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Veteran St. Paul Public Works Director Rich Lallier to retire

Lallier started with the city in 1978 as a seasonal worker, and has been director of Public Works since 2010. Mayor Chris Coleman’s aide, Nancy Homans, will fill the spot until a successor is appointed.

Rich Lallier, the St. Paul Public Works director who’s worked for the city since 1978, will retire next month.

Nancy Homans, policy director for Mayor Chris Coleman, will lead the department until a successor is appointed in February.

Lallier began working with the city in 1978 as a seasonal lifeguard and recreation worker, eventually became a parks operation manager. He was named interim Public Works director in early 2010, when his predecessor abruptly resigned after a KSTP-TV investigation found Public Works crews taking long breaks when they were supposed to be filling potholes.

Given the full-time job director job later that year, Lallier is credited with “identifying and tackling the ‘Terrible 20’ — [the city’s worst streets that Coleman vowed to repair]” and he worked to improve bike access, brought the new parking meter system to downtown and upgraded the Public Works fleet.

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Lallier said his career successes came from the “teamwork and collaboration of many, both inside and with partners from outside the city.”