Canal Winchester Mayor Michael Ebert expects to be out of the office at least through the end of the year as he deals with medical issues but insists his duties will not suffer during his absence.
"I will have access to everything I have access to now, and my staff will be bringing me anything that can be signed," he said. "I just won't be sitting here in my chair in the office. That's the only difference."
Ebert did not want to elaborate on his health. He called his time away from the office a medical leave; city Finance Director Amanda Jackson said elected officials do not receive paid time off.
The city charter says if the mayor is temporarily absent from Canal Winchester or is temporarily unable to perform the duties of the mayor, "the president of council shall become the acting mayor and shall, during the period of absence or disability, perform all the powers, duties and functions of mayor, except he or she shall not have the power to veto ordinances or resolutions."
"There are procedures in place with the department directors and president of council, Bruce Jarvis, to handle matters when necessary," Jackson said. "While the mayor is out of the office, he is not out of communication and will continue to work on city matters as he is able and it is necessary."
Jarvis said he is prepared to carry out the mayor's duties according to the charter, if necessary.
"Most can be delegated until we have a better picture of where things might be headed," Jarvis said. "We're taking a soft approach where I'm checking in with staff periodically, and they're letting me know if anything unusual happens."
The finance director is authorized to make contract decisions on any matters worth $3,000 or less but anything over that amount needs authorization from the mayor or acting mayor, Jarvis said.
"Hopefully, Mike will get better soon and get back on the job," he said.
According to the city's website, the mayor is the chief executive, administrative and law enforcement officer for the city and is responsible for the administration of all municipal affairs.
The mayor is paid an annual salary of $95,983.12 plus a $500 monthly travel allowance for use of his personal vehicle for city business.
Ebert, a Canal Winchester resident for more than 40 years, was first elected mayor in November 2007 and assumed office in January 2008. His current term expires in December 2020.
Ebert was Canal Winchester's first elected city mayor and last elected village mayor. Thirty others have held the position dating back to Canal Winchester's first mayor, James B. Evans, who served from 1866-70.