Could Hoover ever happen here?

Published 5:21 pm Friday, February 13, 2009

While Hoover Mayor Tony Petelos’ comments about Hoover possibly being annexed into Shelby County have gained some support from voters, county and state officials remain wary of the idea.

Last week, while speaking to the Friends of Hoover, Petelos asked how they would feel about a de-annexation from Jefferson County. Petelos said he mainly meant the discussion to serve as a wake-up call to Jefferson County that citizens have grown tired of the county’s financial crisis.

However, he said if the financial crisis is not resolved within a few months, he might consider moving forward with the idea. It might not be as simple as that, though.

County Manager Alex Dudchock said the proposal would have to make its way through the state Legislature, which could be a tough process. Beyond that, Dudchock said he had never entertained the idea of changing county boundaries.

“This question has never come up during my tenure as county manager, and I have never researched that,” he said. “There has not been any talk between the mayor of Hoover and the county, to my knowledge.”

Jefferson County Commission President Bettye Fine Collins said she isn’t certain whether Petelos is seriously considering Hoover’s de-annexation from Jefferson County, but she didn’t want to see that happen.

“I’m sure Shelby County would be delighted with that, but it would not be a winning situation for (Jefferson County),” she said. “Hoover is a great place to live. They’ve got a lot of things going for them. This county has a great future.”

Collins said Jefferson County offers a lot of services to Hoover, such as senior citizen services, shared law enforcements and finances for major projects.

“We’ve done some major projects in Hoover. We’ve helped the growth,” she said. “I look forward to continuing our working relationship with Hoover.”

State Rep. Cam Ward said it’s not likely a de-annexation proposal would ever make it past the Legislature.

“It would take a legislative bill passed by both chambers of the Legislature and signed by the governor,” he wrote in an e-mail. “I think any effort to do so would be strongly opposed by those legislators up in Jefferson County, and therefore not very likely to pass the legislature if it were ever seriously proposed. I am not sure it will really ever be formally proposed.”

Despite that, Collins doesn’t want Hoover to even try to move.

“Shelby County’s a great place to live. I’ve got a good relationship working with their commission members. They’ve had tremendous growth. They’ve done a great job,” she said. “But of course we would like to keep Hoover.