TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Nearly one month ago, Paula Hicks-Hudson spent her last day as Toledo's mayor.
She says despite a hotly contested campaign, she does not hold any grudge against now Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz.
"No, I wont say there is malice," Hicks-Hudson said. "It was a regret that I wasn't able to get our message out, and a regret that people weren't able to recognize all the work and changes we were able to do."
Hicks-Hudson says the biggest albatross that hung over her campaign was what she calls a public misrepresentation about $8 million found in the city's budget.
"I got painted with the 8.2, 'Oh you lost this money.' The money was never lost. It was put into a fund that folks forgot about," Hicks-Hudson said. "We found it. We did the due diligence to make sure we knew what the money was for and how it can be spent."
As mayor, Hicks-Hudson says the city made strides under her leadership, but there was also many things her administration did not accomplish.
"I really wanted to work on how to connect our neighborhoods to this revitalization in downtown. And that's one of my biggest regrets that I'm not able to move forward with that initiative," Hicks-Hudson said.
Among the issues left for the Kapszukiewicz administration is the new jail.
"We were in negotiations with them, and they pulled back," Hicks-Hudson said. "We gave them a counter offer, and they said we can't do that. And they pulled back, waiting I'm sure on this current administration."
The reason why Hicks-Hudson says she could not make a deal was she was reluctant to agree to a deal to put unnecessary debt or responsibility on Toledo's citizens.
Another issue she says she is concerned about is crime, though she admits it takes much more than a mayor to address violent crime in the city. One of the causes of crime she would like addressed is the easy access to guns for criminals.
"The issue is there are certain types of crimes you can predict, and many more that aren't predictable," Hicks-Hudson said. "And so you never know when someone will just get upset and pull out a gun."
Despite the rise in crime, she says she has confidence in Police Chief Kral and TPD to fight the rise in homicides. As for her future, Hicks-Hudson plans to run for the Ohio State House in District 44.
There she says she will try to secure funding for the growing drug crisis, violence and failing infrastructure plaguing the city of Toledo.