D. Michael Collins, center, goes over paperwork with campaign finance clerk Glynis Fuentes, right, after turning in petition signatures to the Lucas County Board of Elections today.
THE BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH
City Councilman D. Michael Collins filed his petitions for mayor of Toledo today, the first person to do so in what could become a crowded Sept. 10 primary election ballot.
An independent and a retired city police officer, Mr. Collins is borrowing a Republican idea in the multi-point platform he rolled out today after submitting his signatures at the Lucas County Board of Elections.
Under his plan, the current temporary 0.75-percent income tax would be made permanent and the total income tax burden would be reduced from 2.25 percent to 2.2 percent.
He said the reduction would save Toledo taxpayers about $3.4 million.
"I believe that we will be the first city in Ohio that has reduced income tax and I look at it as a tool to develop economically our community," Mr. Collins said.
The filing deadline for mayor is Friday afternoon, and at least six other people have indicated they intent to file petitions: incumbent independent Mayor Mike Bell, Democrat Lucas County Auditor Anita Lopez, Democrat Councilman Joe McNamara, independent city neighborhood development specialist Alan Cox, Libertarian retired city finance employee Michael Konwinski, and Republican evangelist Opal Covey.
Mr. Collins said he turned in about 1,300 signatures, hoping to have enough valid voter signatures to meet the minimum number of 750.
A spokesman for Mayor Bell said Mr. Collins' proposal would result in a significant reduction in city revenues at a time when it is still struggling to pay for city operations.
Mr. Collins vowed to hire new police and firefighters annually, saying he would balance the budget by eliminating unnecessary administrative jobs and replacing higher-paid retiring officers with lower-paid entry-level employees.
"We have far too many supervisors and too few employees," Mr. Collins said, though he didn't identify the specific supervisory posts he would abolish.
He said the permanent tax would improve the city’s interest rate for borrowing.
Mr. Collins was elected to South Toledo's District 2 in 2007 and re-elected in 2011. His platform also calls for more nuisance inspectors and stepped-up neighborhood services.
As for economic development, Mr. Collins said his proposals would create 1,000 new jobs in Toledo, reduce the “brain drain” of talented young people, and revitalize the riverfront.
Also divulging her political platform today was independent city council candidate Theresa Gabriel, who vowed an emphasis on senior citizens’ safety, city infrastructure maintenance, and neighborhood improvement.
Ms. Gabriel, who is running for one of six at-large council seats, would increase police strength, expand neighborhood police patrols, and repair streets, sidewalks, and curbs “as a priority, not an after-thought.” She proposed a goal of demolishing 400 vacant homes annually.
She is the third candidate to file. Already filed are Ernest McCarthy and Alfonso Narvaez, who are both Republicans.
Contact Tom Troy at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6058.