City Council voted unanimously Thursday afternoon to override Mayor Michael Nutter’s veto of the perennially contentious DROP bill, but the mayor’s spokesman insisted that Nutter’s relationship with Council is “not unhealthy.”
“There is always healthy friction between Philadelphia mayors and Philadelphia City Council, but the fact is that on most matters, the Council and the mayor find agreement,” spokesman Mark McDonald said.
City Council appears unaware of that fact when it pertains to the most controversial city pension program. Nutter had vetoed City Council’s amended DROP bill because he said the program should simply be eliminated.
“He has made a public commitment to keep fighting until DROP is ended,” said Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez. “We’re willing to look at other ways to cut costs, but if [Nutter] wants to end it, he needs to negotiate with the union,” she said. “Otherwise, he’s legally bound to keep DROP.”
“The law-approving body in the city is City Council and their duty to is to listen to the overwhelming number of people who want the program to end,” McDonald said, adding that, if Council does not pass legislation ending DROP before its final session in mid-December, the mayor’s office will “work vigorously” with new members seated in January to explain the program’s unsustainable financial burden.
One veto left alone
City Council tabled a bill to override Nutter’s veto of paid sick leave legislation after its sponsor, Councilman Bill Greenlee, realized that he would not have enough votes for it to pass.
Greenlee said that he expects that to change as similar laws continue to be passed across the country.
“I would say to all the advocates: Don’t lose hope,” Greenlee said. “It’s going to
happen, it’s just a matter of when.”