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Messina tries his hand again

Local will run for Hart District governing board

Posted: May 1, 2009 10:28 p.m.
Updated: May 2, 2009 9:00 a.m.
 
Santa Clarita resident Joe Messina is taking another shot this November at a seat on the Hart district governing board, he said Friday.

Messina will be competing for one of three seats that are currently occupied by longtime board members Pat Hanrion, Dennis King and Paul Strickland.

The last election for the William S. Hart Union High School District board was held in 2007, when Messina unsuccessfully attempted to unseat incumbent Steve Sturgeon or Gloria Mercado-Fortine.

"Frankly, at this point I don't think (the board is) as transparent as they said they would be," Messina said. "We need change.

"My message hasn't changed."

Topping Messina's to-do list, should he be elected, is the formation of a subcommittee to have "open conversation" about the planned high school in Castaic. He wants the subcommittee to include Castaic residents.

Messina also wants greater oversight of Measure SA, approved by voters last November.

The $300 million general obligation bond would fund: modernizing classrooms; replacing temporary buildings; upgrading facilities to meet fire and safety codes; and relieving crowding at existing schools by adding a much-needed high school in Castaic.

When it comes to fundraising, Messina said he wants to hold campaign dinners in low-cost local eateries and give "the little guy" a chance to ask questions.

"I want to be held to the fire," he said.

Messina said he garnered 37 percent of the vote at the polls in 2007, but that he did not take into account absentee ballots. This time around, he said he'll have an increased focus on absentee voters.

Messina owns Wildcat Technology Solutions and sits on the Hart district's Measure V oversight committee.

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