Hass joins New London council
Four candidates apply for vacant seat
By Robert Cloud
A new alderperson has joined the New London Common Council.
Council members selected John Hass after interviewing four candidates for the open District 2 seat vacated by Billie Olson in October.
The four candidates who appeared at the Nov. 9 city council meeting were BaLynda Croy, Isaiah Bastian, Thomas Schoonover and Haas.
Angela Hacker, who had expressed interest in the position, withdrew her candidacy and did not speak at the meeting.
Croy told the council that she has lived in New London for just over 30 years.
Her work experience includes being a volunteer firefighter and an EMT in Land O’ Lakes prior to moving to New London.
She spent nearly 10 years working in manufacturing, an experience which Croy said helped her understand the needs of the community’s labor force.
Croy is currently a city mail carrier.
“New London is an amazing city,” Croy said. “We have a solid manufacturing workforce, a multi-faceted health care system, impressive public services, quality public works, beautiful and meaningful parks, a variety of recreational opportunities with culture and diversity abounding.”
While she praised city services, she noted some areas that could use improvement.
Croy said downtown parking is an issue in New London.
“We could use a youth rec center,” Croy said.
The youngest of the four candidates, Bastion said that being a fourth-generation member of the New London community was among the things that made him uniquely qualified to serve on the council.
Bastian is employed at Familiar Grounds in New London, where he worked ias a barista before taking responsibility for managing events and social media for the coffee house.
He is active in the Chamber of Commerce and started his own business in June, Genesis Media, which creates websites and social media content for local businesses.
A cadet lieutenant colonel in the Civil Air Patrol, Bastian was named Wisconsin Wing Cadet of the Year.
“Every decision I would make on the council would best serve the people of the community,” Bastian said.
“It’s not a singular vision. It’s really all of us. It’s teamwork. It’s connectivity…. It’s a contagious ambition for improvement and development,” Schoonover said when asked about his vision for New London. “That’s what brings us all together to create better tomorrows for the sake of the city and its residents.”
Noting that he felt welcomed into New London, Schoonover said, “I’m not a fourth generation, I wasn’t born here. I wasn’t raised her. I chose to be here.”
New London’s new council member said he has lived in the city for almost 30 years.
For the past 28 years, Hass has worked as an equipment operator for Appleton’s Department of Public Works.
Hass served as a board member and coach for Youth Softball, Youth Baseball and Youth Basketball in New London.
He believes his experience can contribute to the council’s decision making.
“I want the city of New London to be a great place to live and raise a family,” Hass said. “I believe we need to look for more opportunities to attract and retain local businesses.”
Hass said that while he was coaching, he heard numerous compliments about New London’s parks.
While noting that the city did a great job on its services, he sees snowplowing as one area that needs improvement.
“There’s more efficient ways to do things,” Hass said about snowplowing. “That is the one thing you hear people complain about is the streets in the winter.”
Hass said he has been a union steward in Appleton, which gives him insight on municipal workers.