For the first time in five months, District 5 Town Councilor Ronald DeNapoli sat behind the long table in Town Hall's Cahill Auditorium and announced his presence.
"Finally here," DeNapoli said during roll call at the start of Tuesday night's meeting.
DeNapoli's attendance was his first since Nov. 20, 2012. Since his re-election in fall 2011, DeNapoli has missed 51 percent of council meetings, with most of those absences coming since last July.
The councilor blamed the long absence on illness in an email to Town Council President Charles Kokoros last month, and on Tuesday he said it was a heart problem, declining to provide more detail.
"I'm doing a lot better," DeNapoli said. "I feel good and hopefully things will keep working well."
His constituents have expressed good wishes in calls and cards, DeNapoli said. He said he was not concerned that missing so many meetings meant less influence within the council for his district.
"The council handles everything fine in my absence," DeNapoli said.
DeNapoli said he has not decided whether or not to run again this fall. He added that he hopes Tuesday's attendance was not an aberration and that he will continue to show up to meetings.
"It's up to the man upstairs," DeNapoli said, "and I don't mean the mayor."