Will Corcoran be last elected surveyor? | VailDaily.com

Will Corcoran be last elected surveyor?

Scott N. Miller
NWS Dan Corcoran KH 10-4-06

EAGLE – When Dan Corcoran’s work comes these days, it seems to come in piles.The Eagle County surveyor’s job, to which Corcoran was first elected in 2002, isn’t full time. He’s paid by the amount of work he does. And that’s fine for the semi-retired Eagle resident.Another large chunk of Corcoran’s time is taken up by a volunteer job as chairman of the State Board of Licensure for Architects, Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors.

“The state board takes quite a bit of time,” Corcoran said. Those monthly meetings will sometimes come with 2,000 pages of documents to review in just a couple weeks’ time, he said.Between his elected job and his volunteer job for the state, Corcoran said he doesn’t have a lot of time to indulge his hobbies of bicycle riding and photography. But that’s OK. There’s still enough slack time between his jobs to enjoy the area he came to in 1972.His story isn’t much different than that of many valley residents.”I came here on vacation,” he said. “I decided this was a lot prettier place than Omaha.”Corcoran first earned his state surveyor’s license in 1979, and over the years set up his own business. In that time he’s also been elected to positions on the Vail Town Council, the Eagle County School Board and local metropolitan districts.

Since he sold his business about two-and-a-half years ago, Corcoran said he personally looks at every plan and land map he’s sent. That isn’t always the case in other counties, he said.”The county surveyor’s job is historically someone in private practice,” he said. “Their private businesses may take priority over the county job.”That means some county surveyors will farm out work to other people in their offices, and those people may not be as familiar with state and local laws as they ought to be, he said. Corcoran said it’s also fairly common for different surveyors to look at one map and come to different conclusions about their accuracy.With Corcoran’s eyes the only ones on those maps these days, that doesn’t happen, he said.So what is it a county surveyor does?Corcoran very rarely has to tromp around out in the field with equipment and assistants. That work is most often done by people hired by developers or property owners. Corcoran checks the work of those professionals, making sure property maps comply with county and state laws. The boundaries on the maps Corcoran checks also have to match the boundaries on the maps for neighboring properties.

Those reviews have to be finished before a new project gets its final approval from the Eagle County Board of Commissioners or is filed in the county’s official records.Corcoran only needs to vote for himself to win a second term, but he’s still keeping an eye on the county ballot this fall, particularly the proposed “home rule” charter. “If it passes, I’ll serve out this term, and then this will become a job in the county engineer’s office,” Corcoran said. “I’ll be the last elected surveyor.”Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 748-2930, or smiller@vaildaily.com.Vail Daily, Vail Colorado

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