Methuen mayor hospitalized since Sunday

Methuen Mayor Neil Perry has been hospitalized twice in the last two weeks for a gastrointestinal illness, he said.

For the second time in as many weeks Mayor Neil Perry checked himself into the hospital for treatment of a gastrointestinal illness, he said Tuesday.

"I've been in the hospital since Sunday," Perry said. "It's GI-related and next week I'm having my gall bladder removed."

Perry said he is still working, and even held a budget meeting Tuesday morning with the city's Chief Administrative Financial Officer Maggie Duprey.

Perry had promised to have the fiscal year 2021 budget to the City Council by last Friday. The illness seems to have caused a slight delay in those plans, however.

"I know many of you have noticed my recent absence from City Hall," Perry said in a statement to councilors and city workers. "Since many of you have been kind enough to ask about my health, I thought I'd provide an update."

He went on to say he hadn't been feeling well the last week or so and had been in touch with his doctor.

However, he said, "the exact cause of my discomfort proved to be a little elusive. Over this past weekend I opted for a brief stay in the hospital with the hope of getting to the bottom of the situation. Fortunately, it was time well spent. I have a diagnosis and a treatment plan I am comfortable with."

He went on to say he would "continue to work remotely" and continues to work on the city budget, which he said would be completed Wednesday.

It is actually the second time he's been in the hospital in two weeks. He spent the weekend of June 26-28 in the hospital, he told city councilors during a Zoom meeting to discuss the budget on June 29.

He confirmed it again June 30, during a second meeting with the council. Councilors all wished him well.

He said that he wouldn't have to give up the reins of power, since the City Charter calls for the mayor to be absent for three consecutive working days before the council must vote for a temporary mayor from among the councilors.

Perry said that when he has his gall bladder removed, he may take a day off and possibly a vacation, at which point the council may have to appoint a temporary mayor.

"I have all my faculties," Perry said. "I will work from home for this week."

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the closure of many offices and businesses, Perry has been working in his office at City Hall, he said.

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