A city councillor who has spent several months on the disabled list with no timetable for his return, is asking not to be paid during his time off.
In a letter addressed to council, Ward 14’s Jared Zaifman has requested that the stipend that he receives from the City of London be discontinued.
The letter also reveals the reason for his extended time off — he sustained a concussion and is still recovering.
In late August, a motion was approved by council to give him an indefinite extension. The move saved Zaifman’s seat for the foreseeable future instead of launching a byelection.
Ward 6 Councillor Phil Squire and Ward 7 Councillor Josh Morgan have both helped to cover for Zaifman while he has been away.
Morgan said everybody around the horseshoe, including his constituents, are hoping for a speedy recovery.
“Obviously it will be great when their councillor can return to his official duties, because Councillor Zaifman adds a huge amount of value to the discussion and the debate. He’s always got wonderful ideas and perspectives. So I think it will be to our benefit and to theirs when he can continue, but obviously with a medical condition, you have to do that at the appropriate time.”
Neither Morgan nor Mayor Matt Brown could say for sure whether or not council would have to vote on the matter at Tuesday’s meeting, or if council could simply grant his request.
“I think that we’ve all dealt with this in a very caring and compassionate way,” said Brown. “Councillor Zaifman has indicated that he’s experienced an injury, he needs some time to recover, and we’re more than willing to give him that time.”
See below for Zaifman’s letter to council:
Mayor and Members of Municipal Council
On August 22, 2016 I sought, and subsequently obtained, authorization from the Municipal Council to be absent from the meetings of Municipal Council beyond three successive months as I continue to deal with my ongoing recovery from a concussion that I sustained. At this time, I would also like to seek the approval of the Municipal Council to discontinue my stipend effective September 1, 2016, the commencement date of the extension of my absence.
Thank you for your consideration and support of my additional request.
Councillor, Ward 14