John LydaJohn Lyda serves on the Hoover City Council, Place 3.
In future issues of the Hoover Sun, we will publish brief Q & A profiles of your Hoover City Council members. Submit your city council questions to Rebecca@hooversun.com.
As a freshman city council member, what do you anticipate your biggest challenges to be?
While I will be joining an administration made up of experienced council members, I’m comfortable knowing I’ve established good working relationships with them over the past few years. While serving on the Hoover Public Library Board of Trustees has allowed me to build and foster relationships since 2009, being consistently present at the city council work sessions and meetings has also helped. As a new member of a well established group, I plan to learn from their experience and knowledge depth of city operations, but I’m also confident that my thoughts, ideas and opinions will be heard and valued.
What budget changes do you anticipate during this next fiscal year?
Although I’ve not had the opportunity to review or discuss the upcoming budget, I feel confident that there won’t be any sweeping changes. This administration has taken a fiscally conservative approach to budgeting since the 2008 economic downturn. With revenues relatively flat over the past couple of years, I anticipate a sound budget plan that allows us to live within our current means while continuing to provide the high quality of life and city services that Hoover residents enjoy.
With regard to public safety challenges, what new ideas can you bring to the table?
Hoover’s commitment to public safety has historically been unwavering and will remain a top priority for me as a Hoover council member. Our public safety administration and staff in both the fire and police departments remain one of the most highly-trained, effective teams in the state. According to published statistics, Hoover’s crime rate has always been significantly lower than the national average and has dropped steadily since 2003, falling or remaining flat in each of the crime categories. Our fire department has historically maintained an ISO class 2 rating, putting our Hoover Fire Department in the top 1.2 percent of all fire departments in the United States. As a council member, my priority will be to support and allocate the necessary funds for our fire and police administrations to carry out the superior service illustrated in the above statistics.
What about school safety?
Our police department has a dedicated team of 11 school resource officers who are in our schools on a daily basis, bridging the gap between students and law enforcement. These men and women serve a vital role in our community schools by being teachers, informal counselors and law enforcement officers. While prevention of all crime will always be the ultimate goal, these officers do a phenomenal job of educating students and, when required, quickly and professionally addressing issues that arise. Again, the council’s role in this area of city government is to ensure the proper support is given so that education, prevention and quick response are there as needs arise. I stand firm on my commitment to ensure this support remains strong.