By Dawn Scotland
Sojourner’s Truth Reporter
A press conference was held by mayoral candidate Jan Scotland at Rev. H. V. Savage Park in central Toledo on Tuesday, August 31. Scotland received public endorsements from former Toledo mayors and fellow Republicans Michael P. Bell and Donna Owens. Both former mayors acknowledged Scotland for his commitment to the city and voiced their support for his plans to create programs that will target the city’s youth and increase the city’s policing.
At Savage Park, the location of recent gun violence, Bell took the podium to enthusiastically endorse the mayoral hopeful on behalf of himself and Owens, saying “We need a change…We believe Jan Scotland is the man that can do that.”
Bell, who was mayor of Toledo from 2010-2014, highlighted Scotland’s community involvement and business sense. Bell stated, “He understands the community, in order to turn the city around we need to focus on the safety related issues.”
Bell acknowledged the recent shooting that took place at Savage Park. “What we have experienced at this park … is not what the standard should be… I believe Jan will change that direction” adding, “He is a businessman… he understands how to deal with money and budgets … you can’t move the city forward if you’re not fiscally responsible. I believe he will be fiscally responsible… I whole heartedly endorse Jan Scotland for mayor.”
Followed by Bell’s endorsement, Owens (Toledo mayor 1983- 1989), echoed Bell’s support saying, “Jan is the man for Toledo to move the city forward!” Owens emphasized the importance of programs for the city’s youth and criticized the current administration’s budget initiatives. She remarked, “Kids are our future… you have to show them love. You need the compassion he has…I whole heartedly support [Jan].”
Scotland was humbled upon receiving the public endorsement of his longtime friends and fellow party members saying, “Having two people who sat in the seat and know what it takes, believe in me… that has to be more powerful than anything else. Who would know better than them?”
Scotland has presented three press conferences addressing his platform for the mayoral seat. His plan includes an increased police presence, a joint recreation district for city parks and an increase in job opportunities. He has been adamant about his disapproval of the current mayor’s administration and has offered the same criticisms of opponent Carty Finkbeiner. He remarked, “The problems are not difficult, and the solutions aren’t difficult to come by. It’s the commitment to making sure those things happen that is missing… I plan to turn the city around”.
Bell later commented, “There is a difference between a politician and a public servant. A politician will tell you what you want to hear… a public servant is willing to do the right thing even if it may sacrifice their own welfare to make sure that the public is safe. I see [Jan] as a public servant.” Bell added, “Sometimes we get into the issue of party [Republican or Democrat]… you have to be able to figure out is there is a difference between the individuals that you’re electing…we get so stuck in party politics and forget that the issue is about this community that is dying.”
Scotland has operated a State Farm insurance agency in the Reynolds Corner neighborhood of Toledo for 30 years. He is the founder of the Sleepy Hollow Athletic League that has served inner city youth since 1996. Scotland is a former chair of the East Toledo Family Center and Frederick Douglass Community Association and served on Toledo City Council in 1987. He filed his petition to run for mayor in July 2021 as a Republican.