Monday, October 29, 2012


On the 23rd of October I went to a meeting at the Arizona State Board of Technical Registration.  During the course of this meeting one of the issues discussed was "street monuments" being reset by non-surveyors.  This is a HUGE issue for every surveyor practicing in Arizona.  These street monuments are primarily used to control the location of private property. 

Therefore it is completely within the perveiw of the Registered Land Surveyor to reset them and file either a monument record or a Record of Survey.  However, some feel that this is a function of construction and not surveying.  Simply put this stance is wrong.  It also came out that there was some question as to wether or not these monuments need a RLS number on them.  Well the short answer there is, yes they do.

To my knowledge there is ONLY one government agency within the United States that doesn't need a state issued license to practice surveying (specific to boundary surveying)  it is the US Deptpartment of Interior, Brach of Cadastral Survey.  Therefore it is safe to assume that unless the BLM is setting street monuments anywhere in Arizona; those monuments need a RLS number on them.  The Arizona Revised Statutes and the Arizona Adminstrative Code are very clear on this.

Anyone whom has endeavored to practice in this state has come across controlling monuments that fall in the street.  Cities and Counties have been engaged for years in street improvement projects everywhere.  Yet few if any, of the various agencies involved in this activity have paid much attention to the issue of destroying survey monumentation and replacing it.  Many that have in more recent history are not paying attention to the legal ramifications of "non-restrants" putting these monuments back.  

This is one issue that APLS needs to take on.  However I don't think our releif is with the BTR.  The BTR is not a policing agency for other goverment agencies.  They regulate the practice of the professions they encompass.  So where does the releif come from?  It comes from educating the agencies guilty of the activity.  APLS must be in a position to send a letter of concern to every agency that is either destroying the monumentation or replacing it with non-registrants.  I beleive that educating these agnecies through their prospective legal councils is the key.  The White Mountain Chapter of APLS did this with a Town up here and it worked.  I beleive this is the key, not the BTR. So every Chapter of APLS needs to be vigilent for this.

So I propose APLS needs to draft a letter to every jurisdiction we know is in violation; addressed to either the County Attorney or the City Attorney (which ever) and the politicians that govern these agencies; addressing our concerns and attempt to educate.  The White Mountain Chapter did it and other chapters can also.  The bonus here is that APLS is the fall guy.  No particular surveyor is on the hook (except maybe the chapter president or the chairman of the board); so the politics of the situation should not get in the way. However as an organization APLS needs to be proactive and take this on.  Before we task the offenders with responsibility we, APLS, need to assume a leadership role in bringing the law and rules forward in an attempt to educate them.  If at that point we get ignored; then we take it to the next level and file complaints to the legal authorities governing and overseeing these activities individually.  But I would prefer that the attorneys advising these agencies would take our letter(s) to heart and advise those agencies to correct the behavior. 

But again let me be clear; I don't think this is the job of the BTR.  They police our activities.  We need to let the Arizona Revised Statutes do the talking for us; not be a road block.  Just a thought. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Now What!?

So we had an interesting day in the field today.  Had to use an instrument and actually traverse.  It was fun.  It gave us a chance to get some old juices flowing.  During the course of our survey we were retracing an old un recorded survey from 1946.  Those boys did some good work given the broken terrain and dense cover.  They set 1 inch pipes at the monuments and we found most of them.  A good day in anybodies book.  BUT; within a foot of these pipes we found rebar and caps.  No record of survey and they hadn't been there long enough to be exempt from the recording statute.  So we head back to the office and look the guy up and give him a call.

Well he didn't know why it wasn't recorded and had no intention since the engineering firm he worked for was no longer in business.  Then he goes on to say just pull them out.  Well that didn;t sit well.  A fence had been built to them so they have been relied on dispite the erronoeus location.  So now what?

At first thought one might get mad and take to the BTR.  A second thought is to show the erronoeous pins and thier relation to the original monuments or the reset points based thereon.  Is it just me or isn't there some level of responsibility that goes along with seeting a monument if you fin out it it is wrong?  Or can we just walk away and never look back.  I know how I feel about it.  What does the bloggoshere think?

On another note.  A long time compadre of dad and mine is retiring and having a get together in Tucson.  I can't make it.  So I just want to say "Via con Dios" to Haze..  He is one of the people who tought me how to have fun while surveying and I look back foundly and the times we worked together.  He was really patient with the snot nosed kid who was following him around.  The two fondest memories were freezing our asses off Nutrioso, and distance meter lense cap fiasco at the airport in Springerville.  Good times; and worth laughing about now.  For the moment I will keep them just for me and those involved.

And to the rest of my comrades in the south land "Viva LA SALSA"......  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Gila County Again....

So there I was basking in the glory of victory thinking I had slain the dragon.  OH NOOOOOOOO.  I went to a meeting last Tuesday with one of my Gila County clients who informed me that he had received a phone call from "someone" at Gila County informing him that my plat was in error and I refused to fix it; and they thought he should know. 

So here I am at a cross roads...  I can either go ballistic and unleash the dogs of war.  Making Gila County my personal vendetta forever.  Or I can chuckle at the petty attempt by this egg sucking goverment employee to get me in trouble.

(pregnant pause for effect)

I chuckled with my client as we both discussed how laim Gila County was for making the call.  I am exploring what recourse I have against this individual.  As I beleive HE is a registrant and if so, I will make him a personal interest.  I do beleive ethical boundaries have been crossed.  Working for the county may protect him from being stupid but it does not absolve him of responsibility for it.