To prepare for the September 8 ICCSD school board election, the Save Hoover Committee asked all candidates: If you are elected, will you support amending the long-term facilities plan to keep Hoover Elementary School open?
Four responses stood out, not only because they acknowledge the need to revisit a vote that has never garnered community support, but also because they represent the will to ask questions and to think critically about decisions that will affect our children for generations to come.
Phil Hemingway: Recognizing the need for board members who are responsive to and honest with the public, Phil Hemingway would work to keep all of the district’s elementary schools open, including Hoover. Hemingway believes that closing Hoover when the district needs elementary capacity is fiscally irresponsible, and he is dedicated to supporting the institutions that keep our community vibrant.
Brian Richman: With a professional background in public finance, Brian Richman is uniquely positioned among candidates to evaluate large-scale education finance projects. In Richman’s estimation, the administration has yet to provide relevant, verifiable data to support the closure; there simply hasn’t been any information provided to confirm that closing Hoover is a needed or even a good decision.
Tom Yates: Drawing upon years of experience teaching at City High, Tom Yates recognizes a lack of community support for Hoover’s closure. Yates is not convinced that progress on the Facilities Master Plan depends on the closure, and he is critical of the decision to close a school without a clear plan for how its land will be used. Yates urges a more creative approach to solving potential space issues at City.
Chris Liebig: Chris Liebig cites the cost of rebuilding capacity and the lack of a plan for the Hoover space as reasons to revisit the closure. For Liebig, the fraction of a percent of operational costs saved through closing a school does not justify dismissing the public’s preference for keeping schools open. Liebig is concerned that the closure may ultimately endanger the district’s ability to fulfill its long-term building plans.
The remaining candidates did not voice support for revisiting the closure. While Jason T. Lewis expressed an openness to hearing options regarding Hoover, candidates LaTasha DeLoach, Shawn Eyestone, Todd Fanning, Paul Roesler, Lori Roetlin, Megan Schwalm, Lucas van Orden, and Brianna Wills said that the district should move forward with the Hoover closure. You can read all the candidates' responses here: http://savehoover.blogspot.
VOTE: Election Day is September 8. Find your polling place here:
Or, vote early at the Auditor’s Office (913 S Dubuque St.), from 7:45 to 5:30, through Friday, September 4.
Thank you for your consideration of these candidates.