Fighting illness, Lafleur says he will not seek reelection

Fighting illness, Lafleur says he will not seek reelection

NORTH SMITHFIELD - School Committee Chairman Robert Lafleur has said he will not seek reelection when his term ends in 2016 and informed town officials this week that for the past several months he has been fighting cancer.

"Although 2016 is far off, this will be my last term," Lafleur said. "I will not be running for another term. After 36 years and counting of public service, I think it's time for other qualified, education-minded people to get involved."

In a letter to town and school department heads along with members of the School Committee and Town Council, Lafleur explained that he was diagnosed with the disease in late February and has since begun treatment. Lafleur assured officials that he will continue to serve as head of the board, but said that he may be unable to attend some meetings.

The treatment, he said, is expected to last until October.

"Please know that I am in contact with the administration and am continuing to fulfill my duties," he said.

Lafleur served on the North Smithfield School Committee from 1977 through 1999 and returned to the board in 2004. He was most recently elected in 2012 to serve for a four-year term, and has held the seat as chairman for the past 12 years.

For 14 years, Lafleur was executive director of National Utility Contractor's Association of Rhode Island, and since 2013, he has worked as a sales manager for Capital Promotions Products.

"Since being diagnosed, the support of my family and close friends has been overwhelming and extremely appreciated," Lafleur said in the letter, written on his behalf by Sherry D. McGahan, secretary to the superintendent of schools. "I ask for your patience and your prayers over the next few months. With the power of a positive attitude, I plan to beat this."