The Journal Gazette
Friday, May 22, 2020 1:00 am

Finding the right man for the job

David P. Devine

What a glorious and wonderful opportunity I have, along with many others, to vote.

Thank you to those, most who have departed this Earth long before me and long before they should have passed, who conferred to me such an awesome gift.

I have a vote in who is the technical adviser to the county drainage board. I have a vote for who oversees regulated drains. I have a vote in who reviews development plans, and I have a vote in who administers section corner perpetuation. I have a vote for who will be on the ballot for county surveyor in the general election.

It does get better, at least for me this primary election. I see my own name on the ballot! I may mark my thumb purple to show the world I voted. Having an opportunity to vote is precious, and I encourage everyone who is eligible to vote.

If a position such as county surveyor were appointed, as a recent Journal Gazette editorial (“Sorg for surveyor,” May 8) opined is a matter of common sense, I would apply for such an opening.

Consider what might be listed as the job requirements for applicants. I suspect they would be:

1) Experience in the work done by the office,

2) Education in civil engineering and surveying, and

3) Professional licenses, as a professional surveyor and also as a professional engineer.

I have about 30 years of work experience in civil engineering, surveying and related work.

I have also worked for private engineering and surveying companies and both state and county governments, including some time with the Tippecanoe County surveyor working with the section corner perpetuation program and also with Allen County Department of Planning Services working with GIS.

One of the more unique aspects of my work experience is time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Côte d'Ivoire, where I performed surveying and worked on communitywide drainage projects.

To correct what was written in a May 12 article in The Journal Gazette, I have not completed a doctoral degree.

I have continually maintained licenses in Indiana both as a professional surveyor and as a professional engineer for many years. 

One aspect of the county surveyor's office that is critically dependent upon licensure is section corner perpetuation work. Indiana Code states that the county surveyor shall administer perpetuation of corners. If the county surveyor is not registered, a registered professional surveyor shall be appointed.

In the past two months, the current county surveyor has not responded to a request for public records regarding section corner perpetuation work.

Furthermore, in well over one week, I have not been provided with a response to a straightforward question posed to the current county surveyor:

“Would you please inform me if you have ever appointed someone to administer IC 36-2-12-11, yes or no?

“If the answer is yes, would you please inform me who this person is or persons are and when the appointment(s) were made?”

The Allen County public information officer informs me “no such record or document exists” regarding who has been appointed. Since the current surveyor does not have a license, it is unclear who administers this part of Indiana law or how the work can be done if no professional surveyor has been appointed. 

Theoretically, one positive aspect of elected office is that those elected are obliged to respond to the people. Not getting a response from an elected official is certainly disappointing and enough for me to not vote for an incumbent. It is my opinion that having many years of experience, quality education and professional licenses is more than enough for me to vote for someone.

David P. Devine is a candidate for the Republican nomination for Allen County surveyor.

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