Mayor Michael Bell delivered his State of the City address at the weekly meeting of the Toledo Rotary Club. During the 30 minute speech Bell highlighted his administration's successes and admitted some of its failures. Bell told the audience that the city's budget is under control and that the city has been able to add to its roster of safety personnel. "We have hired more police officers and firefighters in the last three years than have been hired in the last 12 to 16 years," Mr. Bell said. Bell also responded to criticism about his pursuit of foreign investment by showing a newtork news clip which showed that Chinese investors are pouring billions of dollars into a variety of American business ventures. "People have asked me why don't you travel inside the United States and I tell them I have done that," Mr. Bell said. The mayor also asked for patience in dealing with the issue of abandoned and vacant properties. "Last year we demolished 1,110 homes and this year we plan to demolish 600," Mr. Bell said.
Toledo city council President Joe McNamara was unimpressed with the Mayor's remarks. "I was extremely disappointed in the speech because the state of the city is supposed to talk about what your vision is for the future of Toledo and this was a very defensive speech about some of the actions and decisions he has made," Mr. McNamara said.
McNamara says he will announce in two to three weeks whether he will run for mayor.