Photo courtesy of John Lyda
John Lyda 2016
Hoover Councilman John Lyda is seeking a second term in Hoover City Council Place 3.
Hoover Councilman John Lyda is asking residents of Hoover to bring him back for a second four-year term on the council.
Lyda, who serves in Council Place 3, said he is having a lot of fun serving the city as a councilman and believes he is making a difference.
“I think we’ve had a very good last four years,” he said. “I think the city is positioned very well to continue on the right track for the next four years, and I want to be a part of it.”
Economic and housing indicators show the city is prospering, and the vast majority of Hoover residents are pleased with their quality of life and city services, Lyda said.
One of his main goals is to help the city sustain its economic vitality, he said. While the Riverchase Galleria has been an outstanding cash cow for city revenues in the past, the growth of online shopping and increased competition from new shopping centers in nearby areas is changing the landscape, Lyda said.
“They’re all taking a small bite” from Hoover’s city revenues, he said.
Lyda wants the City Council to continue looking for ways to bring more visitors into the city who can spend money in hotels, restaurants and retail stores, he said. The city can gain revenue from visitors but doesn’t have to educate their children or pick up their garbage, he said.
The new sports complex the city is building next to Hoover Metropolitan Stadium is a prime example of ways the city can lure visitors, he said. He voted in favor of spending an estimated $70 million for the sports complex in December but voted against borrowing $80 million for the project in June after costs escalated.
Lyda said he also wants the city to continue looking for “smart” residential growth. Large annexations of land in the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s left the city with a lot of residential land to be developed, but the Planning and Zoning Commission and planning consultant Bob House have done a fine job of negotiating with developers to decrease the density of their developments, Lyda said.
The number of houses being approved has been much fewer than what was allowed under previous annexation agreements, he said.
School funding has been a major issue in the city, and Lyda said he and Councilman Gene Smith led talks with Superintendent Kathy Murphy that resulted in the City Council boosting city funding for education by 75 percent in December. The council agreed to two changes:
- Paying 100 percent of the costs for school resource officers, saving the school system $850,000 to $1 million a year
- Making the $1,500 building permit fee paid for every new house built in the city a contribution to the school system that’s in addition to the previous $2 million budget allocation (instead of a part of the $2 million allocation)
That's not a permanent fix, but it shows a willingness to help the school system address needs, Lyda said.
Lyda said no other council member is more invested in the school system than him. His wife, Beth, works at Gwin Elementary, and he has a daughter entering Hoover High and a son entering Simmons Middle School. He has attended more school board meetings and school events than any council member, he said.
Lyda also touts his involvement in:
- Getting the Alabama Department of Transportation to install cable barriers in the Interstate 459 median between Acton Road and the Riverchase Galleria to prevent vehicle crossover accidents
- Passing a city ordinance to allow and regulate transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft
- Preventing a neighborhood market grocery store (widely believed to be Walmart Neighborhood Market) from being built in Bluff Park or along South Shades Crest Road
- Rezoning 273 acres along Interstate 459 from apartment use to mostly commercial use — against the property owners’ wishes
- Preventing a gas station from being built at the intersection of Doug Baker Boulevard and Alabama 119 that Lyda says would have encroached on residential homeowners
Lyda, 42, was born and raised in Flat Rock in northeast Alabama but has lived in Hoover for 20 years, the past 13 in the Green Valley community.
He is an operations manager in claims administration for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama and has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Alabama and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
He served four years on the Hoover Library Board and is a past president of the Hoover-Metro Kiwanis Club and the Hats and Horns Societe’. He is an active member of the Friends of Hoover, serves on the board of directors of the Red Elephant Club of Birmingham, Assistance League of Birmingham and Alabama Civil Justice Foundation.
Lyda also was named to the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2012 class of “Top 40 Under 40.”
As of July 11, Lyda was unopposed for Place 3 on the council, but qualifying does not end until July 19. See the full list of announced candidates for Hoover mayor and City Council here, and the full list of those who have officially qualified here.