Mayor Jason Lary announced that he is once again battling cancer and requested medical leave until March 2021 during a council meeting last night. During the virtual council meeting, the mayor cited section 2.03 or the city charter that addresses council member’s attendance policies for city council meetings. Following the charter, the mayor requested to be excused from future city council meetings to begin cancer treatments. The council voted unanimously to excuse the mayor.
In 2018, the mayor successfully battled prostate cancer, receiving 20 rounds of radiation treatment, without missing a council meeting nor a day at work. This time, the mayor said that his routine would be different.
“My cancer has returned, and I am not going to go through what I did a year or so ago. I am not going to follow what our charter says. For lack of a better term, it is aggressive, and it has moved around,” the mayor said during last night’s meeting.
The city charter says that the mayor or council members forfeit their seats if they fail to attend one-third of the regularly scheduled city council meetings in a three-month period without being excused by the council.
Councilman Rob Turner made the motion to excuse the mayor. Councilmembers Jimmy Clanton and Jazzmin Cobble simultaneously seconded the motion, and the council voted unanimously for its approval.
The mayor’s prognoses are good. His doctors at Kaiser and Emory have devised a treatment plan that should enable the mayor to return to a healthy status. The mayor said that he values his privacy during his recovery; however, he will keep the public updated on his progress. He also stated that during this cancer battle, he will listen to his doctors and his wife, Debra Lary.
“My wife and I, and our family, are by nature very private people but when you are in public office this comes with it,” the mayor said. “Per my wife’s instructions, who I listen to the most, this time, I take care of me,” he added.