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Andy Pattantyus: Messina gets the job done

Right Here, Right Now

Posted: July 30, 2009 10:03 p.m.
Updated: July 31, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Recently, we have seen several opinion pieces summarizing Joe Messina's chances for election to the Hart district school board. As a result, we now have projected numbers about the potential votes and estimates of the campaign coffers. Even the best pollsters know that predicting the outcome of elections is fraught with hazards.

But what about the man who is Joe Messina? What do we really know about him?

I can tell you what I know about Joe. We are neighbors with offices in the Valencia Industrial Park. I first met him about five years ago and have done business with him for most of that time. Thus, I have gotten to know him reasonably well.

Joe is a straight shooter. He has integrity and does what he says he is going to do. His company provides good service.

When something goes wrong, he and his employees get right on it to fix it. Since Joe's name is inextricably associated with his company, All Covered (formerly Wildcat Technologies), he stands behind his services and makes sure his customers are taken care of. As a result, Joe retains his customers.

Joe has been active in the Hart district for more than a decade. At various times, he has been a parent of students in the district, on PAC committees, and on the Measure V Citizens Oversight Committee.

He attends many school board meetings, especially when there is a Measure V or Measure SA issue on the agenda.

With Junior Achievement, he regularly goes into our local schools to teach ethics, a subject that is critically needed today.

What is Joe's platform? His campaign Web site states it clearly and unambiguously: 1) build the new high school in Castaic; 2) promote campus safety; 3) advance CTE-vocational training; and 4) improve district transparency for both meeting minutes and financials.

This is a solid platform and one that demands clear accountability. If he is elected, we can look back four years from now and assess his performance: Joe and the school board either did or did not make progress on these issues.

Joe is about as down-to-earth and plain-spoken as anybody I have ever met. He does not equivocate. If you actually talk to Joe, he will tell you where he stands on the issues.

Whether you like his position or hate it, at least you know where he is coming from.

Another of Joe's qualities is that he is not afraid and is not easily frightened. He is willing to go on record about his positions and viewpoints, even if he has to take heat for it.

He has a strong sense of right and wrong and strives to do the right thing. He listens to others however, he is not the type to be bullied or coerced by bad press. Thus, you can depend on him to do the right thing.

Joe is tenacious and does not give up easily, a great quality that makes a successful businessman.

Tenacity is also what we need in our school board members who are faced with many difficult challenges.

Ultimately, in any contest, it always comes down to the man (or woman) in the arena. Once a person is elected, we depend on that person to do good works on our behalf.

It does not always turn out that way. In recent years, we have seen many instances where the actions of the person in office are dramatically different from the person we thought we were electing.

The only way to avoid that hazard is to judge a person by their long-term track record of actions and accomplishments, as well as their standing in the community.

I look at Joe's actions as a member of the community and as a business person, and I see a constancy of purpose. When I look at Joe, I see a man of integrity and good character who surrounds himself with good people.

I see a man who gets the job done.

Since Joe Messina is very accessible, make the effort to get to know him. Only then make up your mind who to support - and remember to vote. In a true democracy, we need more than 10 percent of our voters deciding who our leaders are.

Andy Pattantyus lives and works in Santa Clarita and is president of Strategic Modularity Inc. and president of SignJammer Corp. He serves the community as a member of the Measure SA Oversight Committee, and as member of the following boards: Valley Industrial Association and Santa Clarita Community Development Corporation. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of these organizations or those of The Signal. "Right Here, Right Now!" runs Fridays in The Signal and rotates among local Republican writers.


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