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Marrs reveals battle with cancer, budget deliberations moved to December

Posted November 27, 2013

Ward 1 councillor Bob Marrs revealed publicly Monday night that he is undergoing treatment for cancer.

Mr. Marrs made the revelation during discussion by council on moving up the 2014 budget deliberations to December from its previously scheduled dates in early January. The change is to allow the Alliston ward councillor to take part in the budget debates, who would otherwise have been unable to take part because of pending surgery.

"I'm doing well," Mr. Marrs told council, whose meetings are broadcast live over Rogers TV community channel. He told Free Press Online via email that his cancer is "operable and (surgery) to be done as soon as possible (very nasty cancer form they tell me) hoping to be ready before year end, first check for radiation success mid December."

Mr. Marrs lost a son to cancer a couple years ago, and has been one of the community leaders of the local cancer fundraising initiatives, particularly as an original part of the successful annual Relay for Life events in Alliston.

While councillors did approve moving the budget meetings to Decemember dates, it created a conflict for Ward 7 councillor Bruce Haire, who said he'll be forced to miss the meetings because of pre-planned vacation plans. "We fly out December 5th," said Mr. Haire. "I would have to cancel my flights and take the loss."

He noted the vacation plans were made based on the original budget date, and joked that if happened, "the mayor will be getting a call from my wife."

Mr. Haire noted the awkwardness of the situation, because he understood why the changes were being proposed.

The new budget schedule will start with a presentation meeting Thurs., Dec. 5, and working session on Sat., Dec. 7 starting at 9 am. The public input meeting is scheduled for Wed. Dec. 11, followed by a third working session the following night, and potential budget vote on Dec. 16.

Councillors did express concern that the budget schedule, particularly the public's participation could be hampered because it falls during the Christmas season. Mayor Mike MacEachern suggested if it becomes an issue, council can deal with it at the time.

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