Columbia Association President Deborah O. McCarty will take an eight-week leave of absence, beginning early next year.
McCarty formally requested -- and was granted -- the leave at a closed-door Columbia Council session last week because of her son's medical problems. "We know that wherever possible, or wherever she is, she's only a phone call away," said Joseph Merke, the council chairman. "And we understand and we appreciate the problems and concerns of the family."
McCarty, a former Atlanta city councilwoman and recreation and parks director who replaced Padraic M. Kennedy as head of the homeowners group in August 1998, said yesterday that she doesn't expect the leave to be disruptive. She plans to honor commitments for several speaking engagements during the period.
"I'll be basically in and out," she said.
McCarty's leave will come as the Columbia Association prepares its final budget for the fiscal year that begins May 1. After public testimony, the council usually approves that budget in February.
McCarty has tapped Shelby A. Tucker King, the association's general counsel, to handle day-to-day operations, and Rafia Siddiqui, vice president for administrative services, to be in charge of the budget in her absence.
McCarty also is selling her home on Speedwell Court in Dorsey's Search. She and her family plan to rent a townhouse or condominium in the same village.