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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
Toledo Mayor Mike Bell has already been to China and
India in hopes of creating relationships to bring new investment and jobs to
the area, and now he's leading a Glass City delegation to Germany.
The trip will be based out of Delmenhorst, Toledo's
Sister City in Germany.
The debate back home is whether it's a worthy endeavor,
or a taxpayer-funded vacation. Kevin Scanlon says it's hard to criticize at
"I think it's worth a chance, anything to help the
economy," he said. "If it brings future revenue it might be worth it."
Tracy McGee says the trip will ultimately be judged years
down the road.
"I grew up in Fremont, and Toledo was a town everybody
came to, and I'd like to see it be the diamond it once was, so I don't think
it's a bad thing," McGee said. "I just hope something comes out of it."
Councilman Joe McNamara is critical of the mayor's trip,
calling it a vacation paid for by taxpayer money, but Councilman Rob Ludeman disagrees.
"I've been to Europe representing the city, both in
Germany and Spain. It's nowhere near a vacation. You're busy from dawn to dusk.
You're meeting with people and creating relationships that hopefully will be
fruitful," Ludeman said.
On Thursday and Friday, the delegation will be attending
the Hannover Industrial Fair, an event Ludeman says the mayor should be at.
"When you look at what we have in Toledo with our
engineering, the solar capacity and our auto industry, they all fit together
with what he'll be talking about."
The mayor is joined on the trip by three of his top city
staffers: Deputy Mayor Paul Syring, Finance Director Patrick McLean and Public
Information Officer Jen Sorgenfrei.