CREEDE — Mineral County’s search for a new attorney is entering its final stretch, with the interview process set up for four applicants.
The Mineral Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) will interview candidates for county attorney during a special meeting at 8 a.m. Monday, April 8.
Charles Powers will be interviewed at 8 a.m., followed by Randolph NIcholson at 9; Kelly Dunbar at 10 and Matthew Hobbs at 11.
While the public will be welcome at the meeting, it will not be a public hearing. Persons wanting to ask questions may submit them in writing to BOCC Chair Scott Lamb prior to the meeting.
Commissioner Don Hollenshead suggested having the same questions asked of each candidate and gauging their answers in regards to the county’s needs.
While the county has sought advice from Creede City Attorney Eric Heil, there was some discussion about possibly having him take the post, though Heil hasn’t applied.
Commission Chair Scott Lamb said he had been approached by residents who suggested that the county recruit Heil, since it wouldn’t take as long for him to be brought up to speed on county issues.
While the city and county have a good relationship, it was noted that conflicts could loom later and it wouldn’t be good for Heil to try and serve two masters.
The possibility of conflicts looms large in the commissioners’ minds and candidates will be questioned about that, along with their availability, should issues arise later on.
Commissioner Ramona Weber said each should be asked about foreseeable conflicts, as well as whether or not he or she has ever represented a client against either the city of Creede or the county.
Hollenshead said each attorney should be asked about his or her experience with local government.
When the question of pay arose, County Administrator Les Cahill pointed out that the position won’t be full time, but there will probably be a retainer to cover each time the attorney is required to attend BOCC meetings.
The learning curve was briefly addressed, with Cahill reporting that former county attorney John Wilder had turned in all his files on the county, as set forth in his separation agreement, and commissioners noting that it would take some time for whoever is hired to become familiar with what’s in them.
Since there are a number or file boxes, each including a list of what is inside, it was decided to let the new attorney research each issue as it arises.
Each candidate will have the BOCC’s questions in advance, so some preliminary thought can be given to them.
A special meeting will be held at 9 a.m. April 11 for the BOCC to decide who will take the post.