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UPDATED: Wausau ends crossing guard contract

by

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – Wausau will stop using a California company to manage crossing guards in the city at the end of the school year.

The City Council voted Tuesday to terminate a contract with All City Management Services on the last day of school. Aldermen Bill Nagle, Romey Wagner, Jonathan Havel, David Overbeck and David Nutting voted against the decision.

“The fact is it's a rotten contract,” said alderwoman Lisa Rasmussen, who has been the Council's most vocal critic of the deal. She said the city paid thousands of dollars more to an out-of-state company for the same work that local crossing guards had done for years.

All City Management Services hired all but one of the existing guards when it got the contract in August.

But supporters of the company said it had a strong training program and could relieve the city of liability costs it faced.

“This is a great example of how we can privatize that which we don't need to do as city employees,” Nutting said.

Some Council members were frustrated that they did not have a say in developing the contract. Police Chief Jeff Hardel said he signed the deal to reclaim time a lieutenant spent managing the program and free up patrol officers who were called off the streets to fill in for sick guards.

The Council gave Hardel the power to hire a local manager who can run the program after the contract ends.

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