Mayoral candidates have plans for laid off officers

Posted by Nick Dutton - email

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Toledo's mayoral candidates are speaking out about their plans to get the 75 laid off police officers back to work.

After the City of Toledo laid off 75 police officers to help balance the budget, three homicides happened in just five days.

Democrat Ben Konop claims salaries and expenditures can be cut or reduced through merging certain city and county operations. He believes nearly eleven million dollars will be saved.

"And then take the savings--there will be real savings---and put it immediately into putting more police on the street to ensure that our citizens are safe," says Konop.

Republican Jim Moody is proposing a complicated system that would shift the way city health benefits are delivered and paid out.

"We can bring back our police officers. We don't have to increase taxes," says Moody.

He says twelve million dollars a year will be saved to put police back on patrol.

"If they can stay healthy, they will walk away with an extra $150,000 up retirement. Financial incentives for them if they want to take this and it doesn't cost taxpayers any more money," says Moody.

Independent candidate Mike Bell says he's going to make the city more business friendly.

He wants to get more people working, get more income tax dollars to keep police on the streets.

"Once again it plays back into if we're trying to do economic growth, trying to get businesses to come into our city, one of the key things we have to do is demonstrate that we're a safe city," says Bell.

And safety is sure to be one of the top issues out on the campaign trial as the September primary draws closer.

On Tuesday, Democratic mayoral candidate Keith Wilkowski criticized the city for two and a half million dollars this year in severance pay to retired city employees. He says the system needs to be revamped and use the money for more police.

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