Challenger sees need for new blood in Jackson County surveyor's office

Challenger sees need for new blood in Jackson County surveyor's office

The Jackson County surveyor's race pits first-term incumbent Kerry Bradshaw against challenger Herb Farber. Both are longtime surveyors and residents of Central Point, and both have considerable service on public boards and commissions.

"I've done a good job and it's functioning well," Bradshaw said. "There's no reason for a new person to come in and face a big learning curve."

Farber, the owner of his own surveying firm and a surveyor for 40 years, said he wants to give back to the community and would bring his experience of running a business for 25 years to the position.

"I don't know what Bradshaw has done in office. I don't think he's done a bad job," said Farber. "I could do a better job."

Farber said the various county departments involved with properties and developments need to be better coordinated.

"Every department in the county is like an island unto itself. Anyone who comes in is sent to each other department to get more information, but it's interactive and the staff can go online and find it out without running us all over the building. It's time for a change and some new blood, with better customer service."

Bradshaw, however, said his department is running well and received top marks in a recent customer service review. He also said that he has proven to be a good fit for the job despite his own reservations when he was first urged to run four years ago.

"It turned out to be a wonderful thing," Bradshaw said. "We understand each other well, as a team. Staff people aren't afraid to disagree and there's a wonderful cooperative nature here."

Bradshaw said the office is working to put some 20,000 maps and survey documents online and accessible to staff and the public.

"It's a slow process but should be done by the time my term is up," he said.

Farber has served on the Central Point Planning Commission, the ad hoc committee of the Central Point Urban Renewal District, the Medford-Bear Creek Corridor Master Planning Committee and the Central Point Citizen's Advisory Committee. He has bachelor's degrees in forestry and business from Washington State University.

Bradshaw was on the Central Point School Board for 13 years and the Central Point Parks and Recreation Commission. He attended Southern Oregon University, but does not hold a college degree. He worked as a surveyor for the city of Medford from 1989 to 2001.

Both candidates agree with county voters' decision in May 2011 that the office should be elective, not appointed.

"I'm 100 percent in favor of it being elected," Bradshaw said, "so citizens get a choice."

Farber said the position should be elective "because, like many folks, I feel the people should have control. It's better to exercise your vote."

John Darling is a freelance writer living in Ashland. E-mail him at

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