Published DateBATH —Following newspaper reports that he is suffering from cancer, longtime Executive Councilor and Grafton County Commissioner Ray Burton of Bath issued a statement about his health yesterday.
"After months of tests," Burton began, "I have been diagnosed with curable kidney cancer." He went on to say that he expected to undergo treatment for between two and three months. While undergoing treatment, he said, "I will temporarily reduce my travel and meetings schedule."
Burton represents 108 towns — nearly half the 234 in the state — and four cities in the seven northernmost counties and is well known for regularly visiting them all, by automobile, airplane and railroad train.
In his 35 years as an executive councilor he has only missed one meeting and has rarely missed meetings of the Grafton County Commission during his 19 years as a commissioner. He said that he will be participating in meeting "via electronic hook-up."
Burton reminded constituents that Ben Belanger, a senior at Plymouth State University and the 142nd intern to serve with him, can be reached at 271-3632 and will respond to any inquiries.
"I expect to be back under full steam shortly," Burton said. "I thank my constituents, family and friends for their outpouring of support, but fear not. Ray Burton will be back to 100-percent before you know it, passing out business cards and combs! I am forever humbly at your service."
Burton, who is 73, has begun his 18th term on the Executive Council, where he has served for 34 of the past 36 years.