Council has approved a request from Ward 14 Councillor Jared Zaifman to cut off his medical pay while he’s on leave from his Council duties.
In a letter addressed to Council, Zaifman requested that the stipend that he receives from the City of London be discontinued.
The letter also revealed the reason for his extended time off — he sustained a concussion and is still recovering. Zaifman requested Council stop paying him his stipend effective September 1st, the beginning of his extension.
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.”
Council voted 14-0 on Tuesday in favour of Zaifman’s request.
Mayor Matt Brown said they’re not looking to rush the councillor back.
“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.”
Zaifman has declined requests from AM980 for an interview.
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