And so it comes to pass that one of Philly’s most consistently [GASPS, GRABS FACE]-inducing City Council members would rather just take the DROP money and run, rather than deal with your broke asses for another cringe-inducing term. And it’s gonna leave a huge gap in this sitcom: Who will play both sides of the casino issue depending on which looks the most politically advantageous at the time?
DiCicco is the guy who told constituents early and often he was opposed to construction of casinos in his district. Then he reversed course, maybe after a visit from the corporate gods of gambling, and decided casinos were OK. After he became a true believer, he supported plans to build a Foxwoods casino on the waterfront, and then at Market East, in Center City.
The plans failed, thanks to Casino-Free Philadelphia and others who couldn’t warm up to a casino down the street from Independence Hall. (SugarHouse, the other casino proposed for the First District, wasn’t stopped but it’s not nearly as big as it would have been if casino foes hadn’t fought the good fight.)
It’s hard to tell who will replace DiCicco, but I hope he or she has enough imagination and energy to support business ventures that bring money into the district rather than sucking it out, casino-style.
And don’t feel sad for Frank, he’ll be walking away from Council with $424,000 from DROP, the city’s much-abused Deferred Retirement Option Plan.