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On Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016, it will be my honor to cast my vote for Steve McClinton for mayor of Hoover.
Hoover, Alabama, is no longer a small town. We are a city of 87,000+ people, 10 fire stations, five police facilities and approximately 14,000 students who attend one of our two high schools, three middle schools, intermediate school or 10 elementary schools. Our neighborhoods brim with multiple languages, cultures and religions.
And we desperately need a new leader who is looking out for ALL of us while planning for our future responder needs, student needs, roadway needs, business needs, cultural needs and neighborhood needs. We need someone capable of working with a team of leaders and citizens to create and adopt a city plan. We need someone who listens. Steve McClinton is that person.
Our schools are going to need better funding — not just this year but for the foreseeable future. Steve McClinton has actually been IN our schools with his children who are all being educated in Hoover City Schools, volunteering his time and talents for the last 11 years and knows firsthand what the cuts in school funding have cost our kids. Steve doesn’t have to BUILD a relationship with our school system administrators, principals and teachers because he ALREADY HAS them established — and they already have his number programmed in.
At Deer Valley Elementary, Steve and Russell Jackson started Deer Valley Dads, and when Mr. Jackson had to step away, he continued it alone. Steve used his leadership skills to build a way for the fathers/grandfathers/uncles/friends of our children to get involved and make a positive impact by raising money, becoming mentors, and doing the work around the school that needed to be done outside of the basic maintenance supplied by the system. These men believed in him for this to be possible — and not because they were paid to do so.
The concept has now been expanded by him and others into the Hoover Dad Brigade which this past year had 500+ men come together to do projects and maintenance on all of our schools. While other politicians stood up and took a bow in their Sunday best at the Dad Brigade breakfast, Steve was there to LEAD a group of men at Bumpus Middle School. He came dressed to work at a school where he served as PTO president while his two oldest were students there.
In 2014, Steve was chosen by the Hoover City Schools Foundation board of directors to serve as president, a position to which he was reaffirmed by vote for three years and has worked as a volunteer only. During his tenure and under his leadership, the foundation transformed into a vibrant and active group that not only raises money and grants schools and teachers funds for specific purposes, but also serves as a facilitator between businesses and schools.
Steve laid out his plans for the foundation and put them into action. He convinced the board to hire their first-ever full-time staff person to handle the day-to-day operations. He became a known face around all of our schools at functions and sports events to get the word out to parents and teachers that the foundation funding enhanced academics through grants, scholarships and innovative programs.
Steve personally recruited local and regional employers to offer internships for the high school academies. He facilitated the relationship between the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the health sciences academies at Hoover and Spain Park. Through this connection alone, our students now have the option to serve as interns and be hired directly by UAB after graduation as nursing assistants, surgical assistants and medical assistants — bypassing the regular path of classwork before hire (students complete the last parts of schooling at night) and giving students the immediate ability to earn a real salary.
He also has aided the setup of internships between local robotics firms and our high school engineering academies, allowing Hoover students to get hands-on experience and summer jobs. Our students who might not choose to continue their education after high school now have a path to good jobs in Hoover, internships in both Hoover and surrounding areas because Steve has personally been out there making those connections for our schools.
Steve serves on the board of directors of Hoover Helps, an organization that facilitates relationships between school leaders and teachers, churches and businesses to identify and help those of us who have food insecurities, providing assistance discreetly to those families. He is also on the board for the Hoover branch of the YMCA and has been volunteering with the Jimmie Hale Mission for more than a decade.
A graduate of Auburn University (and no, this Alabama grad doesn’t hold that against him), Steve has been self-employed most of his adult life as a retirement/financial planner and investor, representing a portfolio of companies and individuals who trust him with tens of millions of dollars of their money, and in this he has been very successful. He is well-versed in budget building and financial planning along with presentation development and business recruitment.
Steve McClinton works and plays alongside ALL of us that make up Hoover, regardless of what we look like or how we worship. When they were young, his children attended a day care that was made up of the children of UAB employees, and there his children played alongside children from all over the nation and world. He not only works with all of us; he has taught his children from a very young age to do the same.
I know we can entrust our city with him, and, rest assured, we will be safe, and our children’s futures will be nurtured. Please choose and vote for Steve McClinton for mayor of Hoover! #ImWithSteve!