Mayoral candidate Joe McNamara today promised to reopen the shuttered Northwest District Police Station in West Toledo if he is elected.
He also criticized Ohio Gov. John Kasich's budget because of its cuts to local government funding and Mayor Mike Bell's refusal to reopen the police station.
“If you look at what Toledo's share of what local government funding has been, it's been around $18 million under previous governors, then it sank under Governor Kasich and there is only a small growth,” Mr. McNamara said during a news conference in front of the closed police station on Sylvania Avenue.
“This is about a $9 million difference from what we are used to getting,” he said. “With $9 million there would be no excuse not to reopen this station.”
Mr. McNamara criticized Mayor Bell for supporting the governor's budget on Feb. 21 when Mr. Kasich was in Toledo for the Lucas County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day dinner.
“Mayor Bell shouldn't be endorsing a budget that is bad for Toledo,” Mr. McNamara said. “He should be advocating for Toledo... The mayor of Toledo needs to be a buddy to the people who live in this neighborhood first before he is a buddy to the governor.”
Mr. McNamara said people who live in West Toledo want the city to reopen the station.
“That mayor said 'crime has gone down' but it is not just about crime. It is about neighborhood stability,” he said. “People like living near fire stations and police stations and it creates that perception of safety. It creates that neighborhood anchor.”
On Feb. 21, Mr. Bell said he supported the governor’s budget plan and the Medicaid expansion.
Jen Sorgenfrei, Mr. Bell's spokesman, said the mayor supports the Medicaid expansion and other things in the budget.
“I think the primary reason he supports the budget is because they have found a way to support the Medicaid expansion,” she said. “The proposed budget does not cut funds to local government any further and if you look at transportation, it finds a way to maintain control of the Ohio Turnpike and directs more money to northwest Ohio for infrastructure improvements.”