'I want to be mayor until 2016'
IPSWICH Mayor Paul Pisasale has shrugged off reports ill-health may stop him running for mayor at the council elections next year.
A report on Channel Nine News suggested his Multiple Sclerosis would make him think twice about seeking another term in office.
“I am running. I'm as fit as a fiddle,” said Councillor Pisasale, who was elected mayor in March 2004 and re-elected in March 2008.
“My specialist has given me the all-clear, my doctor has given me the all-clear and my MS specialist said: ‘Mate if you didn't tell anybody, no-one would even know.'
“The only reason I tell people about my MS is so I can help people who have got issues with their health.
“At the moment I'm working 24/7 and I haven't had an attack in five years.
“The city has really given me the strength to go on. There's a job to be done here. If the people of Ipswich want me, I'm prepared to put myself forward for another term to finish the job.
“At the end of the day I think I've done a fair enough job and put a lot of effort into the city.”
CR PISASALE also took the opportunity to put an end to lengthy speculation he would move into state or federal politics.
“Got no chance,” he said.
“I've had offers from state and federal, but I made a commitment to do a good job as mayor and I have no thoughts of using this as a stepping stone to other levels of government.
“I've had a lot of offers including consultancy offers and offers from other councils.
“I've had offers from about 30 other cities, wanting me to be their mayor. I won't say who so I don't embarrass the mayors.”
Paul Pisasale revealed publicly three years ago he had MS but he said it hadn't been a problem for him for years.
“When I first got the attacks I'd wake up and I couldn't lift my head off the pillow,” he said.
“I had four attacks but that was in the first four years.
“I've taken up golf and I'm not very good at it but I enjoy hitting that little white ball because I think back to when they said I might not be able to walk.
“I said to my doctor: ‘I start the day at the gym at 5am and by the time I get home about 11pm I'm feeling really tired.' He said: ‘Mate, that's not MS, anyone would be tired after that'.”
He laughed off suggestions he worked too hard, saying he was happy to put in long hours because he enjoyed his job.
“I get 400, 500 emails a day and I answer every phone call before I go home,” he said. “Everything I do, I don't think about getting a vote. I've got a wonderful staff who, when I'm away, they're me and the whole council is responding to the vision.”