EXCLUSIVE: Messina runs for Bethlehem supervisor

Messina writes in his release that politics should not come before competent leadership.

"Since the appointment and election of Supervisor Cunningham, Bethlehem town government has been under the arrogant, intolerant and partisan political thumbs of Bethlehem Democratic Chairman Matthew Clyne and Vice Chairman Jack Cunningham. Back-room politics has trumped good government," he said.

Looking the represent "all of the people of Bethlehem," Messina said he is seeking the endorsements of all political parties in town, including his own Independence Party.

Bethlehem's new Independence Party chairman is Mark Jordan, who is chief of staff to Assemblyman Tim Gordon, the state's only Independence Party assemblyman. Jordan is currently seeking a town board seat but has not held an official campaign kickoff event.

Democrats originally endorsed Jordan over Messina for councilman, but now Messina will have to re-interview with all parties as a supervisor contender.

With the Democrats already lending their endorsement to Cunningham, Messina said he is doubtful that Clyne would sign off on a petition for Messina to force a primary for the endorsement.

Messina said he disagrees with Cunningham's assessment that "people only care about their leaves being picked up" and that residents want more from town government.

"What the people expect from the town is safety, plowed roads, keeping the streets clean and other quality of life issues," said Messina. "What they want is good government, openness and respect."

Knowing that he could easily be outspent during the campaign, Messina said he will begin walking "home to home" and speaking with residents about his campaign immediately.

He has built a platform for his campaign around seven fundamental principles: Become a sustainable community; create a more open and accessible government; institute government best practices; introduce a new leadership philosophy; focus on existing business; evaluate new opportunities; and demonstrate true non-partisan government and politics.

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