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County surveyor not entitled to additional compensation, rules court

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has denied the Gibson County surveyor’s claims that under statute, he is entitled to a higher salary and additional compensation for referencing corners in the county.

Michael W. Stevenson took office in 2005 when he was not a licensed surveyor, but obtained his license in June of that year. The prior surveyor had been licensed. Stevenson’s initial salary was $36,170.

In 2006, he sought a pay increase of 1.5 times what he currently made since he was now licensed, based on I.C. 36-2-12-15(b). This statute requires a licensed surveyor be paid 1.5 times the amount of an unlicensed surveyor. The county council instead added a note to the budget indicating the salary for an unlicensed surveyor would be 1.5 times less than what Stevenson made. Stevenson made this request each budget year through 2012, and was denied each time.

In 2009, he sought additional compensation for referencing all 1,959 corners in Gibson County. Statute says the surveyor receives $4 per corner referenced. This compensation was also denied, leading to the current lawsuit.

In Michael W. Stevenson v. County Commissioners of Gibson County, Indiana, Bob Townsend, Don Whitehead, Gerald Bledsoe, County Council of Gibson County, Indiana, Tony Wolfe, Jeremy Overton, et al., 26A01-1212-PL-540, the Court of Appeals found no abuse of discretion in the trial court’s decision, which held the council met its statutory obligations by establishing the lower salary for the unlicensed surveyor instead of increasing Stevenson’s salary.

There was also no error in finding he is not entitled to $35,580 in additional compensation for seven years of unpaid corner references he allegedly completed. The COA rejected his claims that to receive compensation he is required to only “have a book of records” and “sit there and draw the money.”

The statute requires the surveyor check and reference at least 5 percent of all corners in the county each year, meaning perform a physical inspection and note the condition of the monument and references in order to be compensated.
 

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  • 1.5 times less???
    Wouldn't a salary that is 1.5 less than the current licensed surveyor's salary mean an unlicensed surveyor would be paying the county $18,085 per year for the privilege of working!

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  1. OK, now do something about this preverted anacronism

  2. William Hartley prosecutor of Wabash county constantly violates people rights. Withholds statement's, is bias towards certain people. His actions have ruined lives and families. In this county you question him or go out of town for a lawyer,he finds a way to make things worse for you. Unfair,biased and crooked.

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  5. Out here in Kansas, where I now work as a government attorney, we are nearing the end of a process that could have relevance in this matter: "Senate Bill 45 would allow any adult otherwise able to possess a handgun under state and federal laws to carry that gun concealed as a matter of course without a permit. This move, commonly called constitutional carry, would elevate the state to the same club that Vermont, Arizona, Alaska and Wyoming have joined in the past generation." More reading here: http://www.guns.com/2015/03/18/kansas-house-panel-goes-all-in-on-constitutional-carry-measure/ Time to man up, Hoosiers. (And I do not mean that in a sexist way.)

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