Upper Arlington News

Staton eyes April return to work

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Upper Arlington's city manager said last week he's progressing following heart bypass surgery last month and hopes to be back at work in April.

Coronary artery disease brought on by a 35-year battle with juvenile diabetes forced Upper Arlington City Manager Ted Staton into the hospital Feb. 23 and resulted in heart bypass surgery five days later.

The procedure has kept Staton away from his job since then, and the absence has taken up a good share of his allotted sick and vacation time, he said last week.

However, Staton said his condition is improving and he expects to return to work as Upper Arlington's top administrator in "early April."

"Coronary bypass surgery is serious, but has become commonplace in today's world," Staton said. "I'm regaining strength every day and my doctors are pleased with my recovery."

Staton said he's sticking to doctors' orders regarding diet and exercise, and he's walking a little longer each day to rebuild his strength.

Although he's been out of the office for a month, he's kept in touch with city officials to stay abreast of municipal projects. He's also provided insight to various administrators on day-to-day operations and decisions, he said, and expects to pick up where he left off upon his return.

"After a few days of reorientation, I expect to work a full schedule," he said.

In Staton's absence, Upper Arlington Assistant City Manager Joe Valentino has served as interim-city manager.

"Several members of the leadership team are collaborating with (Valentino) to address issues and help keep projects on track," said Emma Speight, Upper Arlington community affairs director. "We anticipate that Ted will assume his duties in their entirety, with the continued support of key staff members as he returns to full strength."

As Staton continues his recovery, he said he's appreciated his peers lending a helping hand and he's been impressed with those city officials who've filled in throughout his absence.

"I'm looking forward to getting back to full speed as city manager as soon as possible," he said. "The city is in good hands with a leadership team that is working together to keep projects on track.

"I'm thankful to all involved for their efforts and support."

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