Potential Toledo mayoral candidate Anita Lopez has suggested a role in her administration for Toledo Councilman D. Michael Collins, a potential opponent.
Collins told The Blade that in a casual conversation in Government Center last month Lopez told him she could possibly use him on her staff."She said, 'I don't have to run but if I do I totally respect your ability and you could possibly be a strong part of my administration," Collins said, when asked about the conversation.
The former patrolman and chairman of City Council's law and safety committee said she didn't mention a specific post, such as safety director."She conveyed she respected my ability to function and my knowledge, especially in the safety area, and you could be an important part of my administration," Collins said.
Collins, a retired police officer who served 10 years as the police union president and who taught criminal justice at the University of Toledo, is also weighing a run for mayor.
He said he didn't take it as an effort to get him not to run, which he would view as inappropriate, but rather as a compliment.
Lopez denied that she offered Collins a job and portrayed their discussion as mostly a discussion about having a meeting.
"He has asked to meet and I have asked to meet with him to talk about his concerns," Lopez said.
"Many individuals have said Mike Collins is very knowledgeable in police administration, but in no way have I offered him a position, first of all. I have not met with him. We have seen each other obviously in One Government Center, side by side. We both expressed concerns about the direction of the city. We have not sat down. In fact we spoke to each other and said we need to get together," Lopez said.
Collins, an independent, is a frequent critic of Mayor Michael Bell, who was elected in 2009 as an independent and who is running for re-election.Lopez said Collins is one of those people are "are very detail-oriented and do their research before raising issues."
Collins said he doesn't know if Lopez is somebody he could support for mayor."Does she measure up to the challenge?" he asked rhetorically. He said Lopez is "a very bright person," who has a law degree, a "commitment to the community," and who represents the Latino and female population "in a positive way."