Facing fierce resistance from organized labor as he wrestles to bring Toledo's budget under control, Mayor Mike Bell on Wednesday became Ohio's first major city mayor to officially voice support for a state law limiting the bargaining rights of public employees.
Mayor Bell, a former Ohio fire marshal and Toledo fire chief, made the announcement during a meeting with The Blade's editorial board in which he discussed frustration with the recent reaction of some city employees to a proposed wage freeze and benefit cuts.
"We followed the process, and by following the process we got a protest," Mayor Bell said. "I'm the administrator of a city that is financially-strapped and I need to be able to have the tools in the box [to balance the budget]."
It should be noted Mayor Bell ran as an independent. He is facing harsh criticism in Toledo, but he understands the sad reality. We cannot afford these things anymore. We have to be able to work the budget, not have it held hostage. SB5/Issue 2 will not take away your insurance. It will not do many of the charges from teachers' unions and other public employees. It is common sense reform that can be amended if people will come to the table. But, rather than negotiate, the left engages in vilification and falsehood.
Hat tip to Justin from No Muzzle Politics