Mayor candidates talk neighborhoods at Tuesday debate - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Mayor candidates talk neighborhoods at Tuesday debate

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Mayoral candidates: Mayor Mike Bell and Councilman Mike Collins Mayoral candidates: Mayor Mike Bell and Councilman Mike Collins
TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Toledo's mayoral candidates faced off again Tuesday night, but instead of putting each other on the spot, they were challenged by neighborhood leaders.

Mayor Mike Bell and challenger Mike Collins answered questions from the South Toledo Neighborhood Alliance – a newly-formed organization comprised of the Arlington, Highland Heights and Burroughs neighborhood associations.

"We love our neighborhoods and we want to keep that, and we feel the city should be working with us to do that," said Perry Lefevre of the Arlington Neighborhood Association.

The candidates were asked if they support efforts to stop a sexually-oriented after-hours club, rumored to be opening in the old Southaire restaurant building on Airport Highway. Both answered ‘yes.'

"I immediately got the Department of Neighborhoods and Code Inspection to become involved," Collins said. "We have sufficiency in law in the City of Toledo to prevent that from ever happening, and for that establishment from ever opening."

"It is our intent to continue to monitor that," Mayor Bell added. "We do have laws, as Councilman Collins stated, on the books to be able to handle these types of issues, so we are on top of it."

Bell and Collins both promised to have a strong police presence in the neighborhoods, and to upgrade parks, but they both rejected a pledge to model a ‘property maintenance code' after one in Youngstown to control vacant and foreclosed homes. They said there are laws already in place in Toledo for that.

The only pointed comments between the two came in closing statements.

"We're trying to move this ship we call Toledo moving in the right direction," Bell said. "We've turned it the one degree necessary to make our city better and it will work."

But Collins said there are 12 fewer police on the street than when Bell took office almost four years ago.

"[Bell] has replaced officers due to retirements, but we do not have a greater police presence," Collins said. "I promise you that will happen."

Voters will determine who is best for their neighborhoods on Nov. 5.

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