Messana seeks Place 3 on LHISD Board
Steve Messana wants to serve the community as a member of the Liberty Hill ISD Board of Trustees, but he’s also happy – even as a candidate – to see the number of candidates on the ballot this time around.
Living within the school district just over seven year, Messana has one child in kindergarten and one still two years from school, but being a part of LHISD has always been the intent since his family made the choice to move to the area.
“It is pretty simple,” he said. “My family made a commitment to stay here throughout our kids’ school years. We moved here because we liked the Liberty Hill school system and we wanted some space and we liked the smaller community. We moved here for the schools even before we had children.”
Dedicating themselves to remaining in the community made it easy to take the next step and look for ways to get more involved.
“I want to be involved and I want to be there to help the community and grow the community,” he said. “If I don’t win, that’s fine, if there’s somebody more qualified that’s great, but if I can help the school board in this immense growth time then I’m glad to do it. I don’t have any kind of personal agenda than to continue what they’ve done over the years, which has been an amazing job.”
While Messana is very impressed with the communication, transparency and planning the district does, and the way it has spurred local involvement, he feels he has a lot to add in those areas.
“Those are all things I’ve done in my previous careers and I feel like I can continue what David Nix has done,” Messana said. “I’m not saying I want to replace him, but I want to continue what the board has done.”
His career includes a lengthy employment with Home Depot, before creating his own business, Austin Canoe and Kayak.
“I spent 25 years in customer service,” he said. “Both of those jobs were heavily focused on the customer. We looked at more than just the retail customers as our customers. Our vendors were our customers, our suppliers were our customers, and our employees in some regard were our customers. I think my focus on listening to the customer and figuring how to solve their problems and provide that service has always been my passion.”
Everyone involved in LHISD is a customer of the school board in Messana’s opinion.
“I think the district does a great job taking care of its administration, students, teachers and taking care of the community,” he said. “That’s what excites me and I think I can bring that to the table and help expand that.”
He also pointed to his many years in logistics and planning, taking his first store from a 2,500-square-foot business to a five-store chain.
“The way this district and community is growing I feel I can leverage that and maybe shine an educated opinion on the ins and outs of how to grow fast,” he said.
Whether it is school bond information or anything else, Messana said communication in the district is great, but he also isn’t sure if everyone gets the same message. Bond information is a good example.
“It is a communication challenge and you have to make sure it is communicated clearly because there’s a lot of confusing things out there and disinformation that can be spread,” he said. “I want to make sure the communication from the district I’m receiving is what everyone is. I’m not sure everyone is receiving it the same way I am. I don’t know if everybody feels like they are receiving a lot of information and communication, so I want to make sure that it is getting out there to everybody and I’m not in a bubble.”
The bond proposal on the table is a big one, and Messana knows there will be more in the future, and helping to make sure those funds continue to be spent carefully with lots of planning and foresight is something else he’d like to be involved in.
“It’s a lot of money, it’s a lot of work and there’s a lot of infrastructure that needs to be built and there needs to be a lot of planning along the way. Also, should the demographics change, should the growth slow or increase, we have to make sure that money is deployed or not deployed the right way so we continue to provide this great education and not squander any of that money.”
He currently serves on the City of Liberty Hill Planning & Zoning Commission, and simply wants to get more involved.
“This community is important to me,” Messana said. “I’m retired at the moment, I have the time, I have the energy, so I felt like this was a good way to give back and be involved. It’s important to focus on the entire district. I want my kids to have the same opportunity as everybody else, and others to have the same opportunity my kids have.”