Friday, May 12, 2017

Q&A about the Hoover ballot question

What is the Hoover ballot question?

We are petitioning to put a question on the ballot about whether Hoover Elementary School in Iowa City should be demolished. The school board voted in 2013 to close the school as of 2019 and to demolish the building; this decision has remained controversial ever since. We hope that submitting the issue to the voters will finally resolve the controversy one way or another.

Why does the ballot question need petition signatures?

State law provides that people can have certain questions placed on the ballot if they gather a particular number of signatures.

Do I need to be a registered voter to sign the petition?

No. Signatures will count as long as you live in the school district and are eligible to register to vote here, even if you are not currently registered as a voter.

What will the Hoover ballot question accomplish?

If the ballot question passes, voters will have directed the district to move forward with the plan to tear the Hoover building down.

If the ballot question fails to pass, voters will have made a statement that the building should not be destroyed. Legally, the district will still have the right to close the school and even to dispose of the building. Politically, though, the voters will have sent a strong message against the closure decision.

Why does the ballot question focus on the demolition, instead of the school closure?

State law permits ballot questions about the “disposition” of a school building, but not about whether a particular school is closed or kept open. The only way to get the Hoover issue on the ballot is to put it in terms of whether the building should be demolished.

Does signing the petition mean that I support closing Hoover?

No. By signing the petition, you are simply asking that the question of demolishing Hoover appear on the ballot. We hope that people will sign the petition and then vote “No” on the demolition.

How does the Hoover petition affect the district’s bond proposal?

The Hoover issue and the bond issue will be two separate ballot questions. The district does not plan to fund the Hoover demolition using the bond money. Regardless of how you vote on the bond, you can vote separately on whether you think Hoover should be demolished.

Can I sign the petition electronically?

No. Only original signatures on paper will count. However, you can print the petition out, sign it, and send it to Save Hoover, P.O. Box 1653, Iowa City, IA, 52240-1653. Petitions must be received by Save Hoover no later than June 28.

When would the vote on the Hoover question happen?

As part of the regular school board election on September 12, 2017.

How can I help?

First, sign the petition!  Then talk to your friends and neighbors.  To volunteer to collect petition signatures, email  To donate to Save Hoover, click on the link in the sidebar.

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