Editorial: Same old same old

Phil­adelphia City Coun­cil is off to a great start. And then again, it’s not.

The good news is that six vet­er­an mem­bers rode off in­to the sun­set of re­tire­ment on Monday, in­clud­ing the most shame­less of the gang, Joan Kra­jew­ski, who fi­nally called it a ca­reer four years after sta­ging a one-day “re­tire­ment” to col­lect $270,000 in re­tire­ment money be­fore re­turn­ing to work.

The bad news is that after con­ven­ing for their first ses­sion, all 17 mem­bers of the new­fangled Coun­cil ad­journed for three and a half weeks.

Not a bad gig if you can get it. A city car, a bloated staff, three months off for sum­mer va­ca­tion, a six-fig­ure salary for, at best, part-time work, etc.

What a dis­ap­point­ment for a le­gis­lat­ive body one-third of whose mem­bers cam­paigned last year on the theme of re­form and were elec­ted in Novem­ber amid high hopes for true change in the way city gov­ern­ment op­er­ates. In Phil­adelphia, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

The only thing Coun­cil mem­bers did right on Monday is elect 5th dis­trict Coun­cil­man Dar­rell Clarke as pres­id­ent, suc­ceed­ing re­tired Coun­cil­wo­man Anna Ver­na and by­passing Coun­cil­wo­man Mari­an Tasco. Tasco, who pulled a Kra­jew­ski last week by “re­tir­ing” for one day just to col­lect $478,057 in re­tire­ment money, had sought the top spot after her re-elec­tion in the 9th dis­trict, but her par­ti­cip­a­tion in the hated DROP re­tire­ment pro­gram rightly doomed her pres­id­en­tial am­bi­tions.

If Phil­adelphia’s long-suf­fer­ing res­id­ents are lucky, May­or Mi­chael Nut­ter, fresh in­to his second and last term, will use his bully pul­pit, vo­ci­fer­ously, this time, to shame City Coun­cil in­to do­ing the people’s busi­ness — full-time. ••

Send let­ters to: pronews@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at staff@bsmphilly.com.

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