Love was in the air at City Council Thursday - along with a cuddly reminder about germs.

When the female Council members arrived at their desks, they found a heart-shaped box of Russell Stover candy and a rose. It was a tradition started by former South Philadelphia Councilman Frank DiCicco. Mark Squilla decided to keep it going when he became first district Councilman.

The recipients seemed pleased with the gifts. Councilwoman Cindy Bass told Squilla his gesture was increasing the pressure on her husband.

Everyone on Council also found a stuffed animal wearing a surgical mask, a reminder from a group pushing for the city to require paid sick days for jobs in the city. The plush bears, monkeys and owls came with a message: "Roses are Red. Violets are Blue. Who needs paid sick days? We do! Happy Valentine's Day!"

Click here for's politics page.