Justin Basham was one of two write-in candidates for a seat on the Hawesville City Council this year in the 2022 General Election on November 8 and won.
When he starts in January, he will be the only new member joining the 5 incumbent council members who were re-elected: Wayne Herndon, Tracy Johnson, Pat “Junnie” Morris, Kevin Linn and Danny Doyle. He will also be working with Hawesville’s newly elected mayor starting in 2023 – Robbie McCormick. He will be sworn in at the beginning of the new year.
“I’ve never been big into politics,” Basham said. “This city council position will be jumping in feet first and getting my feet wet. That being said, I really don’t see that as a weakness. I see it as having a fresh set of eyes and a voice for our community.”
“I definitely look forward to serving our community and working with the people. I also look forward to working with the other fellow council members, learning the ropes with them and also working with our new City Mayor, Rob McCormick.”
Basham was a Hancock County Sheriff’s Deputy for about 5 months. He said he wishes it was longer that he served. He has 5 children and a wife and decided that he needed to do something different. “You get out there in the real world and you see how crazy things are now and how fast things can turn south,” he said. “I told my wife that it wasn’t worth it to me to continue to pursue that and possibly put her and the kids in that situation if something ever happened.”
He said that along the lines of when he took the Sheriff’s Deputy position, that he has always had an interest in serving his community. “I’ve called Hawesville home for quite a long time. I was born and raised in Hancock County. I graduated from HCHS in 2001. I love serving the community and the people and working with everybody. With my age and my family and just the way that society itself had changed, I felt like it was best to not continue the path in law enforcement.
A couple of years later, I had several people approach me about city council. They thought that I would be good for it. I’m one that doesn’t mind to voice my opinion or to let it be known. I guess maybe that’s why some thought that I would be good for that position – just to be a voice and speak up about some concerns or questions that the community itself has.”
Basham worked at Commonwealth Aluminum for almost 14 years and then left to run his own home improvement business – Attention to Details, for 5 years. Even during the unfortunate climate that COVID caused for small business owners, he managed to stay busy with it but said that it got to be too stressful.
Juatin was looking for something new when Commonwealth just happened to call him at the right time, almost 2 years ago, offering him a supervisor position. He accepted and closed his business. He is still currently in the position of North Casting Production Supervisor.
Through the years, raising 5 children, he has helped coach some of the local sports such as Little League Baseball, the Hancock County Youth Softball League and summer leagues and has been involved with many parents in the community and their children. For the past year and a half, he’s been serving on the Saint Columba Catholic Church Council Board, as well.
All of these experiences, along with his time serving in law enforcement make him an excellent choice for serving on the Hawesville City Council. “I’m proud to be a part of the community,” Basham said. “I want to continue to help make Hawesville a place we’re all proud to call home.”
By Jennifer Wimmer