Photo by Jon Anderson
Allen Pate 9-19-16 (2)
Hoover Executive Director Allen Pate announces his retirement during a meeting of the Hoover City Council on Monday, Sept. 19, 2016.
Hoover Executive Director Allen Pate tonight confirmed rumors that he soon will be retiring after nearly 29 years with the city.
Pate, who has served as executive director under five mayors, choked up with emotion as he made the announcement at the end of tonight’s Hoover City Council meeting.
Pate said he will be leaving the office near the end of October and, after taking vacation and built-up leave time, officially retiring in late January.
He said he’s grateful for the opportunity to serve the city of Hoover and work with so many folks for so many years.
“I’d like to give thanks to the city department heads and staff. This city has been blessed to be served by numerous seasoned department heads and employees,” he said. “No one person can achieve the success that this city has enjoyed by themselves. It takes a team, and we have a good team.”
Pate said he’s looking forward to hanging up his city employee hat and putting on his citizen hat. However, as a resident of Hoover for more than 45 years, he’s not going anywhere, he said.
After the meeting, Pate said he’s been thinking about retirement for well over a year, but Hoover Mayor Gary Ivey and others asked him to stay at least through the municipal election, so he agreed.
Pate said his decision to retire had nothing to do with the election of a new mayor, Frank Brocato, who won the election on Aug. 23 and takes over as mayor on Nov. 7.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in Hoover, and I would have thoroughly enjoyed working with the new mayor,” he said. However, “I think it’s time for me to move on and let the city get some different ideas.”
Pate, who turned 73 in May, said his wife, Edna, retired a year and a half ago, and “if I’m going to ever have any time while I’m still in reasonably good health, I need to do it.”
Brocato will be the one to hire a new executive director and tonight said the position is too important to leave vacant. He hopes to have someone in the executive director position quickly, he said.
“We can fill the position, but you can’t replace Allen Pate,” Brocato said. “He loves our city. He’s served with incredible distinction. He’s been a role model for so many people in the city.”
Brocato, a 42-year employee of the Hoover Fire Department who retired as fire marshal last year, said he has worked with Pate for 29 years and watched his demeanor, the way he handles people and puts deals together. The city is losing a lot of institutional knowledge with his departure, but it’s good to know he will be nearby and available for consults as needed, Brocato said.
Pate, a former labor commissioner for the state of Alabama with a background in construction, originally was hired in February 1988 for a temporary one-year job to lead the construction of Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
He quickly took on new assignments in the city and by the time the stadium was completed, he was hired as the city's director of operations. He did that job about five years before being named executive director, a position over all city department heads except the police and fire chiefs.