Bell: The leader Toledo needsWritten by Mike Bell | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Earlier this year, I resigned my job as State Fire Marshal and returned to my hometown to run for mayor. I took this step because I believe in the people of our city. Toledoans are fighters. We are hardworking and honest. We are struggling through tough times, but we have been here before. We will not quit and we will find our way back to prosperity.
I grew up in this city. I went to college here, and I was honored to be your fire chief for 17 years. I know this city.
I also know that people want a government they can count on. They want a city government that is as resourceful, energetic and persistent as they are. I am the candidate who can lead Toledo there.
This year, I was the only candidate to develop his platform by listening to the people — a process that involved hundreds of citizens. My plan is titled “Pride and Performance: Strong Leadership for a High-Functioning City” because I believe that’s what Toledoans are looking for. A mayor they can be proud of and who will deliver for the people.
The most important issue in this campaign is jobs. My plan includes a strong and detailed jobs plan.
Unemployment is taking its toll on our city. Toledo’s jobless rate is at a 20-year high. As a result, people are hurting. My first priority as mayor must be to find ways to put Toledoans back to work — now!
I believe that the only real way to create good, long-term, well-paying jobs is to make our community a good place for employers to do business. Toledo must restore its reputation as a city where it is easy to locate and grow a business.
My career has taught me to collaborate, prioritize and focus, then act decisively to get results. To me, this means we do not need 21-point economic plans. It recognizes the mayor can’t do it all himself. It requires us to take full advantage of the services already offered by the Lucas County Community Improvement Corporation, the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, UT and other public and private entities — particularly to educate and train youth and adults for the jobs of the future.
The Leadership Fund of the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce reviewed my economic plan and the economic plan of my opponent. I am proud to say that these business leaders — with lifetimes of job creation experience — endorsed my economic development plan, as have numerous labor unions.
I know Toledoans place a high priority on ensuring the community is safe.
Toledo’s current budget crisis has resulted in cuts in police on the streets and elimination of some key police functions.
As a career firefighter and first responder, I believe that public safety is the city government’s first and most basic function. Toledo residents and business owners must be confident that if they dial 911, fire and emergency medical personnel will arrive quickly — no matter where the call. They must know that enough police are deployed on the streets to deter criminal behavior and respond to safety emergencies rapidly.
The Bell administration will place the highest priority on public safety, assuring ample man power, use state-of-the art methods and technology to become more effective and expecting professional and responsive behavior from every member of the safety forces.
I am proud that the local fire fighters, patrol officers and police command officers have endorsed my campaign for mayor, after examining both candidates.
Most of all, the people of Toledo know that the city is a complex operation. In order for any candidate to accomplish his goals, they will need to have strong experience managing complicated organizations. On this measure, my experience is unique. I am the only candidate in this race who has run a complex organization, in government or out.
For 17 years, I was Toledo’s Fire Chief. I was responsible for 500 employees and more a budget more than $50 million annually. I worked with our staff and labor unions to create an environment of trust, so that we could fulfill our mission of service to the public.
If you haven’t been there and done that, you won’t know how.
It has been a great privilege to serve Toledoans, first as fire chief, then as fire marshal, and now as a candidate for mayor. We are facing challenges, but I believe Toledoans are ready to bring this city back. I have the ideas and experience to be the leader our city needs in these times, and I ask the people of Toledo for their vote.
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