PLSO The Oregon Surveyor January/February 2020

2 The Oregon Surveyor | Vol. 43, No. 1 From the PLSO Chairman Jeremy A. Sherer, PLS Chairman of the Board MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN M y grandfather was a common- sense farmer who grew up in Bellfountain, Oregon. After grad- uation, he worked for Benton County Surveyor, W.C. Galloway, and later for Francis Wagner with the Army Corps of Engineers on the Camp Adair project, before retiring from Pacific Power and Light (Mountain States), after 40 years of surveying. My grandfather loved survey- ing and would often say, “The surveying profession is great, but you’ll never get rich.” He may not have gotten rich, but he had something of greater value which he passed to me. My grandfather nei- ther taught me trigonometry nor how to use a trig table, neither showed me how to pull a chain nor a steel tape, and he neither tutored me in drafting nor the art of calligraphy; instead, what he gave me was an example of what a good sur- veyor looks like. My grandfather taught me to be honest and trustworthy in my affairs, to do things judiciously, to do a little more than what was asked, and to be generous through acts of service and charity. These traits influenced and informed my character as a human, a citizen, and a Land Surveyor. What does a good surveyor look like? To a culture that places moral relevancy above the good, abstract notions of reality above truth, and that prefers the safe- ty of isolation and balkanization above the beauty of living in a civil society, my grandfather and Surveyors have an an- swer. Ask any Surveyor what he needs before beginning a survey, and he will tell you that a known point, direction, and a destination is required. Like surveying land, surveyors need a known point of moral character, directed by the ability In our discovery of “what a good surveyor looks like,” we will discuss some common characteristics such as honesty, common sense and service, and some common virtues such as justice, prudence and fellowship found in the surveying community. to reason well in the application of the principles and practices of surveying to find the destination through support that reinforces our common virtues. Pat Gaylord addressed the need for Pro- fessional Land Surveyors of Oregon (PLSO) to be relevant, under his rebranding ef- forts, and Tim Fassbender picked up the baton as Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee to provide us with a road map. In other words, through the lead- ership of these men, we have a direction and a destination. In this article, I would like to uncover a possible “known point” by exploring the character of a Surveyor and his re- lationship to common surveying virtues in pursuit of excellence. If you’ve been in the surveying profession long enough, you might think that the virtues most common to Surveyors are crotchetiness, crabbiness, and crankiness. That may be what we see on the surface, but if you pull back the curtain, you will discover a few other characteristics. I would like to suggest that the character and virtues found in most Surveyors are not only grounded in individual unique- ness, but are also derived from our western ideals, our American heritage, and the history of surveying. In our discov- ery of “what a good surveyor looks like,” we will discuss some common charac- teristics such as honesty, common sense and service, and some common virtues such as justice, prudence, and fellow- ship found in the surveying community. Before State licensing and County Home Rule, the institution of surveying was pri- marily vested in the County Surveyor. In its original conception, it was the county The Virtues of Surveying