PLANT CITY Veteran City Commissioner Bill Dodson is on the mend after open heart surgery.
It took an operation of more than six hours at St. Joseph's Hospital to replace a defective valve in the 61-year-old Dodson's heart. He's recovering at home.
"I'm getting along pretty well but it was a big surgery," Dodson said.
He hopes to return to his job, at least part time, as senior vice president of Florida Brick & Clay Co. as early as next week. He also plans to return to his seat at the city commission for the Aug. 12 meeting.
Dodson said he had his aortic heart valve replaced about 15 years ago, and a recent exam showed the valve was failing. He said he was experiencing shortness of breath and was told he was in the early stages of heart failure.
He was operated on July 11 at the Tampa hospital and went home July 15.
Dodson has served on the city commission for 11 years, including one term as mayor. He also served for 24 years on the city planning board.
In the 1970s he served as assistant city manager in Plant City and Temple Terrace, and as city manager in Enfield, N.C.
He and his wife, 1968 Florida Strawberry Festival queen Silvia Azorin Dodson, have two children, Austin and Brittney.