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Laconia mayor heads west to battle cancer

Union Leader Correspondent

September 24. 2017 9:46PM
Laconia Mayor Ed Engler, shown here in June 2015 outside the Colonial Theatre on Main Street, is will be out of the city for up to two months for surgery and treatment for colon cancer. (John Koziol/Correspondent)

LACONIA — Ed Engler, who has been mayor since 2013 and is running uncontested for reelection in November, has left the city to address a pressing health challenge.

In an email Friday morning to the six city councilors, Engler wrote that he had just received a diagnosis of colon cancer.

President of the Laconia Daily Sun newspaper and formerly its publisher and editor, Engler said that he would leave Saturday morning to have surgery at the University of California-Irvine Medical Center, where his daughter, who is a doctor, works.

“I will be away for at least a month, probably closer to two,” Engler said in the email, a copy of which was obtained by the Union Leader. “I will keep you posted as to my progress and, after surgery, will be available via phone, email, etc.”

Engler pointed out that the councilors were aware that “I have been dealing with some health issues over the past several months and on Wednesday evening my latest CT scan results came back with the diagnosis that I have colon cancer.”

On Saturday night, in an email to the Union Leader, Engler wrote that he had been “battling a nasty infection in my lower back all summer.” When the source was identified as colon cancer, “Surgery to remove the tumor was immediately recommended and I decided to have the operation and follow-up treatment,” he said, at the UC-Irvine Medical Center.

Under the City Council’s rules of procedure, “In case of the mayor’s absence or temporary incapability,” the mayor pro tem “shall act as Mayor during the continuance of the absence.”

Armand Bolduc, who is the Ward 6 councilor, is the mayor pro tem, having been chosen earlier during the current council session by his colleagues.

Laconia has a “weak” mayor, meaning that the city manager, not the mayor, is the municipality’s full-time executive officer.

The mayor sets the agenda for the City Council, controls the proceedings of council meetings and can vote to break ties.

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