Toledo mayoral candidate, D. Michael Collins (I), stepped out of the pack and released his 2012 financial records, Monday. By the end of the day, Mayor Mike Bell (I) followed suit.
Collins says the Mayor of Toledo will essentially run a corporation with a budget of half a billion dollars so he released his W-2s from his pension income, city council salary and teaching wages to show voters how he handles money.
The record indicates Collins' income for 2012 was $74,864. He also released his TransUnion credit score which was 916 out of a possible 990, a Grade A.
Collins says this is vital voter information, "It reveals to you that I have handled my finances in a practical and prudent fashion. The same philosophy will be used in dealing with taxpayer dollars."
Late in the afternoon, Mayor Bell released his financial information which revealed a pension and salary of $178,421 and a credit scored by TransUnion as 927 out of a possible 990, Grade A.
Most elected officials in Ohio have to file financial disclosure forms with the State Ethics Commission.
Lucas County Auditor, Anita Lopez (D), has documents on file with the state and she says she will disclose in the mayor's race, as well. She told 13abc reporter Bill Hormann, "This is nothing new; we've done it before and we look forward to being transparent."
Voters seems to appreciate candidates releasing personal financial data when campaigning for office. Randy Hauser says learning those details provide a good indication of competence, saying, "If that's the way that they run their day-to-day life than they could do the same for the city."
Ellen Carroll is another voter who wants to know how candidate handle their personal finances. We asked her, "What would that tell you if they come back good or bad for someone?"
Carroll responded, "Well, if it's bad, I would think they're a little stupid about their financials."
Toledo Mayor Mike Bell (I) would agree with that and he says he will release whatever is asked or required. He added, "We're trying to live within our means in our city and I do the same thing in my own home."
Democrat Joe McNamara says he will release his financials in the interest of transparency.
Opal Covey says she's on Social Security and doesn't file taxes. And she says she never buys anything on credit so she has no documents to release.
Alan Cox, an independent also running for mayor says he will release his personal financial information if he secures enough signatures to appear on the ballot.
The issues here are transparency and financial competence; maybe not as important as jobs and public safety, but information voters seem to want, nonetheless.