Monday's article reporting that the bill to end the DROP perk for elected officials has died on the vine is bad news for city taxpayers ("DROP effort dies for now").

Councilman Darrell L. Clarke misleads readers when he states the issue has been mischaracterized as a money grab when City Council members are only collecting the pensions they have contributed to and earned over their careers.

In fact, the DROP program allows Council members to start collecting their generous pension checks over the course of their last four years of employment. The money goes into an escrow account earning an above-market rate of 4.5 percent interest, which is then collected at retirement. What Clarke fails to mention is that Council members continue to earn their regular salary over the same time frame they are collecting pension checks - a neat trick that is unavailable to most workers I know. The provision that allows Council members to "unretire" after as little as one day off the payroll only makes this perk more difficult to swallow.

People get the government they deserve.

Michael J. Santella

West Chester