Supes offer Kolacia attorney position

Benson’s former job may go to Boone County attorney

Dan Kolacia, who is currently the Boone County attorney, may be the next county attorney of Webster County.

The Webster County Supervisors voted 4-1 Tuesday to extend an offer to Kolacia at the current salary, saying that Kolacia was the top candidate who had applied for the job left vacant when Webster County Attorney Jennifer Benson resigned to take another position.

The county attorney’s salary is set to be $106,651 in the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

“We selected a subcommittee to review and rank them, and Mr. Kolacia was the No. 1 ranking,” Supervisor Mark Campbell said. “We brought in the top three and interviewed them, and they did an outstanding job interviewing.”

A lot of people called in on Kolacia’s behalf, Campbell said.

“He’s originally from Fort Dodge, and we hope he will accept our offer,” Campbell added.

Supervisor Merrill Leffler voted no on the motion to offer the position, while supervisors Nick Carlson, Keith Dencklau Bob Thode and Campbell voted yes.

Leffler said there’s been quite a bit of input on the question, and he greatly appreciated the committee which offered the recommendations.

“With that said I think there were some problems with the committee. We had a couple people drop out,” Leffler said. “I have had a pretty overwhelming response from the legal community to me personally that they are not in favor of the recommendation. There’s a wide range of reasons I’ve been given why they aren’t.”

Whoever becomes county attorney will be up for election in November.

First Assistant Webster County Attorney Ryan Baldridge was also one of the candidates.

Leffler said he would prefer to find an option to “just let things stay the same,” and then let the public vote on this in November, “since we’re kind of in this mess.”

Thode said he would be voting with the committee recommendation.

“When we first got into this mess, we decided to pick some people so it did not become political, which unfortunately it did,” Thode said.

Thode said he’s had only one person contact him who was against Kolacia’s appointment.

“With that being said, come the November election everybody can make their decision on it, and for that reason I will be voting for Dan Kolacia,” Thode said.

Attorney Charles Kenville also interviewed for the position last week.

The citizens could also petition to hold a special election now, if they choose. Webster County Auditor Doreen Pliner said 1,743 signatures would be needed on the petition, within 14 days from when the supervisors officially make the appointment.

This appointment will happen at a later date if Kolacia chooses to accept the position, the supervisors said.

Former county attorney Benson’s last day was Jan. 14.