Central Saanich councillor granted leave

Terry Siklenka given six months leave from council. Councillor was facing potential disqualification

Ex-Central Saanich councillor Terry Siklenka.

Ex-Central Saanich councillor Terry Siklenka.

After three absences in a row from regular council meetings, Central Saanich council voted to grant Coun. Terry Siklenka six months of leave from council at an in-camera meeting on Nov. 5.

“Council granted a request for leave of absence from Coun. Siklenka for personal reasons,” said Mayor Alastair Bryson of the decision.

Siklenka had been absent from regular council meetings since September. The last meeting he attended was a special meeting of council held Sept. 4 and after that he missed three regular council meetings throughout September and October. He also missed a special meeting of council on Oct. 22.

Siklenka’s commitments through council include serving as deputy mayor for October and November this year along with being the chair of the public works and transportation committee, a committee member for the Capital Regional District Solid Waste Advisory Committee and the council liaison for both the Healthy Watershed Committee and the First Nations Community to Community Forum.

During the meeting, Mayor Bryson noted that through Siklenka’s recent absence council has been able to cope, but that they may need to look into how to cover some of his responsibilities during the long-term absence.

“Clearly we’ve been managing to fill his role but I would like to bring back a recommendation to council on how we can more accurately cover his role for to up to six months,” said Bryson.

According to the community charter, a councillor can be disqualified from office if they are absent for a period of 60 consecutive days or four consecutive regularly scheduled council meetings (whichever is longer). Leeway is given in circumstances of illness or injury or if a councillor is given leave by council.

Attempts to reach Coun. Siklenka for clarification and elaboration on his absence were unsuccessful.

According to cheif administrative officer Patrick Robins, Siklenka will continue to receivie his council pay during his period of leave.

Robins said the Community Charter does not oultine rules for remuneration should a councillor take leave, leaving any decision up to council.