Highland Park to Fire Town Hall Contractor

Mayor Joel Williams presides over his first meeting as mayor of Highland Park.

Highland Park’s new mayor Joel Williams took office Wednesday afternoon. Less than a day later, he presided over a council worksession that essentially fired the general contractor for the town’s DPS/town hall renovation.

A busy 16 hours.

After proposed costs for the project came in nearly 25 percent over budget two weeks ago, councilmembers rejected the submitted bids, and called for a worksession to determine how to lower the cost. During Thursday’s session, Williams asked Von Gallagher, of Gallagher Construction, and architects Robert Garza and Larry Boerder to leave the room. For the next three hours, councilmembers brainstormed and pitched ways to bring down the cost.

In the end, they came up with one solution: fire Gallagher. Though the council couldn’t vote — that would have to wait for a formal council meeting — nearly all members expressed dissatisfaction with Gallagher, who was in charge of the bids.

“I’d just have more confidence in a new team,” Williams said. “And that’s meant with absolutely no disrespect to the professionals we’ve worked with to date.”

On Tuesday, councilmembers will meet again, to put into the record more concrete plans for cost reduction. Check out next week’s Park Cities People for more, up-to-date info.

5 thoughts on “Highland Park to Fire Town Hall Contractor

  • May 24, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    A) Thank you. After years of treating the HP and UP taxpayer money like something to spend until it’s gone, finally someone said “enough” and fired somebody.

    B) Kind of strange to say that they have no confidence in the old team and and your fired, and then say “And that’s meant with absolutely no disrespect to the professionals we’ve worked with to date.”

  • May 24, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    They do all of UP contracting.

  • May 24, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Good, that’s absurd that a bid could go that far over budget in such a short amount of time. And the council member who said something to the effect of tiles in the bathroom not needing to go all the way up to the ceiling is looking at cutting nickels instead of dollars.

  • May 26, 2012 at 7:56 am

    for pete’s sake, i had no idea it took two architects
    to do a small project like this. i suspect that this
    had something to do with the cost being so high.


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