Mary Kolar

Mary Kolar, a 28-year Navy veteran and now secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, wants to work with Republican state lawmakers on finding sustainable revenue for agency programs.

After accepting a cabinet position from Gov. Tony Evers, Supervisor Mary Kolar will be stepping down from the Dane County Board.

Evers appointed Kolar, a retired Navy captain, to serve as secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. Kolar has represented District 1 on the board since 2013.

“With my foundation of military service and my local government experience, I expect to serve the 360,000-plus Wisconsin veterans and their families well,” Kolar said in a statement.

During Kolar’s time on the board, she chaired the Zoning and Land Regulation Committee and led the first comprehensive rewrite of Dane County’s zoning ordinance since 1938.

“I’m particularly proud of the completion of the long over-due comprehensive rewrite of Chapter 10 of the Dane County Zoning Ordinance,” Kolar said in the statement. “Many said it couldn’t be done, but after nearly three years of efforts by staff, sub-committees, work groups and the Dane Counties Town Association, we got it completed.”

Kolar has also served on the Healthy Farms Healthy Lakes Task Force and was a member of the Lakes and Watershed Commission. In addition, she served three terms as a director on the Wisconsin Counties Association board, previously served as co-chair of the City-County Liaison Committee and was vice chair of the Dane County Housing Authority.

She also served on the Cultural Affairs Commission.

Kolar is the third supervisor to leave the board for a position in the Evers administration. Former supervisors Jenni Dye, who represented District 33 in Fitchburg, and Jeff Pertl, who represented District 17 in Madison, now work for the governor.

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Dye is serving as the governor’s policy director, and Pertl has been appointed deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families.

Kolar, Dye and Pertl will offer outgoing remarks at the board’s meeting Thursday. The board will also vote to elect new first and second vice-chairs to leadership positions to replace Dye and Pertl, respectively.

Kolar’s resignation is effective Friday. The county will hold special elections for the vacant positions after the spring election in April.  

The Dane County Board meets Thursday at 7 p.m. in room 201 of the City-County Building, 210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. 

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Abigail Becker joined The Capital Times in 2016, where she primarily covers city and county government. She previously worked for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and the Wisconsin State Journal.