Wanted: A crossing guard for Saukville Elementary

Vacant position has School Board members voicing safety concerns about intersection of Dekora and Mill streets
By 
Bill Schanen IV
Ozaukee Press Staff

Port Washington-Saukville School Board members on Monday expressed concerns about the possibility of not having a crossing guard at a busy intersection just blocks from Saukville Elementary School.

“The Saukville Police Department is not sure it can find anyone to fill the position,” Saukville Elementary School Principal Chad Brakke told the board, referring to a crossing guard post at the intersection of North Mill and East Dekora streets that had been staffed by Cindy Douglas for 28 years. 

Douglas retired at the end of the school year.

“The concern is that there are four or five crossing guards in Port and there would be none in Saukville, and that’s a pretty busy intersection,” Brakke said.

That would be more than a concern, School Board member Sara McCutcheon, who represents the village, said. 

“Can’t find anyone? Have they even tried?” she asked. “This is ridiculous. If they haven’t even tried to find someone, that’s inexcusable. Put an ad in the newspaper.”

Saukville Police Chief Rob Meyer said in an interview Tuesday that he intends to fill the position, but he added that it won’t be easy to find someone willing to do the job.

“Hopefully, if all goes well, we can find someone before school starts,” he said. “But it’s a tough position to fill because you’re asking someone to work one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon.”

Referring to Douglas and other long-time crossing guards, Meyer said, “They are special people who really care about children and the community. To find someone with that sort of dedication will be difficult.”

Not having a crossing guard at the intersection is unacceptable, McCutcheon said, noting that Dekora Street is part of Highway 33.

“This is not a street. It’s a state highway,” she said, adding that she knows from experience how dangerous the intersection can be. “Cindy Douglas was screaming as a car nearly hit my grandson and me in that intersection.”

Funding the village’s only crossing guard position may also be an issue.

The police department has previously paid crossing guards, but when asked if he will request that the school district fund a portion or all of the cost of the position, Meyer said, “That has to be worked out yet.”

He did not immediately know what it costs the department to pay a crossing guard.

Port Washington Police Chief Kevin Hingiss said his department pays city crossing guards, but added, “I would like it to come out of the School District budget.”

He echoed Meyer’s concerns about difficulty of finding people to be crossing guards.

“I will say it’s getting harder and harder to find people to do this job,” he said.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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