Chesterton Tribune


County Surveryor candidates Breitzke and Hudson tell qualifications and views

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In the general election on Nov. 6, Democrat incumbent Kevin Breitzke will face Republican challenger Richard L. (Rich) Hudson for the office of Porter County Surveyor. Early voting begins on Oct. 9.

The Chesterton Tribune invited both to respond to candidate questionnaires.

The Tribune set word limits for each question and reserved the right to edit for length.

(1) To Breitzke: Age, place of residence, terms in office. 57, Valparaiso, four terms.

To Hudson: Age, place of residence, occupation. I am 64, reside in Center Township, and have lived in Porter County since 1969. I am a Professional Land Surveyor licensed in Indiana and Illinois. I work for GAI Consultants Inc. as a Senior Survey Manager and a Project Manager.

(2) Describe the Porter County Surveyor’s responsibilities. (75 words).

Breitzke: The County Surveyor is the technical authority on the construction, reconstruction, and maintenance of all regulated drains or proposed regulated drains in the county, reviews complaints regarding obstructions within private and natural drains, and addresses storm water quality as part of the Clean Water Act. Other duties include being a County Plan Commission member, maintaining and perpetuating section corners, maintaining survey records including a legal survey book, maintaining annexation descriptions, certify businesses for alcoholic beverage permits.

Hudson: The County Surveyor’s responsibilities: survey, perpetuate, and keep records of all section corners throughout the county; supervise all civil engineering work of the county; prepare, maintain, and keep a detailed record book showing maps of each section, grant, tract, or subdivision; supervise all legal ditch construction and maintenance; and serve as a member of the County Drainage Board of the County Planning Commission, Kankakee River Basin Commission, and Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission.

(3) To Breitzke: Describe your achievements in office. (75 words) I continued to increased in-house production for significant drainage projects to a yearly average of 30 for each of the past six years. My predecessors averaged less than two per year. I scanned and placed thousands of drawings including surveys, subdivisions, roads, railways, and other drawings on the county web page. I am constantly improving the technology for office and field personnel to improve the proficiency of our performance and service to the citizens.

To Hudson: Describe your qualifications for office. (75 words) I’ve made my livelihood surveying in Porter County since 1969; qualified as a Licensed Professional Land Surveyor in 1988; have been a member of the Indiana Land Surveyors Association since 1975; now sit on the Land Surveying Licensing Board (appointed by Gov. Daniels in 2004), and have served 16 years on PC Board of Zoning Appeals and, since 1991, on PC Park Board. I’m a service-oriented individual who wants to work for the citizens.

(4) To Breitzke: Why are you seeking re-election this office? (100 words) I enjoy giving personal service to Porter County citizens and have made that the highest priority of this office by being available and providing assistance with drainage, property, and surveying issues in as timely and efficient a manner as possible. I continue to enjoy the challenges of this office, and I will continue to promote adoption of positive changes for everyone’s best quality of life. Finally, I am committed to improving my life-long home, Porter County. Since both sides of my family have been here since before 1900, I have no desire to ever live or work anywhere else.

To Hudson: Why are you seeking election to this office (100 words). In my early years as a surveyor I had occasion to spend much time in the County Court House and Surveyor's Office. I saw county government from the inside and came to admire numerous officials dedicated to public service. In later years the idea of a service-oriented profession increasingly appealed to me. I've prepared myself to run for office for a number of years. The extent of my practical and professional experience, the knowledge I've gained over the years, and the contacts I've made on the local and state level will serve me well if elected as County Surveyor.

(5) Differentiate yourself from your opponent and indicate why you believe yourself a better candidate. (100 words).

Breitzke: This office has diverse responsibilities beyond being a land surveyor. I have professional licenses/certifications in three different areas of expertise beneficial to our citizens: Professional Engineer (25 years), ASFPM Certified Floodplain Manager, and Professional Land Surveyor (29 years). In addition to a degree from Valparaiso University (BS Civil Engineering), where my senior project was about Porter County drainage, I have over 36 years of practical and professional surveying and engineering experience. I am an accomplished leader in regional and county planning, stormwater and flood management, and environmental policy resulting in economic and personal benefits for Porter County citizens.

Hudson: While I respect my opponent, I have much more experience, not only as a surveyor but as a surveyor here in Porter County. I also have the experience of serving a number of years on the board of a statewide professional organization in addition to its local chapter. Gov. Daniels recognized my abilities and qualifications in appointing me to the state's licensing board. On the local level I’ve served on the County Park Board and BZA, in addition to my work for a significant time behind the scenes in the local Republican Party.

(6) What are the key issues in the race? (150 words).

Breitzke: Drainage problems and the resolution of them has been the biggest challenge. We have been addressing the issues as prioritized after compiling the county-wide comprehensive drainage questionnaire results. I will continue to reduce this list and improve drainage while finding proficient, cost-effective engineering solutions to resolve these stormwater management issues.

As an active member of the Plan Commission, I am very concerned about the impacts of planning, zoning and development. I will continue to promote positive planning practices to protect, preserve, and improve the infrastructure, land, and environment for all our citizens, institutions and businesses.

Maintenance and perpetuation of section corner monuments is a challenge due to excavation, construction, and road work. I will continue to use GPS to expand the perpetuation of important survey markers and reference points by adding GPS information working with municipal, state and federal agencies as they plan roads and public works projects.

Hudson: The single key issue is service and who can provide it best. There is not much that is glamorous about the office of the County Surveyor. It's a matter of being in the office, being available and providing service about land, drainage, and surveying issues in as timely and efficient a manner as possible. I feel that my 42 years of professional practice in land surveying and development will be the foundation to guide me in the position of County Surveyor.

(7) To Breitzke: Have you asked the Porter County Council for additional funds or employees to fulfill your responsibilities? If so, for what purpose specifically? (50 words) No, while I run one of the most productive and proficient surveyor offices with only four full-time employees, including myself, in the state. I continue to embrace the challenge to creatively maintain or reduce the costs of government while attempting to prevent financial impacts to individual citizens, businesses and institutions.

To Hudson: If elected, do you expect to ask the Porter County Council for additional funds or employees to fulfill your responsibilities? Do you expect to make staffing changes in your office? (50 words) I have no intentions at present to ask for additional funds. However, if a possibility arrives that would allow improved service to our citizens and has moderate costs I wouldn’t hesitate to make a financial request for additional staff. I do not expect to make staffing changes.



Posted 10/3/2012