Steve McClinton, who served as president of the Hoover City Schools Foundation for the past two years, is running for mayor of Hoover.
The president of the Hoover City Schools Foundation for the past two years today entered the race to become Hoover mayor, promising to refocus the city’s attention on its school system and city planning.
Steve McClinton, who today took a leave of absence as president of the foundation to run his campaign, is now the third candidate for mayor, joining former Hoover Fire Marshal Frank Brocato in trying to unseat Mayor Gary Ivey.
McClinton said he believes he can make the most impact because the public is calling for more investment in city schools and he has a record of close involvement with the school system.
In addition to his work with the foundation, McClinton co-founded the Deer Valley Dads group with Russell Jackson in 2008 and served as president of the Bumpus Middle School Parent Teacher Organization for two years.
McClinton, who grew up in Birmingham’s Roebuck neighborhood, said he came from a city where the school system has gone down and the community is not what it once was. He doesn’t want to see that happen to Hoover because of inattention to the school system, he said.
Ivey said he believes the school system has been well-funded and claims to be a champion for Hoover schools, but McClinton said the current city administration has taken Hoover schools for granted and that more funding from the city is needed.
He doesn’t know what that amount should be, but he believes city and school officials need to work together to find the best solution, he said.
Hoover schools remain good academically, but like anything, you have to invest in research and development, and if Hoover doesn’t invest more in its schools, the return on investment won’t be there, McClinton said.
The city’s elected officials need to show the same passion for the school system that they have shown for the new 124-acre sports complex that is under construction, McClinton said.
He understands that other city services and the business community are important, but “it is imperative that the schools succeed,” he said.
“Businesses want to see successful schools, too,” McClinton said. “People don’t move here for the Steak ‘N’ Shake. They move here for the schools.”
McClinton said he also is shocked that the city does not have a master plan. All facets of the community — elected officials, city staff, school officials, developers, builders and residents — need to come together to develop a strategic master plan that examines where the city wants to be in five or 10 years down the road, McClinton said.
“It’s easy to grow, but you’ve got to have strategic growth,” he said.
The rezoning issues and other problems being experienced by the school system in recent years are a result of a lack of planning, communication and coordination, McClinton said.
“Certain people do not want to talk to certain people, and that has created the problems we have today,” he said.
McClinton, 47, has lived in Hoover since 1998 and resides in the Lake Cyrus community. He graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and criminology in 1992.
His career has been in the retirement planning business. He spent 20 years with Primerica and the past three to four years has operated his own company called Security Financial Advisors in Bessemer.
He and his wife, Stephanie, have two children at Hoover High School and one in the fourth grade at Deer Valley Elementary.
McClinton also serves on the boards of director for the Hoover YMCA and the Hoover Helps nonprofit that works to provide food for needy children in Hoover schools. He is a member at Hunter Street Baptist Church and has volunteered at the Jimmie Hale Mission for about 10 years, he said.
To follow McClinton's campaign, see his Facebook page at Steve McClinton for Hoover Mayor.
See the complete list of candidates who have qualified to run for Hoover mayor and City Council seats as of 11:30 a.m. today (July 19). Qualifying ends at 5 p.m. today.