Surveyor back on ballot after many years

Published 11:31 pm Saturday, February 16, 2019


NATCHEZ — For the first time in several decades, a candidate has filed qualifying paperwork for the office of Adams County surveyor.

Robert Dale Greene recently filed as a Republican for the Adams County position.

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One of the county offices defined by the Mississippi Constitution, the county surveyor executes all orders of survey directed to him by any court, all surveys of land at the request of private land owners and survey, resurvey work requested by the board of supervisors, according to the state’s official election guide published by the secretary of state’s office.

“It is an elected position under the purview of the board of supervisors,” Greene said.

To be a county surveyor, one must be a registered land surveyor and qualified elector of the county, which may be one reason Adams County has not had a county surveyor in more than four decades, Greene said.

As a registered land surveyor since 1972 and someone who has worked in land surveying for more than 40 years, Greene said he believes the county had a surveyor in the early 1960s, but that the surveyor had to vacate the position when the state Legislature required county surveyors to be licensed.

“The state passed legislation in the 1960s that required licenses,” Greene said. “(Before then) a lot of the surveying work at the time was being performed by the county engineer and (the county surveyor) was allowed to do it without a license.”

Each county is not required to have a county surveyor and the position is elected only if there is interest in the position, according to the state election guide.

County Attorney Scott Slover said he did not know about the county surveyor position until Greene submitted his qualifying papers. Slover said when he and Adams County Administrator Joe Murray recently conducted an informal survey of other counties in the state, they discovered that, like Adams County, many did not have county surveyors.

“Theoretically, we could have appointed someone to the position when no one had been elected,” Slover said.

Courts in counties without county surveyors, like Adams County, use private firms to provide surveying services, Greene said. Attorneys with both parties in a dispute meet with the judge and agree on which private surveyor to hire, Greene said.

Like other county offices, the county surveyor is elected for a four-year term.

After researching about the position, Slover said the county surveyor does not receive a salary from the county, nor does the county provide office space for the position, Slover said. The office is operated on a fee basis only.

Greene said fees for any work directed by the courts are defined by the state Legislature.