Pounds: Ringing for BellWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | firstname.lastname@example.org
There are a number of modest voices starting to squeak about replacing Mike Bell as Toledo’s mayor, but all of them together are going to have a tough time drowning out Bell’s record of progress.
There are still many months to go, but if the election took place next week, what arguments are there against Bell retaining his office? Bell has reached out to surrounding communities with an eye on cooperation and inclusion. His administration has put (contested) money back in the rainy day fund, arranged for a class of police officers and helped accommodate the smooth opening of Hollywood Casino Toledo, the city’s biggest development investment in a very long time.
Bell’s efforts to chisel out a place for Toledo on the global stage will have decades of continuing impact. His latest trip, a late-November visit to China, was another marketing and exposure success that further cultivates the seeds of commerce he has been planting on the international stage.
“The marketing of the Toledo region throughout all of China by the 5 Lakes Global team with the support of Mayor Bell, the Regional Growth Partnership and members of the Toledo business community has been astonishing,” said James Lindsay, president of Louisville Title of Toledo, who made his third trip to China with the recent Toledo delegation.
There are those who are ready to combat Bell over his 2011 support of Senate Bill 5, which would have restricted public employee collective bargaining; it is interesting that even though their side “won,” they would advance that ideology over what is best for the city’s momentum.
We have questioned and criticized some of Bell’s budget decisions and continue to be concerned about some of the communication issues between Bell and City Council. But with Matt Szollosi apparently out of the race, those publicly acknowledging their interest in the mayor’s office seem to be much more interested in their own advancement than what is best for Toledo.
Bell has restored dignity and action to an office that was sorely lacking both qualities. His challengers will need a lot more than the same old rhetoric and misguided ambition to take a serious shot at silencing his voice.
Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press and Toledo Free Press Star. Contact him at email@example.com.