BELLE GLADE– Belle Glade City Commission candidate Stephen Messam answered questions at a Meet the Candidate forum held over Zoom on Feb. 18.
Messam is running against Joaquin Almazan for seat C. after incumbent Larry Underwood, did not seek re-election.
Almazan did not participate in the forum.
“Belle Glade needs bold leadership for a bold new day,” began Messam. “One of the primary things on my platform is putting our youth first. I want to make sure we have activities that are going to develop them holistically. Neighborhood revitalization is also key. I’m excited to share my ideas and answer these questions on tonight’s panel.”
When asked what solutions he would bring to help reduce the crime level, Messam said he wanted community initiatives with the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office and would make sure to have programs in place for the youth of Belle Glade.
Messam is the business development manager at Messam Construction and the senior associate pastor for First Church of God South Bay. He highlighted his experience with the construction business as being a tool he would rely on to help bring affordable housing to the area.
In his closing statements, Messam said he wanted to address the perception that he is against the agriculture industry.
“My father was a cane cutter,” Messam explained. “I love the agriculture industry. I just think that green harvesting here in the Glades will give us more jobs and also help with our health. That’s a win-win situation.”
Messam’s opponent for seat C., Joaquin Almazan, is vice president of Palm Beach County Democratic Party’s Hispanic Chapter.
The deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot is Feb. 27. The municipal election is set for March 9.