HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT) — We are one week away from city elections and a race to watch in Hoover is the race for mayor. Mayor Gary Ivey is facing opposition from two opponents.
All three candidates for mayor will be at the Wynfrey Hotel Tuesday night starting at 6 p.m. to meet with voters for a candidate forum and debate.
Frank Brocato and Steve McClinton are looking to take Mayor Gary Ivey’s position. Brocato is now retired. He served 42 years with the Hoover Fire Department.
McClinton is a retirement planner. He stepped down from his position as president of the Hoover City Schools Foundation to run for mayor.
Mayor Ivey’s been in his position since 2011. Before that he was president of the council. He says public safety is a top priority. Education’s been brought up by his opponents, saying more funding needs to be send from the city’s budget into schools. The mayor says the schools have more than $68 million in reserves. He said, “I personally think we have an incredible school system. We’ve just been for the second year in the row we are the number one city in Alabama. And it’s not just do to any one thing. It’s due to our citizens, our public safety, our fire department, our libraries, our school system. Dr. Murphy has done an incredible job.”
McClinton says he is the most believable and relatable candidate because of the fact that he has kids in the school system right now. He said, “to have the attitude that well, they run our ship we won our ship, that’s wrong. It shouldn’t be us and them. The city and the schools. It’s both. The idea that they are separate, it’s true. But, without successful schools, you don’t have a successful community. The reason why builders come here to build homes and businesses come here, and 20,000 people have moved here over the past 12 years, is because of the schools.”
Brocato says he’s been thinking about running for mayor for the past two decades. He says the school system is one of the most critical components affecting people in Hoover and that the mayor’s position needs to be a full-time job. He said, “We have an outstanding school system. But, they continue to run a deficit every year. And we’ve got to come to some solution. We’ve got to find ways to fund our school system. Right now, the city of Hoover is putting less than 2 percent of their budget towards funding our schools, we can do better than that. And it begins with communication between the mayor’s office and the superintendent’s office.”