Bethlehem Town Supervisor Sam Messina speaks at the groundbreaking Dec. 15 for the Vista Technology Campus.
Photo by Charles Wiff.
“If we don’t have to cut jobs and fire people, we don’t,” said Messina. “Let’s not get caught up in the mantra that’s out there that’s almost publicly popular to do. We have a responsibility to these people. They help us get where we need to go.”
Messina was quick to applaud the town’s ability to balance its financial situation.
“I don’t know any other government that balanced it quite all of those ways,” Messina said.
Progress on the horizon
Messina referred to the development at the Vista Technology Campus as the “preeminent project” he worked on during his time in office. He said his responsibility was to not give in to the idea that the economy was to blame for a lack of economic development.
“We looked at three different financing mechanisms, we had heated debates in here, so many things to coordinate, we had some delays along the way, but the bottom line is that the IDA (Industrial Development Agency), the town, the other taxing jurisdictions, and the developer knew we were serious, our town staff was serious,” said Messina.
A ceremonial groundbreaking was held for Vista on Dec. 15, but work on Vista Boulevard, the main road through the tech park, began in October.
Life out of the spotlight
Messina said he wants to get back involved in a number of efforts in the new year. He’s been in touch with Albany Medical Center, where he wants to once again become an overnight chaplain at the hospital. He’s also looking to get re-involved in DWI impact boards and presentations for boards working on issues pertaining to organ donation.
As for town government, Messina plans on following the town’s progress and lending his thoughts where appropriate.
“I intend to continue to be involved in my town government. I believe I’ll attend Town Board meetings every once in a while,” Messina said.