Sunday, March 9 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-03-10 02:54:31 GMT
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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
Councilman D. Michael Collins has picked up another union's endorsement in his bid to become mayor of Toledo.
The Northwest Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council threw its support behind Collins on Tuesday.
At a press conference overlooking the undeveloped Marina District, union leaders praised Collins' opposition to right-to-work legislation. Leaders also pointed to his support of the repeal of Ohio's Senate Bill 5 last year, which would have changed collective bargaining rights for public employees. Mayor Bell appeared in television ads supporting Senate Bill 5.
Union leaders also criticized Mayor Bell's plan to develop the Marina District. In 2011, the city sold 69 acres of land along the riverfront to Dashing Pacific for $3.8 million. Leaders claim the mayor chose to accept an offer by Chinese investors to purchase the property over a similar offer by the building trades.
"The promise was it was going to be shovel-ready, they'd start building something. Nothing's happened. It's been over two years," said John Schlagheck of the Northwest Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council.
While Collins says the Marina District is a failure on Mayor Bell's watch, the mayor says he attracted some much-needed investment to the city.
"Mayor Bell completely rejected an offer that was parallel to and one dollar over that which was offered by Chinese investors of Dashing Pacific," said Collins.
"It has been a very positive experience for the city. We've gained $3.8 million. We're now collecting about $100,000 worth of taxes to the county every year," said Bell.
With his latest endorsement, Collins says he's the candidate for the working people. However, the mayor says he looked out for working people when his administration balanced the budget without laying off cops and firefighters.