Hoover mayor Brocato discusses ‘state of the city’

Published 5:37 pm Thursday, January 17, 2019

HOOVER – Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato addressed the “state of the city” by touting accomplishments and revisiting a recent tragedy at the Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 17.

Speaking at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham–The Wynfrey Hotel, Brocato said diversity is one of Hoover’s strengths and makes it a model city.

“If you want to live in a community where people from all nationalities work, live and play together, come to Hoover, Alabama,” Brocato said.

Brocato called Hoover’s school system a city cornerstone.

“People know when they move here they will get a first-class education,” the mayor said.

Brocato discussed the city’s increased financial support of the school system, including enhanced presence from school resource officers, and Hoover being named the fifth safest school system in the country.

On the economy, the mayor cited many new stores and restaurants in the city.

While a new law has addressed the city receiving a share of previously uncollected sales tax on online purchases, the distribution of the tax is still not equitable for cities like Hoover, Brocato said.

Meanwhile, Hoover’s economic developer is pursuing opportunities “we were previously not even aware of,” Brocato said.

“We believe Hoover is a great place to do business,” he said. “Hoover today is an economic powerhouse.”

The Hoover Met Complex is another bright spot in the city, Brocato said.

“The popularity of the Finley Center is growing rapidly,” he said and added that the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament is under contract at the complex through 2021.

Other recent highlights include the groundbreaking on an all-inclusive playground, raises for city employees, a new fire truck and eight new firefighters for the fire department, upgrades to the city’s tech department to protect against malware and the Hoover Senior Center earning an exclusive accreditation.

“We want to be absolutely the best city in Alabama, and this is a huge step in that direction,” Brocato said.

Brocato recognized several residents in attendance, including the Bishop family, which founded Hoover Helps to provide food for schoolchildren in need.

“That’s caring,” Brocato said. “That’s what makes Hoover special is people like the Bishops.

Another non-profit organization established locally is the Clean Hoover Initiative, whose student founders were also recognized at the luncheon.

“They saw a problem, and they didn’t let their youth stand in the way of protecting our community and the Cahaba River watershed,” Brocato said.

Brocato closed by discussing the shooting death of a man at the hands of the Hoover Police Department in November 2018. In the wake of the tragedy, comments were made that “were just not true,” Brocato said.

“It’s not the Hoover we know,” Brocato said and urged residents to take the opportunity to look inward, figure out how to improve and be a model for how “America does business.”