While thanking friends, family, and political supporters for his
election victory [receiving 56 percent of the vote], Collins
occasionally quoted a slogan coined 100 years ago last month:
“You will do better in Toledo.”
“I’m optimistic, that as we usher in this New Year and this new
administration, that we will all, every one of us, will be part
of the dynamic changes that the future holds in Toledo,” said
Collins retired from the Toledo Police Dept. (TPD),
serving the last ten years of his law enforcement career as the
president of the Toledo Police Patrolman’s Association (TPPA).
The new mayor received heavy union support during his political
campaign. Collins also taught criminal justice courses at the
University of Toledo following his retirement as a police
Collins told the story of how he is the son of Irish
immigrants—his father, like many others, arrived by boat at
Ellis Island in New York City. His father promptly enlisted in
the U.S. Army, earning his citizenship by serving in World War
II in the Pacific Theater.
“For our children and our grandchildren to do better in Toledo,
they have to have a successful and rewarding career,” said Mayor
Collins. “Those careers should be at home. They shouldn’t be
transported out of Toledo. Our children and our grandchildren
should only leave because they want to, not because they have to
for economic reasons.”
Collins listed the city’s biggest challenges as preserving
neighborhoods and its housing stock, economic development and
education, and “uniting its citizens despite their differences.”
“We will have difficult moments over the next four years,” Mayor
Collins said. “But nothing is worth, in terms of achievement, if
it isn’t worth working for and paying the price and
understanding that sacrifice that achievement requires. There’s
no free pass to achievement.”
The new mayor stated that when he recently went to Harvard
University for a seminar and to the White House to meet with
President Barack Obama and other big-city mayors, that they
didn’t invite him. “They invited Toledo,” he
“They have faith in Toledo. We need to renew that faith
ourselves,” said Mayor Collins. “We should send a message to
them that their faith is justified—and we will follow through
with that faith.”
During his campaign against independent, incumbent Mike Bell,
the new mayor received some criticism for his assertion during a
NAACP (Toledo Chapter) political debate that racial
profiling does not happen within the TPD. He later softened
his stance on the issue, explaining that he was citing a TPD
report on the issue. It caused a lasting rift between Collins
and then-Police Chief Derrick Diggs, who resigned and was
replaced by appointee Lt. William Moton as head of the
“For us to be truly successful, we have to reach out to
everyone,” said Mayor Collins. “We will not agree on every
issue. But we can do a better job of coming together as a
community if we remember that we’re all in this together.”
During his 12-minute acceptance speech, the new mayor quoted
Gandhi, author Stephen Covey, and Abraham Lincoln.
The former Toledo city councilman vowed to restore the city to
its former glory.
“We are going to make this the model it deserves to be and the
brand that it once held,” said Mayor Collins.
The new mayor ended his speech with a traditional Irish
“May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at
your back. May God forever hold us in peace and love,”
The Special Events Committee of the Collins Transition Team
established the following agenda for the ceremony: a small
reception prior to the swearing in with culinary students from
the Maritime Academy of Toledo serving hors d’oeuvres and
light refreshments; an invocation by Rev. Albert B.
Ceranowski, a retired Toledo Catholic priest and former
Chaplain for the Toledo Police Patrolman’s Association; and
Judge Ruth Ann Franks (Lucas County Court of Common
Pleas) administering the Oath of Office.
Afterwards, Toledo City Council wasted no time in appointing
Collins’s replacement, filling his vacant District Two
council seat with
33, a business agent for Sheet Metal Workers Union Local #33.
The Lucas County Democratic Party endorsed Cherry for the
appointment, which was approved by an 8-3 council vote. Cherry
will have to run to retain the seat during a special election
set for May.
Six at-large Toledo City Council members also took the oath of
office for new terms: Democrats
and Larry Sykes, independents Sandy Spang and
Theresa Gabriel, as well as re-elected incumbents Republican
Rob Ludeman and Democrat Steven Steel.
Sykes unseated incumbent Adam Martínez by 6 votes during
a recount last month, which leaves city council without Latino
representation for the first time in several years.
Martínez lost much of his union support when he—one week prior
to the Nov. 5th election—endorsed Bell.