Former Belleville Mayor James Messina has died. He was 72.
Messina was elected to the township council in 1990, defeated First Ward incumbent Angelo Risoli by a 2-1 margin. He was re-elected without opposition in 1992 and 1996.
He became mayor in 1994, replacing Marina Perna, and held the post for two years. He did not seek re-election in 2000.
“He served the Township with honor and distinction,” Mayor Michael Melham said. “He had an uncommon commitment to making Belleville an even better place for its citizens.”
A statement on the Belleville website noted that Messina construction on the public safety building was completed during his time as Mayor and that a “sweeping facelift to the inside and outside of City Hall was initiated while he was mayor.”
Messina owned the Belleville Pub and later served as the township’s public works director.
He is survived by his children, James Jr. and Christina.