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Published: Tuesday, 6/30/2009

Collins announces he'll run for mayor

A life of leisure, for some, used to start at 65.

Toledo Councilman D. Michael Collins plans to announce at 10 a.m. today his 65th birthday that he is running for mayor.

I plan to stay within the basics how with the partnership of the citizens of the City of Toledo, we can save Toledo, Mr. Collins said of his upcoming campaign.

I m not going to be presenting lofty plans that I really and truly do not feel are doable, said Mr. Collins, an independent who has represented council s District 2 since January, 2008.

A major goal though is to ask mayors of neighboring communities and nearby township trustees if they will allow me the opportunity to work with them in moving northwestern Ohio into an economic position that it s rightfully deserving of, Mr. Collins said. I don t look at the regional political entities as opponents. I look at them as partners, and a victory for one is a victory for all.

Mr. Collins said last week that he was considering a run for mayor. Over the weekend, he consulted with his wife, Sandra, daughters Tamara Dickey, Laurie Mulligan, and Kelly Sheridan, and close friends.

[We] basically decided that we would enter the race, albeit late, but we were fully engaged, and I plan on running a successful campaign, the grandfather of seven said. This morning s announcement in Government Center is the result.

Other mayoral candidates include another independent, Mike Bell, a former Toledo fire chief and former state fire marshal; Democrats Ben Konop, a Lucas County commissioner, and Keith Wilkowski, a Toledo lawyer who is a former county commissioner and city law director, and Republican Jim Moody, a real estate investor and businessman.

All last week welcomed the prospects of a Collins candidacy.

Mr. Collins last night said: I have respect for each of my opponents, and I think each of them [has] character and quality, however I feel I make a difference in terms of my lifelong experiences.

Mr. Collins formerly was president of the Toledo Police Patrolman s Association, as often noted during protracted and contentious negotiations, just concluded, between the administration of Mayor Carty Finkbeiner and the patrolman's union.

Noted less frequently, Mr. Collins said, was his 18 years on the police force.

I served as a [Toledo] police officer in field operations and investigative services, he said. I bring with me the recognition of what public safety can be and should be, or better said, must be in our community.

Mr. Collins said that despite the campaign, he will keep the schedule of meetings and appointments his council seat requires.

My first and foremost responsibility is to my elected office, and I will not compromise that, he said.

Mr. Collins often has criticized Mayor Finkbeiner for mismanagement and misspending. Mr. Finkbeiner has not announced whether he will run again.



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