Pounds: Collins’ revolutionWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | firstname.lastname@example.org
I was with Mike Bell the night he won the 2009 mayor’s race against Keith Wilkowski and I was with him Nov. 5 when he lost the election to D. Michael Collins.
I have stood beside Bell for four years, watching him dramatically change the city’s culture. He welcomed the suburbs back to the table. He made tough moves to balance the budget. He courted — and won — international investment in Toledo that made national headlines.
He was never afraid to speak his mind, whether it was negotiating with unions or fighting to protect the city’s so-called “gang map.”
I admire and respect Bell and count our friendship among my most important relationships.
But we lost this fight and we have to look to the immediate and long-term future. It will be crucial for Collins to organize a transition team and staff that can implement his vision without completely undermining the work Bell has done.
I particularly hope he will find a way to balance his Toledo neighborhoods agenda with the progress Bell made with international development.
In his published acceptance speech, Collins began to pay back his union supporters by promising to join the statewide fight against making Ohio a right-to-work state. That may not be his most informed choice, but he made several promises he should follow through on.
- He said he will “fight neighborhood blight and will work with neighborhood organizations and block watch groups.”
- He said he will enforce nuisance abatement regulations, increase beautification efforts and “restore the pride to living in Toledo.”
- He said he will bring police and fire strength “to appropriate levels.”
- He said he will “reduce city bureaucracy and impediments to business development, cut the red tape associated with obtaining permits and make Toledo a true business-friendly environment.”
The Bell revolution was rebuffed by Toledo voters; Collins will take the wheel from here and steer us forward. We owe him support and our best efforts as we all seek to build a better, stronger Toledo.
We must be united not in politics but in the desire to make our home the best place it can be.
Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press and Toledo Free Press Star. Contact him at email@example.com.