Prior experience includes National Security Agency
By Angie Landsverk
John Foss will bring a varied background to his new position in the city of Weyauwega.
The Coloma native served in the U.S. Army, worked for the National Security Agency at one time and held several positions related to veterans.
Foss will be Weyauwega’s new city administrator.
The Weyauwega Common Council unanimously approved an employment agreement with him during a special July 6 council meeting.
Foss’ annual salary will be $75,000.
His first day on the job will be Monday, July 24.
“I’m excited to get here,” he said after the council approved his contract.
Foss graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and minor in speech communication.
He then joined the U.S. Army and was an intelligence analyst and also a French linguist when he was stationed in Germany.
After his service in the Army, Foss began working at the National Security Agency as a command language program manager.
In 2013, he returned to Wisconsin and became a peer support specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs office, in Appleton.
That year, he also received his master’s degree in public administration from UW-Oshkosh.
He next served as a Department of the Army unit administrator for about six months before becoming a Veterans and Military Affairs case manager in U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson’s Oshkosh office.
Foss worked on some political campaigns in the past and said he loves helping people and working with communities.
That is why he decided to pursue a master’s degree in public administration.
He was a village management intern in Little Chute and says, “I always had an interest in economic development, urban planning.”
In fact, he has what he describes as an obsession with downtowns.
Foss discovered that passion for economic development while growing up in Coloma.
It bothered him when he saw a downtown business close.
He was in high school when his family moved to Omro, and Foss became the youngest member appointed to Omro’s marketing board.
“I have taken some classes about city planning,” he said.
Foss said there today’s focus is moving away from the suburban idea.
Millennials are moving into cities, he said.
They want to live in urban areas and be able to park and walk everywhere, Foss said.
He likes to see downtowns be all they can be and hopes to be part of revitalizing Weyauwega’s downtown.
Foss and his wife, Cindy, live in Appleton with their three children – 5-year-old Lucy, 3-year-old Charlotte and 1-year-old Clark.
Cindy is a fifth-grade teacher at Xavier Middle School, in Appleton.
Foss was elected to the Outagamie County Board last October, and his term on the board is through next April.
As part of his employment agreement with the city of Weyauwega, he will be allowed to remain on the board.
Mayor Jack Spierings sees that experience as a benefit to the city.
Foss was one of five candidates interviewed for Weyauwega’s city administrator position on June 27.
Former administrator Patrick Wetzel resigned last spring to become the administrator in the town of Lawrence. His last day working for Weyauwega was May 1.
Spierings said the city had a good pool of candidates.
“It was a close discussion. He came out on top,” he said of Foss.
“He’s got a good background in municipal government, the experience of a few years and a good military background that we’re proud of. I think we’ve got a really good fit here. We’re looking forward to working with him,” Spierings said.