Collins calls Moody “clueless” at debateWritten by Alissa Romstadt | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Tempers briefly flared at the Sept. 8 mayoral debate, but so did laughter.
Mike Bell said his motivations for running for mayor are not about control, money or power, but “bringing people together.” He stuck to that theme in answering many of his questions and said, “unless we start working together, we’re not going anywhere.”
D. Michael Collins said his campaign is built upon strong independent roots. He said he has no accountability or responsibility to any party. Voters and constituents are the only parties who will influence his decision, he said, and his voting record supports that fact.
After listening to a plan presented by Jim Moody that would reduce or eliminate income tax in Toledo, Collins heatedly and repeatedly called Moody “clueless.” Moody responded by saying that his response would be calm and respectful, and that other communities survived without an income tax.
Ben Konop said he is a candidate who plans on making big changes in the city so “every Toledoan has the opportunity to live the American Dream.” His “bold new agenda” will protect everyone from the single mother who has to choose between her electric bill and health insurance to the senior who can’t get his trash to the curb, he said.
Konop and Bell elicited laughter over an exchange in which Konop characterized Bell’s efforts to unite the community as a “Kum by ya” moment, and Keith Wilkowski garnered laughter when he challenged Bell to a basketball game.
Moody said he has built his campaign around answering three questions: “How are we going to pay for it? How are we going to do it? How soon is it going to occur?” He said he is a strong advocate for openness and transparency, proposing all government spending be open to public debate on the Internet.
Wilkowski said he will build the city through big ideas and bold action. He said he will use his experience and vision for the future to build relationships with neighboring regions to strengthen Toledo. A mayoral relationship with city council is also vital, he said.
The debate was sponsored by Toledo Free Press, Fox Toledo News First at 4 and 10 , Columbia Gas of Ohio and Glass City Jungle at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, Downtown. Candidates Mike Bell, D. Michael Collins, Ben Konop, Jim Moody and Keith Wilkowski were asked questions by panelists Laura Emerson, Fox Toledo News; Michael S. Miller, Toledo Free Press; and Lisa Renee Ward, Glass City Jungle. Shaun Hegarty, Fox Toledo News field anchor, served as moderator for the event.
Visit www.glasscityjungle.com to read a live-blogged transcript of the debate and read this weekend’s Toledo Free Press for expanded coverage.