After four years of being an outspoken Bethlehem councilman, Independence Party member Sam Messina says he's ready to do the same as the town's supervisor.
Facing off against the well-funded and organized Democratic Party that has rejected him, Messina said he is running to end partisan rule and politics as usual and to allow for a more open and transparent Town Hall that represents all of Bethlehem not just Delmar Democrats.
This here means more to me than just a pin of the Town of Bethlehem," Messina said pointing to his lapel. "This represents everything I love and care about, and I vowed to serve this town to the best of my abilities. My best is not to just walk away from what I see going on."
Messina had interviewed for his council seat with the Democratic and Independence parties before announcing his intentions for the supervisor position. Democrats opted not to endorse him this year after cross endorsing him in 2005 and the Independence Party has yet to propose a formal slate for the fall elections.
He said he doesn't like what he sees happening within town government. However, he said, it's what he doesn't see that bothers him even more and was the impetus behind his decision to run for town supervisor.
Political decisions are taking precedence over "What's best for Bethlehem," according to Messina, who said he has tried to effect a change through his role as a councilman by speaking out against the political appointment process.
"I have gone out of my way to extend the olive branch many times and sought compromise and speak about issues I think are important, but there needs to be a fundamental change, and if I continue on the board as a member I can't change anything,' he said. "Everyone just points and says, 'It's only a few appointments.' But it's much more than that it's an issue of control and poor governance."