Bell, city delegation arrive in Germany for trade mission

4/10/2013
BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Mayor Bell, center, walks with Toledo Finance Director Patrick McLean, left, and Public Information Officer Jen Sorgenfrei, right, arrive in Delmenhorst, Germany, today.
Mayor Bell, center, walks with Toledo Finance Director Patrick McLean, left, and Public Information Officer Jen Sorgenfrei, right, arrive in Delmenhorst, Germany, today.

DELMENHORST, Germany -- Mayor Mike Bell strutted today along the "Bahnhofstrasse" after arriving by train in Delmenhorst -- one of Toledo's international sister cities for more than a decade.

Beaming with a smile he had already been wearing for several days while in Switzerland on a personal trip, Mr. Bell added Europe to his quest to find foreign direct investment and jobs for Toledo. But he also wants a better quality of life and art like he viewed beginning Saturday in Zug, Switzerland and today in Delmenhorst.

As always, the mayor dismissed critics of his trip to Germany just as he did when people questioned his travels to China, Japan, and India.

"Because we live in a very, very close-minded portion of the United States, people think this is some sort of frill," the mayor said just after arriving by train from Switzerland. "I am on duty the whole time I am here, I am doing what I think I am supposed to do as a mayor in creating a vision for a city that actually has a potential to do a lot of great things."

Much of Toledo's delegation arrived in Delmenhorst early today after flying into nearby Bremen, a much larger city.

Deputy Mayor Paul Syring, Public Information Officer Jen Sorgenfrei, and City Finance Director Patrick McLean traveled to Germany for the trade mission, which also includes attending Hanover Messe, the largest trade show in the world.The fair has already opened and continues throughout the week.