Letter to the Editor: Starr family endorses Mayor Ivey

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It's time for him to go

Ivey's fix to the school system's financial woes is to just spend the money in reserve. He has no plan to solve the problem. What happens when the reserves are gone, Gary? That is poor leadership. Gary has proven he has no vision or plan for the future. Just uncontrolled growth and doing whatever is necessary to keep his business buddies happy. Meanwhile, our children and teachers face some classes with well over 30 students because the schools can't afford to properly staff. It's shameful that Ivey has failed to lead on education. Time to vote out Gary and all incumbents on the city council.

Paul more than 3 years ago


Remember, it is the Hoover School Board and Superintendent that are responsible for managing the schools' finances - not the mayor or the city council. Also, according to Dr. Murphy and the Hoover Board of Education, the Hoover schools have a 14:1 student to teacher ratio. The state average is 16:1. Of the Top 10 best school systems in Alabama, Hoover has the third lowest student to teacher ratio at 14:1

Katie more than 3 years ago

Additional Clarification

While it's the School Board and Superintendent's responsibility to manage the schools' finances, it's the mayor and city council's job to make sure that the school system is PROPERLY funded. How can the city expect to attract families when they turn a blind eye to education and build, of all things, an $80 million sports and entertainment facility?!? Hoover already has a bad reputation for putting athletics above education. This only perpetuates that reputation.

Regarding class size, please know that the 14:1 student to teacher ratio includes specialists who work with "at-risk" students in a very small setting. Those classes are usually less than 5:1 and are included when calculating the overall student/teacher ratios. Hoover has a very large number of these specialized classes and they skew the REAL class sizes that Hoover schools are dealing with.

Paul more than 3 years ago

Responsibility for Education Funding

Most local funding for schools in Alabama comes from property taxes. Time and time again, sales taxes have been shown to not be a steady source of funding for schools because the economy changes over time and sales tax revenues are not guaranteed to go to schools every year since local governments create new budgets each year. If the Hoover Board of Education wanted more DEDICATED funding, they would ask for a property tax increase and let the people of Hoover vote on it. They have not asked for such a vote.

I'm going to wait and see if the Board of Education can balance their budget. If they can not, and additional funding is justified, then I hope the Board will request a property tax vote to ensure the revenue is guaranteed to go to the schools. That is their responsibility. Raising sales taxes is not the answer for a dedicated funding source for education.

Katie more than 3 years ago

No offense intended but

The city has hidden behind the "well the school board hasn't asked for more money" for years. There are a LOT of behind the scenes political reasons for that but the new superintendent had made it VERY clear that the schools need more funding. The city can continue to deflect responsibility if it wants, but the fact of the matter is families who really care about education will continue to move to Vestavia and Homewood until the city shows that education is of primary importance.

Cutting teachers and class sizes as big as they are and getting bigger are two tell tale signs that Hoover schools are in real trouble. Gary and the current city council continues to bury their head in the sand on education and I don't understand why.

Paul more than 3 years ago

Car Dealers stick together

Bart Starr is a fine man however his support does not change my opinion of Gary Ivey. Car dealers gotta stick together.

No more Ivey more than 3 years ago

Mr. Starr

You are a fine man whom I have met numerous times. More often, you are right rather than wrong. This time, you are wrong.

Ivey has had no transparency and doesn't even work full time as Mayor. Mr. Brocato said he hasn't even had a staff meeting in over 7 years. Mayor Ivey did not even deny it.

Our schools are at a breaking point with an average deficit of ($7.3) the past four years.

There is no way I am going to sit back and watch my property values drop and the schools suffer by voting for Ivey.

It is time for a full time Mayor and no more $80m dollar Sportsplex deals without selling the taxpaying citizens who fund this City.

Steve more than 3 years ago

Fact Check

Although I appreciate the sincerity of this letter, it contains a good deal of misinformation with regards to our school system and its current financial state. We do NOT have 90 million in reserves. Our borrowing habits in the past decade are about to come back around and put us even further in the red. The school superintendent has presented TWO extensive financial presentations over the past month detailing the financial woes of the schools. I addition, she has explicitly stated that we must have additional funding in order to maintain the level of excellence to for which have become known. Hoover is no longer ranked in the top 10 cities to live in for Alabama, nor are we in the top 5 systems for the state. This may be acceptable to Mayor Ivey, but is categorically unacceptable for a large amount of his constituents.

In addition, he has let housing developments run out of control and has created no long term formal vision/plan for the city. We literally have no direction.

Again, the sincerity in the letter above is admirable, but the facts cannot be ignored. Mayor Ivey is a proponent of the status quo and good ole boy leadership mentality. That is why we now have to all swallow a 90 million dollar sportsplex pill with that had no planning, community input, and little to no research involved.

In short, it is past time for new leadership. I urge all Hoover citizens to educate themselves on all the candidates and choose those who have a vision for what our city and its schools could be, rather than a statement of currently being as good as it gets.

Delle Kincaid- HCS Teacher, Parent, and Concerned property owner more than 3 years ago

Real Fact Check


The Hoover Board of Education DOES have $90 million in reserve. According to their numbers, they have over $68 million in the general fund which can be spend on anything and over $22 million in the capital reserve fund. Those numbers come from the HCS. According to the Alabama Department of Education, as confirmed and reported by the Hoover Sun, HCS's $68 million general fund reserve is the largest in the state of Alabama and over 6 times what the state requires.

For comparison, here are other school system we like to compare ourselves to:

Mountain Brook $12.6 million (2.99 months)
Homewood $4.6 million (1.34 months)
Vestavia $29.8 million (5.66 months)

Ivey even posted the information on his website: http://mayorivey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Alabama-School-Reserve.pdf

Hoover WAS named the top city in Alabama to live in 2016.


Hoover WAS ranked a top 5 school system in Alabama in 2016.



The price for the Hoover sports and event center was $80 million (not $90), but thanks to Ivey's good management of the city's finances and helping Hoover get a AAA rating, the sports and event center actually cost only $69 million.


Delle - You need get your facts straight before you accuse someone of spreading misinformation. You are in fact the one that is incorrect.

Jeremy more than 3 years ago

Getting back to the real issue

Gary and the city council cares more about a sports complex and cramming it through without a lengthy and transparent public debate than really focusing on the education issues and partnering with the school board to fix Hoover's broken funding mechanism for its schools.

Paul more than 3 years ago

School Board Proposal or Recommendation

Rather than read the minds of the School Board and Superintendent, it is more reasonable for the school board and superintendent to make a proposal to the City for more funding and for those same people to champion the vote on the City Counsel for that proposal. But the Board has never, ever made a recommendation where the resources or finances may come from. If a tax or some other form of finding this money is to come, it must have the support of all and that comes first from the school board and superintendent championing that cause

Mari Morrison more than 3 years ago

It's Obvious

There is no need to "read the minds" of the School Board and Superintendent. Our schools are in financial distress. We need a mayor who will show LEADERSHIP and be proactive. He certainly led on the new $80 million sports facility, but failed to lead where it matters most - Education. I know a lot of the old guard "friends" and members of Gary's re-election team are rushing out on this thread in support of keeping things the way they always have been, but it's time for fresh new leadership. If we keep things the way they have been, Hoover will have to eat into it's reserves and, in no time, have no reserve remaining. The problem is as clear as day. I'm still not sure why anyone would doubt this. A mayor needs to LEAD - not sit back and wait. That's called a follower.

Paul more than 3 years ago

Ivey all the way

Thank you Bart! You are a role model and an upstanding member of the community!

Robert more than 3 years ago