The two candidates for Jackson County surveyor in the May 20 primary say most folks don't know anything about the surveyor's office until they need it — and then they need it to work well.

The two candidates for Jackson County surveyor in the May 20 primary say most folks don't know anything about the surveyor's office until they need it — and then they need it to work well.

Kerry Bradshaw and Darrell Huck both have nearly 40 years of surveying experience. They are running to replace Roger Roberts, who is finishing two terms.

Huck, 62, says the office has been run well and is one of the best in the state, except he would like to get a lot more information, maps and detail on Smartmap so developers, title companies and land owners can find it quickly, instead of having to order paper maps.

Bradshaw, 58, who owns Timberline Land Surveying in Central Point, has been in the Rogue Valley for 50 years. He's worked in the same office (Hoffbuhr & Associates) with Huck and says that while their technical skills are similar, he believes he excels in management, budgeting and community involvement.

Bradshaw has been on the Central Point School Board for 10 years, on Southern Oregon Drug Awareness for six years (twice president) and is active in the Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon (twice president of the local chapter).

"I like people. I worked for the city of Medford 12 years doing oversight of private surveys in the Engineering-Survey Department," says Bradshaw.

Of Huck, Bradshaw says, "Darrell is a wonderful guy. He's been around as long as I have, he's as qualified as me, especially in the technical part, but not near as experienced as me in management."

Because of the low visibility and limited understanding of the surveyor's office, Bradshaw says he hopes to educate the public about its resources and be helpful in providing information.

Huck, born and raised in Klamath Falls, emphasizes he's worked 40 years in private surveying (35 of it in the Rogue Valley) and wants to bring that wealth of experience to the governmental side and "serve as an advocate" for the community.

"Most people don't know what the county surveyor does and don't care until they have a boundary problem come up, then they find out," says Huck. "I could advise people and explain what the surveys are."

Of his opponent, Huck says, "He's a capable surveyor, a native of the region and he has his own personal business. He said he intends to keep running it, if elected, but I think county surveyor is a full-time business, and I would dedicate myself to that. It's difficult to run two businesses."

Bradshaw confirms he's going to keep his business running — "the alternative is to put five people out of jobs" — but he's putting the corporation in a trust to eliminate any conflict of interest with an elective office and "it's certainly doable and not a big deal."

John Darling is a freelance writer living in Ashland. E-mail him at jdarling@jeffnet.org.