You don't have to have a taste for Versace to spend $72,000 a year on clothing. At least not from a mid-sized city's perspective. All you need is a taste for social justice.
Apparently it's tough to find a contractor to make uniforms for city employees who can comply with the city's living wage ordinance. However, the same ordinance that requires the city to give contracts only to bidders who abide by certain labor standards also specifies that exceptions can be made if absolutely nobody steps up the plate. Apparently that's exactly what happened with municipal uniforms.
As a result, however, the city will save some money. Although $72,000 was set aside in the 2010 operating budget for "uniform laundering services," the contractor who will be making and cleaning the clothes, Unifirst Corporation, will only cost $45,000. The result is $27,000 of savings for Madison.
Frankly, I don't think city employees need uniforms. I think we'd be better off spending that 72k on a rolex for every landscaper, street sweeper and security guard in Madison. It would be a hell of a morale booster, and you don't have to worry about labor violations with Rolex. Those Swiss watchmakers are taken care of.