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PHILLY COUNCILWOMAN WILL ‘RETIRE’ FOR ONE DAY, COLLECT A $478K PENSION, AND RETURN ON MONDAY
The Blaze ^ | December 29, 2011 at 4:19pm

Posted on 12/30/2011 6:07:08 AM PST by DBCJR

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.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat
KEYWORDS: councilwoman; mariontasco; philadelphia; retire
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To: sphinx

I really don’t know more than what is in the article. But I suspect that it is a “double-dip” situation. I just left the Philly area after a two year stint there. My impression is that the people there sort of expect corruption in government. The culture is a “who you know” network and “pay to play” ethic. I suspect the reaction of people there is one of two: 1) Wish I could do that! or 2) We need to regulate. As a matter of fact, I posted this on Facebook and my first reaction from an area resident was a #2.


21 posted on 12/30/2011 6:56:36 AM PST by DBCJR (What would you expect?)
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To: DBCJR

Yep, she is practicing it. Taking care of herself. Only problem is the residents are “paying” for it. All Commies are alike. Thieves, liars, criminals etc.


22 posted on 12/30/2011 7:01:14 AM PST by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: C. Edmund Wright

This goes on everywhere. It is outrageous. I am running for County Supervisor, and although I know I will be a pariah, I am going to talk about it and try to reform it.


23 posted on 12/30/2011 7:05:52 AM PST by Hildy ("When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser." - SocratesH)
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To: DBCJR
I have the same suspicion, but it would be nice to know the details. In a defined contribution pension system, a lump sum cashout is straightforward enough. If it's a defined benefit system, a cashout would be trickier as it would have to be based on an actuarial calculation. I suppose it could be done fairly if there was a reasonably solid methodology, but it's not the way defined benefit systems are designed to work.

In either case, if a lump sum cashout terminates all future pension rights from prior employment, I don't see what the problem is. If she's coming back as a re-employed annuitant, either the pension clock starts ticking again at day one, based on the "new" term of employment, or there needs to be a salary or pension offset to avoid double dipping, as in the federal system.

This gets complicated enough that cheaters have room to operate. Given that this case involves a high-ranking Philly democrat pol, the default assumption is naturally that she's gaming the system, but I'd want more information before passing judgment.

24 posted on 12/30/2011 7:15:45 AM PST by sphinx
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To: C. Edmund Wright

I agree the system is flawed and needs to be corrected. That point is given, in my opinion. I just don’t think we can develop a system that closes off all loopholes for abuse without penalizing legitimate needs.

I think our root problem is not so much the need to change the system which, as one poster described, is a Ponzi Scheme in structure when abused, or a lack of regulation, as it is a lack of character in those who would abuse it. Having said that, by all means, change the system. Philly is nearly bankrupt. That $458,000 drain on cash flow, that would have been deferred until “real retirement”, makes an impact on lives.

I just left the Philly area after a two year stint there. My impression is that the people there sort of expect corruption in government. The culture is a “who you know” network and “pay to play” ethic. I suspect the reaction of people there is one of two: 1) Wish I could do that! or 2) We need to regulate. As a matter of fact, I posted this on Facebook and my first reaction from an area resident was a #2.

My concern, however, is the #1 response. People condone this behavior because they admire it. They wish it were them and would do it if they could. This lack of moral ethic demands systemic change as a solution. Outside another Great Awakening, which George Whitfield launched in Philly in 1739, I do not see a great moral awakening to remedy the the lack of ethic.

So, I support your column thesis. I just see another root cause. Unfortunately, it was not a “system” that made our country great. Anyone who has studied the fate of the signers of the Declaration of Independence there at Independence Hall in Philly understands the fortitude of character and values prompting their sacrifice. Tasco is a greedy, self-interested “public servant”.

In a sense, she is an “inside trader” finding a way to bail out of a system that is about to implode before the street workers realize she got out with their retirement money.


25 posted on 12/30/2011 7:16:56 AM PST by DBCJR (What would you expect?)
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To: DBCJR

Hmmm, so far as I know Monday January 2nd is a Federal & State Holiday although I don’t know that it is a City of Philadelphia Holiday. Now if it is, is it possible that everyone involved in this “Swearing In Ceremony” will get Holiday pay premium compensation, yet another cost on top of everything else. Gee isn’t it nice to be a member of the master class?


26 posted on 12/30/2011 7:30:54 AM PST by SES1066 (Government is NOT the reason for my existance!)
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To: SES1066

Not sure about that. Great quotes on your profile.


27 posted on 12/30/2011 7:37:50 AM PST by DBCJR (What would you expect?)
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To: DBCJR

Somehow, I just knew.

28 posted on 12/30/2011 7:45:44 AM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: DBCJR

Got it, then all we disagree on is the solution. I think human nature is beyond repair and certainly for the personality type who work for government: that is by definition a nanny state entitlement game the system mentality IN GENERAL.

You will have far more success in putting together a system that does not allow gaming (most done by powerful union demands anyway) than you will by somehow recruiting angels into civil service.

And it’s not that hard. Disallow public sector unions. Those should simply not exist period. Even FDR and George Meany agree on that.


29 posted on 12/30/2011 7:45:51 AM PST by C. Edmund Wright
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To: C. Edmund Wright

No, we do not disagree on a solution. Let me specify a portion of what I wrote:

“My concern, however, is the #1 response. People condone this behavior because they admire it. They wish it were them and would do it if they could. This lack of moral ethic demands systemic change as a solution. Outside another Great Awakening, which George Whitfield launched in Philly in 1739, I do not see a great moral awakening to remedy the the lack of ethic.

So, I support systemic change. I just see another root cause.”

As I stated, outside of another Great Awakening, systemic change is our only answer. We simply cannot sustain freedom without a repair of our moral character. Systems and regulation will not do it.


30 posted on 12/30/2011 7:53:01 AM PST by DBCJR (What would you expect?)
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To: Hildy
This goes on everywhere. It is outrageous. I am running for County Supervisor, and although I know I will be a pariah, I am going to talk about it and try to reform it.

BRAVO

31 posted on 12/30/2011 8:03:09 AM PST by truthkeeper (Vote Against Barack Obama in 2012! (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.))
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To: DBCJR

You might want to give consideration to my “insider trading” metaphor describing Tasco. This angle accentuates the unfair advantage she has and how it affects the common worker. Her prematurely pulling out her retirement in a questionable manner, during an extreme cash crunch time for the city, municipal layoffs, Philly’s inability to fund annual contributions to pensions, etc., could actually deprive those forced into early retirement of initial payments. Compare that to an “insider” cashing out, then going back to work.


32 posted on 12/30/2011 8:05:10 AM PST by DBCJR (What would you expect?)
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To: DBCJR

Can’t for the life of me figure out why all our cities and towns are going down the tubes!


33 posted on 12/30/2011 8:37:41 AM PST by golf lover (going)
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