Joe Grace Launches Website Showing Better Ways to Spend Councilman DiCicco’s $424,647 DROP Payment

Joe Grace Launches Website Showing Better Ways to Spend Councilman DiCicco’s $424,647 DROP Payment

Website offers voters a constructive outlet to express their anger with DiCicco’s misuse of the DROP program

CITY HALL – First District City Council candidate Joe Grace today unveiled a new website that shines a bright light on Councilman Frank DiCicco’s decision to run for re-election – despite making an “irrevocable commitment” to retire under city law – and collect an undeserved $424,647 lump sum retirement pension perk.

The website, www.WhatWouldYouBuyWithDiCiccosDropMoney.com, uses substance and humor to illustrate some of the many city services that could be purchased or enhanced with the money that Councilman DiCicco is looking to take from the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP).

“These are tough times for working families in Philadelphia – and for city workers too,” Joe Grace said at a news conference outside City Hall. “City services are being cut, property taxes are being raised, and Councilman DiCicco is going to cash in on a big retirement pension, under a program never meant for him – and then run again. There are better ways to spend that money – like hiring more police officers, or paying household utility bills, for example. We’ve created this website to highlight some of our ideas – and to encourage citizens to send us their own ideas of better ways to spend this DROP money.”

Visitors to the website can click through dozens of ways to spend DiCicco’s $424,647 DROP check. The site showcases vital city services, such as hiring additional police officers, extending neighborhood library hours, reducing firehouse brownouts, and cleaning up vacant lots. Here are just a few of the many other examples:

  • Plow 253 miles of snow from city streets
  • Operate 8 neighborhood pools for an entire summer
  • Open 1 neighborhood library for 14 months
  • Maintain and clean 849 vacant lots for 1 year
  • Paint 21 new Philadelphia murals

The site also uses humor to highlight some everyday things that an average Philadelphian resident might spend Councilman DiCicco’s DROP check on, including 392 miles of Christmas lights, 273,965 SEPTA tokens, or 86,219 cheese steaks from Pat’s Steaks. The site is interactive and encourages citizens to check it out and submit their own ideas of better ways to spend the Councilman’s DROP money to improve city services.

Another serious item on the website was prompted by a conversation Grace had with members of the Correctional Officers Union Local 159, District Council 33. “I was surprised to learn the men and women who keep us safe by securing our city’s prisons don’t have the basic tools they need to do their jobs safely,” Grace said. “Correctional officers rely on recycled radios that are more than 25 years old to communicate with each other. I’ve heard of officers being unable to call for backup when confronted with a life-threatening situation because of an equipment failure. Do you realize we could buy 1,420 brand new radios with the amount of money that Frank DiCicco is trying to collect from the DROP program?

“I’ve been talking to voters throughout the First District about issues that matter to them,” Grace said. “The response is always the same. Voters are fed up with City Council members taking advantage of a program that was never intended for them.  There are far better ways we could spend this DROP money.  Councilman DiCicco made an ‘irrevocable commitment’ to his constituents that he would retire after taking his DROP payment. It’s time for him to live up to his word. It’s a matter of trust.”

###

February 18th, 2011 | Posted in Front Page Stories | No Comments