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Bethlehem Dems drop incumbent councilman

"For two years I have tried to discuss the notion of a bit more openness in the recruitment process and also a bit more of an open process among the board before the agenda goes out on Friday with a name on it," Messina said. "I've been unsuccessful but I think the issue I've been dealing with is the wrong issue.

"The issue is one of control, the issue is one of tight-fisted governance and the issue is one of how chairman Matt Clyne governs things," he said. "I need to discuss that and I will continue to discuss that because my interest is in improving Bethlehem, both its political processes and its governmental ones."

The board ultimately voted to appoint Burkard 3-to-2.

Clyne cited Messina's stance on appointments as a reason the party dropped him.

"I'm speaking specifically about political appointments," Clyne said. "He's not a member of the party the decision to make political appointments was a committee decision.

"People were getting tired of reading about this all the time. The appointments were arrived on by consensus," Clyne continued. "Sam Messina, as a board member, has a right to vote what he wants but it's the same process that put him there to begin with. I had to draw a line."

Clyne pointed to Messina's objection to the appointment of Daniel Plummer, a former councilman, to the position of deputy supervisor as "simply ridiculous" and said Plummer was "the logical choice."

"Mark Jordan has the qualifications and temperament to fulfill the duties of the office," said Clyne. "The committee membership felt the same way."

The committee vote for Jordan over Messina was 54-to-5, according to Clyne.

When asked about the situation, Cunningham said the party sees Jordan as the best candidate for the job. Furthermore, he flatly denied the accusation of running a less-than-open Town Hall.

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