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EAST WENATCHEE — Douglas County recently installed real-time, GPS units on county vehicles. But county and union officials can’t agree on how the system should be used to track and discipline employees and a state mediator is being called in.

Nearly 50 of the units were installed in April on equipment such as county snow plows, graders, dump trucks and vehicles used by some of the planning, supervisor and inspection staff, said Jim Barker, county director of administrative services.

He said the county commissioners agreed in February to buy the units and service agreement from Zonar Systems because they saw cost-savings potential to the county. “That was the number one reason we did this,” Barker said.

The units and installation cost about $45,000, which also includes the $11,000 annual service fee. Barker and selected supervisors can monitor whether a driver was speeding, how long a truck idled and the exact location at any given time.....more....