Can council and mayor take politics out of governing? - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Can council and mayor take politics out of governing?

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Toledo city council members are electing a new council president, Tuesday, after Joe McNamara stepped down to run for mayor.

But how can council and the mayor prevent politics from getting in the way of a political campaign?

Mayor Mike Bell (I-Toledo) announced he's running for re-election, three weeks ago.

Last week, city council president Joe McNamara stepped into the ring.

But already, the two sides are pulling out the knives.

Mayor Bell said this to 13abc reporter Bill Hormann about McNamara:  "I have more spinal cord than he'll probably ever have."

McNamara had this to say about the mayor: "I think he is going to make this a very difficult race and be unprofessional about it."

Put right in the middle of this election year fight is city council.

All the members have to work with the Bell administration.

"It's become a little bit more antagonistic"

Adam Martinez blames both sides for any tension on issues like public safety, contracts and economic development.

He told 13abc, "The administration tends to react and let us know after the fact and council tends to act without the administration knowing ahead of time."

There are individual council members who tend to tussle with the administration more.  Councilman D. Michael Collins (I-Toledo) is one.   But he lays the blame for any antagonism at the door of Mayor Bell, telling 13abc,  "The patronization that he gives to the legislative body is one of the issues that is challenging for all of us."

The mayor's office sees criticisms of its proposes as coming from council members with political agendas.

Both sides want to do what's best for public safety, job creation and city services; they just differ on *how* to do it.

"In a healthy relationship there's always tension."

Councilman Mike Craig (D-Toledo) insists, during this election year, every politician needs to think of the taxpayer *first*.  
 
"When you lose sight of that that's when bad decisions are made," he said.

The mayor's office says  it is committed to cooperation but when differences exist debate is necessary.   Even if it comes during a political re-election year.

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