Greg Seubert. Contributed photo

Damakant Jayshi

The City of Wausau will soon be launching a search for its new transit director since the longtime leader of the department, Greg Seubert, is retiring.

Seubert, who has worked for the city for 40 years, has already submitted his retirement notice. The Finance Committee will be discussing, and likely approving, a recruitment plan for Seubert’s position. The recruitment will likely be handled by an outside firm and a $22,500 budget modification has been proposed by the city’s Human Resources department for the purpose. The plan will have to be endorsed by the full City Council.

“I’ve worked for the City of Wausau for 40 years and I will soon be 63 years old, so it seems like it a good time to retire,” Seubert told Wausau Pilot & Review. “I would like to spend more time with family and pursue personal interests like traveling.”

Seubert said his retirement will be effective Jan. 16, 2023. The transit director oversees Metro Ride, Wausau’s bus service.

Jennifer Kannenberg, specialist at the city’s Human Resources department, said the transit director was drawing an annual base salary of $133,057. She did not have any additional information at this time when asked about the timeline for recruitment.

Speaking about challenges that Wausau’s public transportation service still faces, Seubert pointed to a lack of regional service as its the biggest issue.

“We can only cross local boundaries to extend service if communities partner with us to make that happen,” he said. “Also, the loss of retail opportunities in the City of Wausau has been challenging for transit riders.”

Another difficulty is hiring part-time drivers, he added. Seubert also mentioned a potential challenge with long-term ramifications: declining funding from the state.

“Over the years, state funds have declined from 42% of expense to about 22% in 2022,” he said. “At the same time, state-imposed levy limits have made it difficult for the city to respond.”