RDCO director requests third extended, paid leave of absence - InfoNews

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RDCO director requests third extended, paid leave of absence

FILE PHOTO: Regional District of the Central Okanagan director Patty Hanson has sent a letter requesting another extended leave of absence.
October 19, 2017 - 7:30 PM

KELOWNA – A Central Okanagan Regional District director intends to take her third extended leave of absence since being elected three years ago.

Joe Rich-Ellison Director Patty Hanson submitted a letter from her doctor Sept. 15 notifying board chair Gail Given she would not be attending meetings “until further notice.” She did not attend the Oct. 12 meeting. 

Although Given declined to explain the reasons for this absence, she says the letter will be discussed at the next meeting on Oct. 23.

Last October, Hanson was given a second extended leave of absence after a private meeting with the board. Hanson told iNFOnews.ca the board was treating her “very badly” since she was sanctioned and removed from several committees and that she had a note from her doctor recommending stress leave.

"I am on stress leave from my doctor so I go according to my doctor's wishes not (the board's) wishes," she said.

In 2016 Hanson assigned a replacement to attend more than nine board meetings, despite a bylaw that says missing four in a row can result in removal.

Illness, Given says, is the only exception.

While there is currently no legislation that allows the board or voters to recall a sitting director, last year a resolution asking the province to look at recall legislation was made at the Union of B.C. Municipalities meeting in Penticton, according to Given. 

Hanson will continue to be paid for all meetings she misses and the board will have to also pay a stipend of $90 per meeting to her replacement as well. 

“Yes (it is fair),” Hanson said last year. “Because I’m on stress leave.”

Calls to Hanson were not returned. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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