Hamilton

Sick leave for Hamilton Mountain councillor Terry Whitehead extended until September

Terry Whitehead, who represents Ward 14 (west Mountain), has been absent from council meetings since December 2020.

Whitehead will be absent until Sept. 30 or his return to work, whichever comes first

If councillors didn't extend leave of absence for Terry Whitehead (Ward 14), his office would have been declared vacant at the end of June. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

A Hamilton city councillor who has been absent from council meetings since December 2020 has had his sick leave extended. 

Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to permit Terry Whitehead, who represents Ward 14 (west Mountain), to be absent from council meetings until Sept. 30 or his return to work, "whichever comes first."

Mayor Fred Eisenberger said the extension was requested by Whitehead's office.  

"If we were to leave it unattended, we would at the end of June have to declare his office vacant, which I'm sure we would not want to do," the mayor said. 

In March, a statement from Whitehead said the councillor had "contended with several personal and family health-related challenges" and was under a doctor's care. 

"It is my hope, and with prayer, that my recovery period will be short, and I'll come back stronger and better to champion issues that are important to this community and the residents I represent," he said.

People were directed to continue contacting his office as usual, while "complex political matters" were to be supported by the councillors for Ward 6 (Tom Jackson) and Ward 12 (Lloyd Ferguson). 

Whitehead's office told CBC News in May that he was on sick leave until June 30th. 

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