By Kevin Werner, News Staff
It was a welcome fit for a king – at least of the east end of Hamilton.
Long-time Ward 3 councillor Bernie Morelli received a round of applause from his colleagues at the Aug. 16 council meeting after taking a leave of absence due to a severe illness\ that began early this summer. City staff also rushed to say hello, and to wish Morelli well after the meeting was over.
“I’m not trying to be a hero, I just thought I should be here,” said the 70-year-old politician.
Morelli spent a month in hospital after suffering from septic shock. He initially believed he had the flu, but when it became worst, including a temperate of over 100 degrees, he was rushed to hospital.
Even when he was ill, he managed to take calls from residents, and with help from his office staff, assisted constituents’ questions during his absence.
Over the last few years Morelli has experienced a number of other health-related issues, but he says his mind is as sharp as ever, and his desire to help Hamiltonians and the city remains strong. He still gets energized over political debates, and can’t seem to get away from the issues of the day.
Morelli was first elected as an alderman for Ward 3 in the former city of Hamilton in 1991. He has been re-elected in every subsequent municipal election by a wide margin.
“I still love doing this,” he said. “When you love something, you don’t want to give it up. I don’t think I can.”