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This video was taken in 2009 at a Hoover Budget Hearing in the Council Chambers. Present at this hearing were Mayor Tony Petelos, Council President Gary Ivey, Councilors Jack Wright, Brian Skelton, Mari Morrison, Trey Lott and Gene Smith. Not present was Councilor John Greene.
I attended and spoke at this meeting on behalf of school funding.
What you're seeing in the video is six council members and one mayor who were completely out of touch with the reality of what the school system means to the city.
On Aug. 23, 2016, those that were left of the ones in the video came to terms with the error of their ways. With the exception of Dr. Lott, who still believes that he is correct.
On Aug. 24, Lott was quoted in the Shelby County Reporter. When asked why he wanted to come back to the position he abandoned in 2015 in order to move to Alabaster so that his son could play football, he said "he missed the position and the responsibilities that come along with it".
"It's an extension of my practice," said Lott, who operates Lott Pain Relief, Inc. "I listen to people and use wisdom and discernment to help people. That's what it's all about."
During this tenure as council member from 2004 to 2015, he did do a lot of listening. But he didn't hear. He didn't hear what the people were saying about school funding. He didn't hear the importance of the schools to the city. With the exception of one other council member, the rest didn't hear either.
Can you hear us now?
Wisdom is defined as "the quality of having experience, knowledge and good judgment; the quality of being wise."
Discernment is defined as "the faculty of discerning; discrimination; acuteness of judgment and understanding."
Apparently he didn't process wisdom or discernment when it came to knowing what the people wanted. One could say he didn't listen.
As I think back to the two forums that were conducted prior to the election, Lott repeatedly made reference to the same items over and over. The first was the "balanced budget". He was saying that the city had a balanced budget and giving any money to the schools would spoil that.
Now, I'm not an accountant, but I would challenge that notion.
Second, he made reference that he was running for re-election. He wasn't. He was running for election. He left the post that the people put him in by vote in 2012 in order to further his private life.
When I decided to run for council in 2016, it was not an easy choice. I realized that there would be some sacrifices that would have to be made, including some dealing with my family. I didn't make the choice overnight. It took a lot of talks with friends, neighbors, community leaders and most of all it took prayer.
Once I made the commitment to run for the office of City Council, I realized that I was, if elected, going to be a public servant. Some things would have to take a back seat for the time that I was in office. The commitment to the office would have to be there for at least four years.
Lott seems to have forgotten that part. The arrogance of resigning the position that the good people of Hoover entrusted in him, and then thinking that he could simply come back and take up where he left off is amazing.
I have never seen Lott at a Board of Education meeting, and my attendance record at those meetings is pretty good, so I question the importance he places on the success of the Hoover City Schools, and how it relates to the success of the city.
But enough about Lott. Let's talk about Curt Posey.
I've gotten to know Posey fairly well over the past two years. I first met Posey at a Board meeting right after Mr. Andy Craig decided that, since the cutting school buses didn't go over well with the population of Hoover, perhaps rezoning the school system would.
Posey attended every regular Board meeting, every called Board meeting, every rezoning meeting, and every Council meeting. I pride myself on my attendance record when it comes to those meetings and Posey's matched mine.
Let me tell you what that means when you take the time out of your busy schedule to go to these meetings: it means that it's no longer about you, it's about the schools, the children and ultimately the city.
Ask Posey's opponent the last time he attended a board meeting. Better yet, ask him if he knows where the meetings are held, and if he's ever been there.
Posey's other great attribute, one he does better than others, is his impeccable research and knowledge of budget items. His wisdom and discernment when it comes to this is paramount. Something tells me he would have no problem with a balanced budget that didn't omit the schools.
The voting totals on Aug. 23 for Place 1 were very clear: The Spain Park feeder system voted for Lott. The Hoover HS feeder system voted for Posey. We need to get past the east vs. west mentality in Hoover. It's not the Jags vs. Bucs here. It's Hoover. One Hoover. If anyone for one second believes that Posey is going to favor one side of Hoover over the other side, you are sadly mistaken.
If you've read this far, you're going to be glad. I've saved the very best for last.
After the second forum at the Wynfrey hotel, I was approached by a representative of US Steel (USS). I had met him a few days earlier at the Trace Crossings community meeting dealing with rezoning portions of Trace Crossings from Industrial to Commercial.
He was visibly upset. He came up to me and told me that he did not like a remark that Posey had made regarding the Trace Crossings issue. Posey said (and I paraphrase), that cutting a tree down in someone's back yard in order to build a hotel was a moral issue, and that he didn't agree with it.
The USS rep asked me if I agreed with the statement, did I think it was a moral issue? I told him that anytime a neighborhood was impacted by rezoning, that the people should be heard (see Bluff Park vs. putting up a Walmart, or South Shades Crest Road vs. putting up a Walmart). In other words, yes, I agreed with Posey in the spirit of his statement. The USS rep left in a huff.
We need to make sure that everyone we know, who's a registered voter in Hoover goes out and votes on Oct. 4. There's no excuses to not go. Not one. You have plenty of time to register, to fill out an absentee ballot and to take five minutes out of your day to vote. VOTE!