Candidates vying to be the next Mayor of Toledo faced off in their first televised debate since winning their spots in the primary.
WNWOâ??s Jim Blue along with WSPDâ??s Fred Lefebvre co-moderated the debate Monday night using questions sent by viewers via Twitter with the hashtag #ToledoMayor and on our Facebook page.
Incumbent Mayor Mike Bell and Councilman D. Michael Collins ran as independents, but after last nightâ??s debate, itâ??s apparent that they have never seen eye to eye.
"Councilman Collins has always been the first to put a stick in the spokes of a bicycle wheel and stop it. He's never ever come up with solutions to be able to fix those problems," said Mayor Bell.
The last four years experience have proven that this city is not going in the direction the Mayor says it is," argued Councilman Collins.
Throughout the debate, Councilman Collins accused Mayor Bell of leading Toledo into a downward spiral and said murders and other crimes have risen during the mayorâ??s term.
â??Homicides are up 69.6%...rape is up 23%...robberies are up 2.6%,â?? said Councilman Collins.
Mayor Bell disagreed and said his administration is cracking down on illegal activity.
â??We're doing some aggressive things and the numbers show it. Crime has dropped and fluctuates anywhere between 17 to 24 percent drop in our city,â?? said Mayor Bell.
Mayor Bell said he pulled Toledo out of a $48 million deficit and has helped make the city more attractive to new businesses. Councilman Collins said the Mayor has turned his back on those who need his help the most.
Early voting started last week as the people of Toledo decide which independent candidate will be their next mayor.