District 5 Councilor Ronald DeNapoli has not showed up to a Town Council meeting for more than three months and was attending only intermittently before that, leaving many residents and even fellow councilors wondering where he was.
Earlier this month, DeNapoli spoke with a reporter from the Patriot Ledger, saying that he had been diagnosed with an unspecified illness. And during Tuesday night's council meeting, President Charles Kokoros said that he had received an email from DeNapoli that indicated he will return for the March 19 meeting.
"I have been diagnosed with a very private medical issue, I have been recovering for a few months now and learning how to cope with my illness again this is a very private matter," DeNapoli wrote to Kokoros on Feb. 25.
"I'm starting to feel better," he continued. "I can't wait to get back to the council."
DeNapoli has been a councilor since 2008. He was re-elected in November 2011, beating out Bill Sweeney and Marybeth Canwell.
Kokoros said the last time he spoke with DeNapoli was likely around the holidays. Councilors are often absent for one reason or another, Kokoros added, and the most important thing is that there is a quorum so the council can conduct business.
"If someone has health issues we have to respect their privacy," Kokoros said. "I wish the best for him."