In the primary election on Tuesday, May 8, Richard L. (Rich) Hudson and
William Rensberger will vie for the Republican nomination for the Office of
Porter County Surveyor. Early voting begins April 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) Age, place of residence, occupation.
Hudson: I am 63 and have resided in Center Township since 1974. 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.
Rensberger: Im 52 years old and live near Chesterton. President and
co-owner of Davies-Rensberger Land Surveying Inc. A 20-year veteran of the
U.S. Army and Indiana Guard. Licensed to practice land surveying in Indiana,
Illinois, and Wisconsin.
(2) Describe the Porter County Surveyors responsibilities. (75 words)
Hudson: The County Surveyor is required to maintain and perpetuate
section corner monuments, maintain survey records, plats, and files, and
serve the County Drainage Board on matters of drainage. I intend to expand
the perpetuation of monuments to other important survey markers in the
county by working directly with municipalities as they plan their
construction projects. I also intend to make personal service to land owners
in the county the number one priority of the office.
Rensberger: The County Surveyor is responsible for mapping the regulated
drains and is a key individual to help prevent drainage issues and help
solve those issues if and when they occur. The County Surveyor is also
responsible for the maintenance of all section corners in the county.
(3) Describe your qualifications for office. (75 words)
Hudson: Made livelihood surveying in Porter County for 42 years, have
been licensed professional land surveyor for 24 years, have served on the
Board of the Indiana Land Surveyors Association for 22 years (president in
1996), currently serve as a member of the Land Surveying State Licensing
Board (appointed by Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2004), and am a service-oriented
individual who looks forward to working for the citizens of Porter County.
Rensberger: I have been in the land surveying field for 30-plus years. I
have prepared many surveys, subdivisions, and site plans in the county,
which gives me a good perspective with any issues that the landowner may
have. I am also a certified preparer and inspector of storm water pollution
and prevention plans.
(4) Why are you seeking election to the office? (75 words)
Hudson: In my early years in the surveying profession I spent much time
in the County Court House and the County Surveyor's Office. I saw county
government from the inside and was influenced by several admirable county
officials who had dedicated themselves to serving the public. In later years
I found the idea of a service-oriented profession appealing. I've focused
myself to run for office for a number of years. Now is the time.
Rensberger: I would like the opportunity to use my experience and energy
to make the office as productive and as efficient as possible. If I can save
the taxpayer (The Boss) money, I will.
(5) Differentiate yourself from your opponent and indicate why you believe
yourself a better candidate. (100 words)
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 have also
served on the board of a statewide land surveyors professional organization.
Gov. Daniels has recognized my qualifications by appointing me to the
state's licensing board. Locally I served on the County Park Board (21
years) and the County Board of Zoning Appeals (16 years) in addition to
working for the local Republican Party behind the scenes. My practical and
professional experience, my knowledge, and my contacts serve me well when
compared with my opponent.
Rensberger: My Republican opponent is a qualified candidate for the
County Surveyor position. I am sure he would do a good job. I cant speak for
him as to what his plans for the office are but my goal is to run the office
as smooth and efficient as possible. Give me eight years and I will have
every lost or obliterated section corner set with mathematical coordinates
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.
Its a matter of being in the office, being available, and providing service
about land or surveying issues in as timely and efficient a manner as
Rensberger: When you have an outside reviewer of development/building
plans its like having an extra tax on the property owner that wants to
build. I think the county should consider going back to keeping the review
in house. The County Surveyor should have line item-authority to modify some
of the unnecessary (drainage) requirements imposed on a person wanting to
make improvements to their property. The BZA would not have to grant so many
variances if this would happen. Section corners are being destroyed because
of road construction or repair. There needs to be communication with the
communities and the County Highway Engineer to have a plan to save these
monuments. Everyones property deed uses these monuments as a reference and
its important to preserve them.
(7) 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 our office? (50 words)
Hudson: I have no intentions at the moment to ask for any additional
funds. However, if a possibility arrives that would allow improved service
to our citizens and has moderate costs involved, I would not be hesitant to
make a financial request at that time.
Rensberger: I want to run the office efficiently. Cross-training
employees may be one way. I wont ask the taxpayer for more money to operate
the office. I will make personnel changes if I think it will save money or
make the office more efficient. I also believe in term limits.
(8) Do you regularly attend meetings of the Porter County Council,
Commissioners, and Drainage Board? Why or why not? (50 words)
Hudson: I regularly attend the Commissioners meetings so I can follow
county government as a citizen, taxpayer, and business person. I attend the
council meetings on occasion as a member of the Parks Board. I attend the
Drainage Board meetings as a part of my professional work obligations.
Rensberger: If my clients hire or want me to attend county meetings then
I go to them, otherwise I rarely attend.