Council grants Mitic a leave of absence
Jody Mitic, the councillor for Innes ward, is officially on a leave of absence from city hall with an unknown return date.
Council voted unanimously Wednesday to grant Mitic a leave of absence after the councillor and Canadian war veteran provided written notice to the clerk that he can’t attend committee and council “for the foreseeable future.” His notice also came with medical documentation.
On Tuesday, Mitic posted on Facebook, “I will be off these means for 90 days. Mitic OUT.”
Mitic opened up about his addiction and mental health challenges last December in a frank and emotional radio interview with CFRA’s Evan Soloman. He has missed some meetings since then, including the council meeting Wednesday.
Council had to approve the leave so Mitic can keep his seat for the duration of the term. The Ontario Municipal Act says a council seat becomes vacant if the member is absent from council meetings for three successive months without council’s permission.
His fellow “eastern bloc” councillors, Stephen Blais, Bob Monette and Tim Tierney, will handle any administrative matters for Innes ward, including planning-related files that usually require a decision by the ward councillor. Routine bills will be paid by the clerk’s office, and if there’s an annual event in the community normally covered by the ward budget, those costs will be paid, too, in consultation with Innes ward office staff and the other eastern bloc councillors.
Mitic sits on the community and protective services committee, environment and climate protection committee and transportation committee.
Council has reduced the minimum number of members required to do business at a meeting until Mitic returns.
City clerk and solicitor Rick O’Connor said Mitic will continue to receive his salary and medical benefits, just like others who have been granted leaves in the past. The last time was in February 2013 after Blais suffered a heart attack.
Mitic has said he won’t seek reelection in October’s municipal vote.