McCleary Mayor Gary Dent announced to the residents of McCleary that his cancer had returned, despite aggressive treatment and a surgery. Dent had the skin on the back of his head removed and was feeling better, returning back to his regular duties.
However, Dent says the cancer had returned and, although he will not be available all the time, he still plans to continue in his post as mayor. Dent won re-election to his sixth term in November. Shortly thereafter, he says his doctor discovered he had cancer.
When Dent is not at City Hall, he says he has tapped Mayor Pro Tem Ben Ator to serve in his stead.
Dent tasked City Attorney Dan Glenn to write the following letter, which was distributed last week:
This has been prepared at the request of Mayor Dent so as to update the citizens of the city, including his fellow elected officials and city employees, as to his status and the future. However, since he has not reviewed it, hopefully it will properly summarize his comments to me, his situation and his goals. It should also be recognized that I have written this as someone who has known Gary for over 30 years, both as an elected official and as an interested citizen.
As we are all aware, the last year has been a very stressful period for the mayor, primarily as the result of the diagnosis of the presence of cancer and the treatment associated with seeking to “cure” it. The situation was not made any less stressful by the recent diagnosis that it has reappeared. He has made it clear to all who have attended meetings of the council and talked to him that he is hopeful the second round of treatment will resolve once and for all this health challenge. Anyone who has had cancer or has had a relative or friend going through this situation knows the stress and strain and the multiple effects these can have on one’s pattern of life.
All of that being said, what Gary has determined is that one of the unfortunate results of all these factors is he had begun to consume too much alcohol with many of the effects that such use can have on one. As one would expects, given his style as a teacher and as mayor, he has decided to take the issue straight on by commencing intensive treatment to resolve his problem of overuse of alcohol. He anticipates that, after the first few days, the program of treatment will be carried out concurrently with the radiological treatment for the cancer return. During the very limited periods during treatment when he is not available, he has confidence in the ability of Mayor Pro Tem Ben Ator to fill in for him.
In the discussions with him, he has made it very clear he is looking forward to continuing to serve the citizens of the city as mayor and to live a good life in the town, for which he has made it very clear to me and others, he care for a great deal. He also expressed his appreciation for the aid, support and guidance so many of his friends have provided him during this time. Since things have moved so quickly, if anyone has a comment or question, feel free to give Jennie Reed, who has been so much help to Gary as he has worked through this, a call.
May Gary succeed in meeting these goals.