Photo courtesy of Sam Swiney
Bluff Park resident Sam Swiney has declared his intention to run for the Hoover City Council.
Bluff Park resident Sam Swiney has declared his intention to run for a seat on the Hoover City Council.
Swiney, a 33-year-old claims specialist with State Farm Insurance for the past nine years, said the primary reason he wants to get elected to the council is because he doesn’t believe the city is providing adequate funding for the Hoover school system.
“As the son of two parents who worked for the Jefferson County school system, I was taught from a young age the importance of getting a quality education,” Swiney said. “Through the recent rezoning process, people in every community in Hoover have demonstrated how passionate they are when it comes to their children’s education.”
The current level of funding the city is providing the school system will not sustain it into the future, Swiney said.
He would not be in favor of giving a blank check to the school system, but he believes Superintendent Kathy Murphy has been responsible with the money currently entrusted to her management, he said. He would like to see the Hoover City Council and the school board have serious discussions about what the city should provide moving forward, he said.
Swiney also said he also wants to see the council do more to involve the public in city issues. Some people say that’s what elections are for, but he thinks the public should be more involved than just voting for officials. He would like the council to hold meetings at different places throughout the city at least once a month, which he believes will increase attendance and engagement at council meetings.
Swiney also said the city needs to get a better handle on its growth. “While growth can be a good thing, if it’s not smart, sustainable growth, it can be a detriment to the city,” he said.
He would like to work toward a growth development plan that involves all facets of the community, including regular residents, the school system and police and fire departments, he said.
Swiney grew up in Hueytown and received a bachelor’s degree in justice sciences from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2006. After he married his wife, Nicole, they moved to Oak Grove and then to Hoover three years ago, he said.
He and his wife have a 5-year-old son who will attend kindergarten at Bluff Park Elementary School next year and a 3-year-old son.
Swiney attends Shades Mountain Baptist Church, where he has volunteered as a worship care leader. He also coaches a 5-year-old T-ball team at Hoover Sports Park West.
Hoover’s election for mayor and the seven City Council seats is set for Aug. 23. Swiney is running for Hoover City Council Place 2, now held by Gene Smith. Qualifying is set for July 5-19.
This article was updated at 1:01 p.m. on July 2 after Swiney announced which seat onthe council he would pursue.