As the only members of the Block family of Block Communications who reside in metro Toledo, we feel an obligation to express our strong support for the re-election of Mike Bell as mayor of Toledo. We take this position for the following reasons:
First, Mayor Bell made the hard decisions which prevented Toledo from being bankrupt like Detroit. The other candidate, Councilman Mike Collins, denies that the deficit was $48 million (independently verified by The Blade) and opposed every tough action that was required for financial survival.
Second, putting Mr. Collins, the former police patrolman president, in charge of negotiating with city unions would be like having the unions on both sides of the table — this would not be good for the taxpayers and the financial stability of the city. The truth is Mr. Collins has shown no understanding of the concept that the public worker interest and the public interest are often not the same thing.
Third, Mike Bell is right on economic development, particularly when he supports reaching beyond Toledo for the investment we need to grow again. Conversely, his opponent Mr. Collins has no real program and brings very little understanding of how to effect growth. Furthermore, the negative xenophobic ad bashing China, India, and Japan which is running on TV on his behalf is detrimental to attracting more foreign investment.
Fourth, Mike Bell and his police chief, Derrick Diggs, unequivocally support one of the greatest crime fighting breakthroughs in decades — police crime cameras. Shockingly, former police patrolman Collins does not. The councilman should understand police cameras are not a threat to police jobs. They are a threat to criminals.
Fifth, Mr. Collins is proposing a 47 percent increase in the permanent wage tax, the largest in city history. This wrong idea would seriously damage the power of the voters to hold politicians and city unions accountable.
Sixth, Mike Bell is the true independent who will not be beholden to power brokers and special interests outside Toledo as it appears Mr. Collins would be.
In the final analysis, although Mike Bell has made some mistakes, mainly because he is not a professional politician, we believe he has learned from those miscues and will be better in a second term; based on the overall outstanding job he has done in his first term, he deserves re-election on Tuesday.
ALLAN and SUSAN BLOCK