Council president only stopped working while under anesthesia, says staff


Seventeen days after major surgery, City Council President Darlene Harris presided over Council on Aug. 26 in person, despite the fact that her recovery will take six to eight weeks.

“I feel it’s my obligation,” Harris said. “I’m committed to what I do. I am trying to be careful not to overdo it.”

Harris was admitted to Allegheny General Hospital July 31with severe stomach and intestinal pain. She had surgery on Aug. 9 and left the hospital Aug. 18.

Despite that, Harris has been performing her duties as well as she can over the phone.

“I’m putting in a pretty solid work day,” she said, adding that she was working 40-plus hour weeks. “No one will get anything past me,” she said with a laugh.

Although she is unable to work from her office most days, she has been presiding over council meetings and attended a ribbon cutting for a new deck hockey rink in Marmaduke Park in Brighton Heights on Friday, Sept. 3.

The ribbon cutting was important to the community she said, and that’s why she made an effort to go, even though she is not yet feeling 100 percent.

Her doctor told her she will know if she overdoes it, so she’s trying her best not to work too hard while still keeping up with her responsibilities.

She is excited that the city is considering the purchase of an asphalt recycling machine at her request.

“It’ll actually take the old asphalt, recycle it, and put it down all at once,” Harris said, which will save time and money repaving streets.

Harris’s staff said in a press release the only time the council president was not working was when she was under anesthesia for surgery. Harris credits them with working long hours to help her keep up with everything.

“They love their jobs as much as I love mine,” she said.
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