In addition to big pension payments, some retiring Council members have access to another large pile of cash: the money left in their campaign accounts.
The retirees can only spend the funds to influence the outcome of an election, though that is defined fairly broadly. A retired elected official could, for example, throw a holiday party, invite some candidates, and call at least some of the cost an election expense.
So of the six departing Council members, who has the most cash to play kingmaker, or at least throw a really hopping bash?
Council President Anna Verna tops the list, with $183,572 in her account. Through a spokesman, Verna noted that she will remain a ward leader and said she would "distribute [remaining funds] to specific campaigns as the need arises."
Councilwoman Joan Krajewski had the second-highest amount, at $96,263.
She said she planned to spend it helping candidates from Northeast Philadelphia win office.
- Miriam Hill
Parting words at City Council
Council's final meeting last week, when the members said goodbye to six of their departing colleagues, was full of little moments of humor.
No doubt, Frank DiCicco took the cake for suggesting the mayor's wrapped and framed tributes to them were actually "blowups of our DROP checks."
Then there was Nutter imitating Joan Krajewski's gravelly voice (imagine the DMV-working twin sisters of Marge Simpson).
And Jim Kenney saying he was happy to read a resolution honoring Jack Kelly, since he had been mistakenly congratulated at least three times recently on his retirement.
Kenney/Kelly. An easy mistake, perhaps.
Finally, there was Nutter telling a classic tale of comeuppance at the hands of Council President Anna Verna. The year was 1987, and Nutter was a mere candidate for Council in the Fourth District.
Nutter was supporting a trash-to-steam incinerator in Verna's Second District because it would close a similar incinerator in his district. Verna was vehemently opposed to the plan.
Candidate Nutter went to a public hearing to testify for the first time in his career.
"I had signed up, but it became known to me that the councilwoman for the Second District had a feeling of what I was going to say and thought - now this is stunning to me - that she would think that I might use that as a political opportunity.
"I learned a great lesson that day. . . . That hearing started about 9 o'clock that morning, and the Council president made sure I gave my testimony at about 5:30 that afternoon.
"I think there might have been about three people left. It was a good lesson. You're really good."
- Troy Graham