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Stevenson v. County Comm'rs

Court of Appeals of Indiana

February 20, 2014

MICHAEL W. STEVENSON, Appellant-Plaintiff,
v.
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS of Gibson County, Indiana, BOB TOWNSEND, DON WHITEHEAD, GERALD BLEDSOE, COUNTY COUNCIL of Gibson County, Indiana, TONY WOLFE, JEREMY OVERTON, GEORGE ANKENBRAND, D. CRAIG PFLUG, WILLIAM McCONNELL, WILLIAM W. GEORGE and CECIL ROBERT ALLEN, Appellees-Plaintiffs

APPEAL FROM THE GIBSON CIRCUIT COURT. The Honorable David O. Kelly, Special Judge. Cause No. 26C01-0908-PL-10.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: JEFFREY B. KOLB, CHRISTOPHER MICHAEL RIPLEY, Kolb Roellgen & Kirschoff LLP, Vincennes, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR AMICUS CURIAE Indiana County Surveyors Association: EDWARD P. GRIMMER, DANIEL A. GOHDES, Crown Point, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES: JOHN W. BOWERS, NATHANIEL O. HUBLEY, Theisen Bowers & Associates, LLC, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

MAY, Judge. BAKER, J., and MATHIAS, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 1063

MAY, Judge.

Michael W. Stevenson appeals a judgment for the Gibson County Commissioners and County Council (collectively, " the County" ). We consolidate and restate the issues he raises as:

1. Whether Stevenson was paid the correct salary as the County Surveyor; and
2. Whether Stevenson was entitled to additional compensation for referencing corners in Gibson County.

We affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On January 1, 2005, Stevenson took office as the County Surveyor. His salary for 2005 was $36,170.00. When he took office, Stevenson was not a licensed surveyor, but he obtained a license in June 2005. The prior surveyor had been licensed. Stevenson was re-elected in 2008 and 2012.

As part of his budget proposal for 2006, Stevenson requested a salary of $56,439.00. He claimed he was entitled to that amount pursuant to Ind. Code § 36-2-12-15(b), which requires a licensed surveyor be paid 1.5 times the amount an unlicensed surveyor is paid. The County Council denied his

Page 1064

request, and added a note to the budget indicating a salary amount for an unlicensed surveyor, which was 1.5 times less than Stevenson's $38,250.00 salary. Each subsequent budget year, from 2007 to 2012, Stevenson requested a salary at 1.5 times the salary he was being paid, and each year the County Council denied his request and added a note in the budget indicating the salary for an unlicensed surveyor, at a rate of 1.5 times less than the salary Stevenson was given in the budget.

One of Stevenson's duties as County Surveyor, pursuant to Ind. Code ยง 36-2-12-15(d), was to " reference the corners" in Gibson County. The statute indicated a licensed surveyor was to be paid $4.00 per corner referenced. Each year when Stevenson created a proposed budget, he requested, and the Gibson County Council budgeted, between $800.00 and $1,200.00 to ...


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