Coun­cil grants Mitic a leave of ab­sence

Ottawa Citizen - - CITY - JON WILLING jwill­ing@post­ Twit­

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.

Jody Mitic

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