It’s hard to believe that spring is here, especially when I saw some white flakes just the other morning. It is starting to warm up though, and I’m excited that I am finding myself more busy than ever.
Back in March, I represented WSLS in Washington DC at the NSPS Spring conference. This is held in conjunction with MAPPS and has really become a wonderful event. There are educational seminars, the Capitol Hill Lobby Day, and the NSPS committee and board meetings. I have met so many great people in the NSPS organization from all over the country. It is great to find out what other state organizations are doing, the problems they are facing, and the successes that they are achieving.
This was my second time participating in the Lobby Day efforts. NSPS and MAPPS really work hard to make all of our congressional appointments; they prepare talking points for each legislator based on their involvement with governmental committees, and prepare information packets for us to leave behind. The experience is like none other, and I highly recommend to anyone to participate if you get the chance. I will say that we are starting to really make an impact up there as well. It feels really good when the staff that you met with a year ago recognizes you and your organization and is ready to get down to business. Two topics that we discussed last year, the FLAIR Act and the Digital Coastal Act, really have support and momentum up on Capitol Hill, with our own Senator, Tammy Baldwin, sponsoring one of the bills. We were glad to thank her for her efforts while we were there. Even if you can’t pay them a visit in their offices in Washington, a phone call or an email can still make an impact. I recommend paying attention to the active legislative efforts that NSPS is making on your behalf and contacting your legislators regarding those efforts. They always want to hear how they can benefit their constituents.
As for the WSLS Board, we have been busy here as well. We held our spring board meeting just last week and discussed quite a bit. One hot topic has been the election process for board officers. The chapters were also tasked to discuss this at the chapter meetings, and great information has been coming back to the board from those discussions. We are planning on sending out a poll very soon to the members of WSLS, so look for that in the next month. We are also preparing a letter taking a position on WISCORS network access fees that will be sent to WisDOT soon. We also quickly touched on the progress of Administrative Code A-E 7 revisions. They are now complete and will be effective June 1, 2016. Please see the WSLS website news article for more details.
Last week, I was truly honored to be a part of a donation presentation at the Berntsen International, Inc. facility. Phil Peterson, founder of Berntsen, was always a supporter of our profession, our organization, and the future of surveying. This past institute marked the 25th year that Berntsen sponsored a scholarship. In honor of Phil Peterson, Berntsen made a significant donation to the WSLS Foundation which will help support the education of future surveyors for many, MANY years to come. It was truly an honor to be there and take part in the celebration.
Lastly, many of you know that Mark Teuteberg, Oconto County Surveyor, became gravely ill about a year ago due to complications with West Nile Virus. Mark has always shown leadership in efforts pertaining to land surveying and its involvement with Wisconsin land information and land records modernization. While his condition is improving daily, he is still in a very serious state. He has very limited use of one hand and is learning to use a motorized wheel chair. While his mind is fully proficient, he struggles with speech and communication. The Teuteberg family is looking toward investing in adaptive equipment for him, as well as continued therapy to improve his daily life. Tom Leslie and the Northeast Chapter have been very active with helping out the family any way they can. They have started collecting donations to help the family. If you would like to contribute, please contact Tom directly, or by mail at 665 Trumpeter Trail #7, De Pere, WI 54115; please make the check out to Northeast Chapter WSLS. Mark and his family are so appreciative and proud that their biggest support group through this challenge has been the surveyors.
I hope to see you at the WSLS Summer Meeting in Eagle River!
Emily K. Pierce
“One of the secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.” Lewis Carroll