Councilman James Kenney: First to nearly worst

In the 2007 City Council at-large primary, James Kenney finished first out of 19 candidates with 95,389 votes. This year, as the fifth-place finisher in a field of 15, Kenney was just 1,605 votes away from eviction. Before a Council committee hearing on Thursday, he blamed DROP, but not for the same reasons that saw Frank Rizzo Jr. lose in the Republican primary.

Kenney has been one of the most vocal DROP opponents on Council after the mayor-commissioned study found the controversial pension program cost the city $258 million between 1999 and 2009. He said “anger in the general public” toward elected officials in general merged with “the 25 percent who voted for Milton Street who are angry about wanting to take DROP away” to cost him votes.

“If I lost Tuesday, it wouldn’t have changed my position,” he said, noting he wouldn’t “pander or change positions” to ensure re-election. “It’s fine. I survived. But, we need to get rid of the program or we need to start from scratch.”

Outgoing Council President Anna Verna, who refused to act when Mayor Michael Nutter asked for its elimination, noted that Rizzo, a DROP-enrolled incumbent who lost in the Republican at-large primary on Tuesday, “had a problem with the DROP issue” within his party. Council was to be briefed on upcoming DROP hearings after the meeting.

All things must end

Frank Rizzo Jr.
Voted out by Republican electorate, the Jerky Boys’ 1990s prank call schtick just got a lot more dated.

Anna Verna
Looked regal presiding over Council meetings, but wasn’t able to put a final touch on her tenure: leading an end to DROP.

Jack Kelly
He was a lover of animals and a hater of French haute cuisine.

Frank DiCicco
Biggest misstep for one of the more personable lawmakers may not have been DROP enrollment, but his outfront stances on casino locations.

Joan Krajewski
Four decades on Council speaks volumes … about voter apathy in the 6th District.

Donna Reed Miller
Recently, tenure marked more by her staffers — two were convicted while in her employment. –Brian X. McCrone/Metro

Follow Brian Hickey on Twitter @MetroBHickey.

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