We have just learned that D. Michael Collins, mayor of Toledo, has died.
We don't usually cover Toledo, but we have
covered Collins. More than a year ago, after his election, Jack Lessenberry told of the former police officer, union official, and retiree who decided to "run against the machine," so to speak. Lessenberry wrote
Heavily outgunned and outspent, the challenger had just one thing going for him, the thing that got him through the primary. He was a man of the neighborhoods. He ceaselessly talked about their concerns and about the need to reopen a closed police station and to put more money into homeless shelters. Essentially, he ran on just one slogan: “Collins Cares.”
Collins' run bore similarities to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan's run in that both candidates appealed to everyday residents and took strong positions on issues they complained about. Maybe Collins wasn't a photogenic talking head, but he did seem to care about his hometown. His struggle deserved a Hollywood ending, not being taken off life support five days after a car crash. Our condolences to the city of Toledo.
An interesting side note: Collins is the first Toledo mayor to die in office since Samuel Milton "Golden Rule" Jones
, an energetic reformer who established free kindergartens, public parks, playgrounds, and did much, much more, including taking clubs away from the police.