JOE McNAMARA

Mayoral hopeful outlines his plans

Proposal includes ‘co-op’ businesses

7/10/2013
BY FEDERICO MARTINEZ
BLADE STAFF WRITER
McNamara
McNamara

Mayoral candidate Joe McNamara says Toledo must start “investing in ourselves” if the city’s economy is to improve and see more jobs.

Mr. McNamara outlined a five-point economic plan that he says will stimulate the city's economy, create more jobs, and develop a long-term plan for continued progress during a news conference held in downtown Toledo on Tuesday.

As a city councilman, Mr. McNamara, a Democrat, pointed out that he supported the “Local Preference Ordinance,” which enables council the option to select a local company bidding for a job even if their bid isn’t the lowest. As mayor he would continue to promote the plan, he said.

“When we invest in local businesses, we are investing in Toledo,” Mr. McNamara said.

One of Mr. McNamara’s more ambitious plans is to create “co-operative businesses” that would require initial financial backing from large institutions like the University of Toledo.

Based on a model in Cleveland, the co-operative businesses would be placed in low-income communities to aid redevelopment efforts, he said.

Residents, who would co-own the businesses, would help determine what businesses are most needed in their community.

“It would create more jobs and in the long-run lead to home ownership, better healthcare, and education,” Mr. McNamara said. “It’s another example of investing in ourselves.”

Another priority would be to conduct a national search to hire a “qualified economic developer,” Mr. McNamara said. The position is currently filled by an interim director.

A professionally trained developer could create better opportunities for the city, Mr. McNamara said.

“There seems to be a ‘good ol’ boy mentality in Toledo,” he said. “As mayor, I would conduct a search for a qualified economic developer.”

Mr. McNamara also proposed encouraging more businesses to take advantage of energy efficient programs that would save them money.

He also would like to see Toledo create a private/​public partnership that would allow the city to do all of its own recycling locally.

Mr. McNamara is the third candidate for mayor in just two days to hold a news conference proposing political ideas.

On Monday, city councilman D. Michael Collins became the first candidate to file petitions in what could become a crowded Sept. 10 primary election ballot for mayor.

An independent, Mr. Collins is borrowing a Republican idea in the multi-point platform he rolled out.

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.

Also Monday, Lucas County Auditor Anita Lopez, a Democrat, blasted opponent Mayor Mike Bell over the failure of water and sewer pipes that caused a giant sinkhole in central Toledo.

Contact Federico Martinez at: fmartinez@theblade.com or 419-724-6154.