Amherstburg Mayor Aldo DiCarlo at a special meeting of town council on April 2, 2019.
Taylor Campbell / Windsor Star
Amherstburg Mayor Aldo DiCarlo can continue his medical leave for up to three more months, the town’s council voted Monday.“I think Aldo has earned a grace period,” said Coun. Donald McArthur, adding that DiCarlo is still answering emails and promoting the town on social media. “He’s had our backs for four years. It’s time we had his back.”DiCarlo, who has been absent from council meetings since April 23 because of an unidentified illness, had asked for authorization to be absent until his doctor “deems him fit to return.”But Coun. Michael Prue requested a limit of no more than three months. If DiCarlo isn’t back then, council will receive another update from DiCarlo or his doctor and reconsider the leave.“Council has an obligation to the citizens of the town,” Prue said. Things are looking positive Coun. Peter Courtney suggested a limit of 20 weeks or five months in total, the same amount that the Municipal Act provides for pregnancy or parental leave.“My heart goes out to the mayor,” he said. “I want him to return. He was voted in. “
Amherstburg Mayor Aldo DiCarlo at a meeting of Essex County Council in January 2019.
Dax Melmer /
But the position of mayor is vital, he said.DiCarlo is “eager to get back,” said deputy mayor Leo Meloche, who has been filling in as mayor. “He’s on the road to recovery.”“I’m hoping another month, he’s back,” Meloche said before the meeting.He spoke with DiCarlo at the town hall last week, he said.DiCarlo has said publicly only that he is experiencing health problems and is receiving care from a doctor. He has not said what his condition is.“I’ve gotten 100 questions along that line,” Meloche said. “I’m not at liberty nor will I discuss any health issues about the mayor. I’ve respected his personal life from day one.“Yes, he has been ill. Yes, he is coming along. He’s on the mend. Things are looking positive.”DiCarlo told council at a special closed meeting Jan. 14 he was experiencing a medical condition that he believed might affect his attendance at council meetings, according to a report Monday. He asked for council’s patience “as he works through this personal matter with his family” and said he would keep council updated.Ontario’s Municipal Act states that a councillor can not miss more than three successive months of meetings without a council resolution.If council hadn’t authorized DiCarlo’s continued absence, and he didn’t return by July 23, he would default his office.DiCarlo is believed to be continuing to receive his pay, which totals about $29,000 a year. In the past, councillors on medical leave have continued to be paid. However, council could have opted to suspend DiCarlo’s pay.Staff suggested the town consider updating its compensation policy to address councillors’ medical or personal leaves extending beyond three months. Council has the authority to change the policy, but it could be “subject to political criticism,” the report warned.As mayor, DiCarlo also sits on Essex County council, along with Meloche. County council will also have to authorize DiCarlo’s absence if it extends longer than three months.Related
The town’s council named Prue an alternate member of county council to fill in for DiCarlo. Staff recommended an alternate “in order for Amherstburg to maintain its current representation on county council.”DiCarlo, a lab co-ordinator at the University of Windsor’s physics department, was first elected mayor in 2014. He was re-elected in 2018 with more than 62 per cent of the firstname.lastname@example.org