SINCE THE STATE Legislature did the right thing by banning elected officials from entering a much-derided deferred retirement program, we were looking forward to not having the program to kick around anymore; we were resigned to simply wait for the six members of Council who signed onto the program to go away with their payouts.
But a legal loophole reported in the Daily News would allow six City Council members who signed up for the Deferred Retirement Option Plan to get a boost to their pension should they run for and win re-election.
The DROP program is supposed to freeze pension payments while a participant is still working, but Council members serving additional four-year terms can accrue pension credits and build higher pensions; they can also take advantage of cost-of-living increases.
Few believe that elected officials should be entitled to enroll in DROP; unfortunately, one of those is a former city solicitor who wrote the opinion that gave electeds the OK. That was backed up by the current city solicitor. Neither opinion has been challenged in court. It's a mystery as to why not. Would somone please take on this court challenge? An entire city - minus six - will thank you. *