Hoover City Council appoints Kelley to school board


HOOVER — The Hoover City Council appointed Craig Kelley as the newest member of the Hoover Board of Education April 7.

Kelley, 59, vice president at Dunkin-Lewis, Inc., a national sales and marketing firm, and a member of the Hoover Parks and Recreation Board, will replace Paulette Pearson, who currently serves as board president. Kelley will start his five-year term in June.

Kelley was unanimously appointed from a field of seven candidates, who were all interviewed by the council April 4 about their intentions to serve and their ideas to remedy the school system’s budget deficit.  The school board last year approved a 2014 budget with $167 million in projected spending and $150 million in projected revenues, resulting in a $17 million deficit.

In his interview, Kelley said the school board must make budget cuts, but couldn’t say exactly where the cuts should be made. Kelley wrote in his board application that  “many state and municipal government face challenging times in the future” and “Hoover must be prepared for cost-share changes and proration with our state and federal government as well as possible changes to our tax base.”

“We must manage a variable revenue stream to continue to fund a very safe and productive educational environment for our children’s education,” Kelley wrote. “The Hoover School Board must oversee the priority of needs for our limited funding and lobby our City Council and Mayor for the funds needed and be able to defend the Board’s position.”

Kelley also wrote: “Should revenue become more limited the Board must be fiscally responsible as they shift priorities and if necessary initiate cuts in areas less likely to affect the safety of our children and the education they receive. Our instructors must remain as qualified as possible and the Hoover School Board must stay involved with the qualifications necessary to insure the best instructors possible.”

Kelley has lived in Hoover for 34 years and graduated from Auburn University in 1978 with a degree in business administration. Two of his children have graduated from Hoover schools, and his youngest child is slated to graduate from Hoover High School this year.