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
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
(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
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
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
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.