining the highly influential title of council president.  Some freshmen city council members vowed they would not vote for a city council president that was a member of DROP.

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