Waterville Mayor Jay Coelho has decided that he will remain in office, reversing the stance that he held in July after undergoing emergency heart surgery.
Coelho was taken by LifeFlight to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in July to have two blood clots removed. The blood clots are the result of a lifelong acute heart condition. However, on Tuesday he announced that he was feeling better and was determined to continue to serve the city, the Morning Sentinel reported.
Coelho told the Kennebec newspaper that he has been back at home and is doing physical therapy exercises, and has talked over the decision to continue with his role as mayor with his doctors and family.
He told the Morning Sentinel that he is feeling better than he did in his 30s, and that he felt there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.
His newest goal is to tap into funds that Waterville will receive from the American Rescue Plan to ensure that city employees get a bonus for the work they have done throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Coelho would also like to use stimulus funding to offer bonuses to other front line employees, such as public safety staff, the newspaper reported.
Coelho was elected mayor of the city in November following a two-year stint as a city councilor. During his time in public office, he has pushed for maintaining a stable tax rate, supporting the local fire department in obtaining a transport ambulance service and advocating for the funding of after-school care programs.