News and Updates
2018 SDSPLS 35th Annual Convention
January 10, 11 and 12, 2018
Cedar Shore Resort, Chamberlain, SD
Temporary Licensure Bill 
HB 1319 adopt the Interstate Compact for the Temporary Licensure of Professionals. 
SB 172 provide for an opt out by certain professions from the temporary licensing compact. 
Update 2/15/18 - HB 1319 was a Do Pass in committee and now goes to the full House, currently on Tuesday 2/20 calendar, but could be deferred.  Please contact your Representative to oppose this bill.  Expressing our view can be very beneficial in the outcome.  

Update 2/12/18 - HB 1319 is scheduled for committee Wednesday morning 2/14.   SB 172 has been deferred to Senate floor on Wednesday 2/21
Update 2/09/18 - SB 172 has unanimously passed from committee to full Senate. It is on the Monday February 12, afternoon agenda. Now is the time to offer your support for this bill by contacting your Senator.                                     

HB 1319 has so far been deferred by committee. We are watching for updates to revised hearing date.

From President Leetch   (November 2017)
We have been informed that Principles and Practice of Surveying examination will in the future include a depth module related to the U.S. Public Lands Survey System. Minnesota, California, and Virginia have asked for some changes and voting members have approved and authorized development and administration of this module. 

STI has held another Custer State Park field survey trip this month.  I have visited with Rod this week about how things went this year. He informs me that the group is getting larger each year and there are more non-traditional students in his program each year.  Some of these are men or women that have served or are serving in the military.  There is an apparent difference in students demeaner. We talked about Nebraska having no survey schools, and that Iowa has been in contact with STI for a graduate from their next few classes. STI has become a new found diamond for potential surveyors coming out of the high schools not only in South Dakota.

Rod was telling me that the film that was made last year from the Custer Park Survey experience was also on the school web site and generates some interest for the SDSPLS and the school.  He said that at the beginning of the year, they were bringing all of their new students in to a general gathering place for meeting and introductions and that their field trip film was run as a filler until the meeting started.  He said the film was cut short and the students had become so interested that they asked for the film to continue so they could see what happened.  This was a room of nearly 1,000 inquiring minds!  What an opportunity and thank you Rod for advertising for SDSPLS as well as the School.  I am leaving out a couple stories from this year’s Custer Park activity experience for Rod to share at convention. 

Rod said for a few years now his class has been relocating some old monuments that located blocks in portions of the old city section of Sioux Falls. It seems that the layout of subdivision blocks were set with one monument and it was not on the block corner, but offset some 13 feet.  I am told that this project would not be possible if it were not for survey offices in Sioux Falls that have provided a couple of their experienced surveyors to work with the students.  Thank you for helping the profession.  Wow, on the job interviews as a student is progressing toward a life experience and education.  At least that is my perspective. 

I worked with Rod back when the internet was just being thought about.  You said internet back then and you thought of grandma with her hair net over her new perm.  A redhead was a nail with red ribbon tied to it for marking lengths as you measured property.  That’s why neither of us married a red head woman, we had seen too many already.    Thanks Rod for the memories and the great job path you went on to bring all those students to understanding surveying.  

SDSPLS Members - there is a major decision to be made to which there are many potential answers for the BOD and the membership. The BOD stands as the body that makes many decisions for the whole of this organization, but there is much work to do before this decision can be made.   

I do not think it is a big secret that Janelle has informed the Board of Directors that she would like to retire from being the Executive Director for the SDSPLS.  She is giving us ample time to find a replacement which should be hired by about this time in 2018.  She has offered to stand with the newly selected Executive Director through the January 2019 Convention.  This is a magnificent offer from Janelle and I know you all will agree that we should continue paying her through this period. 

I have looked on the internet and found there are companies that will search for an Executive Director for an organization such as ours.  What I find troubling is that the expectation is to give a listing of each duty to be performed, hours expected of the position and what benefits will be offered.  Also I have heard a couple BOD members say we need a committee.  To this I would say the committee already exists and they are the BOD of the society.  Extra face to face meetings are required for these individuals to make a plan, which may mean some sacrifice from these individuals.  

SDSPLS has been more than blessed with the sacrifice that Janelle has put in to this organization.  Not to mention that she, as President of Fisk Land Surveying & CE, has used her company materials, space and hardware to aid in the success of this organization.  I have heard her tell the BOD when offers of more pay were made, that she does not require any additional.  Those good BOD members made the addition to her pay which is still low by anyone’s comparison.   I think the Engineering Society pays their Executive 20 thousand dollars a year.  We are three thousand below that. 

I perceive that in our future will be paying much more.  Just the office space and computer purchases, with salary will add upward of 30 thousand for a part time Executive Director.  Hiring a firm to find us an executive director will only add to this figure and will that next Executive have ideals that are of the Surveyor in mind or just a business sense?

What are some other options?   Talk with the person that is the Executive Director for the Engineers to see if taking on the Surveyors is an option.  Maybe there is another Surveying firm that has an individual that would entertain doing the Executive Director position as paid extra work?  Is there a member whose spouse has capabilities to become our executive director?  Are the duties split out into sections and new committee members are made to do those duties, such as BS/FS articles, convention speakers, convention planning, fund raising, meeting schedules, and the list is long from what Janelle sent to me.

You may want to see the discussion of the BOD that is printed in the meeting minutes. 

As the changes for this are looming over the head of the BOD, so is the means to finance the Annual Convention.  Costs rise for this also and what to do is difficult. At the time of my writing this message the estimate and belief is that a $30 raise in convention registration should solve this problem for the immediate future.  The band-aid idea of slower increases just drags out the pain while a quick action gets the pain done now.

Additionally, we need to overcome some unanticipated speaker fees and costs associated with the 2018 Convention.  Earlier this year we had secured a feature speaker from our FEMA Region Office in Denver and would have had the opportunity to address many current FEMA topics and include a specialized training class – at minimal cost to SDSPLS.  Unfortunately, due to the recent significant storms and wild fires, FEMA cancelled all of their immediate speaking engagements.  The last minute cancellation left us scrambling to find a new feature speaker – and with additional costs that we would not have incurred with FEMA.  The good news is that we will have a good speaker and timely, interesting topics, but a need to supplement our budget at the same time that we are working to increase funding for the coming change in Executive Director.
My final observation is one of term length for the BOD President.  Having been on the BOD for a few years now I have observed that the President and the President-elect are installed for one year terms.  Speaking from my own service as your President this year, I believe the society would be better served if the position of President was extended to 2 years.  It may be harder to find a person that would commit to a 2 year term, but the additional year would allow the President a chance to evaluate decisions or ideals and more time to obtain comments from the members as wanted or needed.  Even if this does not transpire in the future, the Executive Director would like to hear from any members that may have any interest in filling a position on a committee or on the Board of Directors.  It is hard to think who among the many great members might be able or even wanting to provide some service. 

Think about serving with and for your society members.
Fred Leetch - 2017 SDSPLS President

South Dakota

Society of

Professional Land


PO Box 8154

Rapid City, South Dakota 57709