Posted by Kate Oatis - email
TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - "I, Michael P. Bell, do solemnly swear."
With his family by his side and his father administering the oath, Mike Bell was sworn in as Toledo's new mayor.
"Too often, we've taken a back seat to other cities that aren't as good as our area because we choose to have a negative attitude about ourselves," Bell said in his speech after taking the oath.
Bell pulled a page from his days as a Rockets football player, calling on Toledo's "team" to come together. "The reason I don't feel nervous is that I realize there is no way I can do this by myself. It will take all of us pulling in the same direction."
It was a Who's Who of local politics at the ceremony. Indeed, many former mayors were in attendance to watch the new mayor take office.
"What you see is what you get. He's real he's honest, he's ethical, he's hardworking, he loves people and he loves this city," said former Mayor Donna Owens.
"He's a hard worker, he understands safety, he's handled big budgets and he's just what we need right now," said former Mayor Jack Ford.
"He's going to be an excellent mayor because he listens, he communicates and he cares. You can't ask for anything more than that," said former Oregon Mayor Marge Brown.
The first major issue for Mayor Bell to tackle is balancing this year's city operating budget and showing support for Toledo City Council. In fact, he went to the council's meeting Monday evening.
Copyright 2010 WTOL. All rights reserved.
This story aired Monday, January 4.
TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Mike Bell is excited, focused and trying to stay grounded as he prepares to be Toledo's next mayor. He took the oath of office at 3 p.m. Monday, administered by his dad, Norman Bell, a notary public.
Bell says his whole agenda is to "make sure that we hit the road running and do what the taxpayers expect us to do. And what my intent is to make sure we're strategic in our attack, hit high priority areas in the beginning, realize to going to take a little bit of time to turn this around."
Bell plans to use a management style he developed as Toledo's Fire Chief: Trust the people around you and hold them accountable.
"I'm very much a team person," Bell says. "I believe in letting people play in their lane. What they're good at doing, letting them do that."
Bell says he learned during his campaign that Toledoans truly care about living here, but nobody would listen to them.
He says a Bell administration will. "What they have been upset about is the lack of ability to give input into the system to be able to help change and correct things they believe will help their city."
Bell plans continuing to frankly speak his mind, not worrying about taking the politically correct position but rather the correct position.
"In order for us to turn this city around, we need to be honest with ourselves on where we're sitting, where we're going in the future. Until we do that, we're not going anywhere."