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Monument Destruction

Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 11:04 am
by mpallamary
Five years ago, I complained about the destruction of monuments in La Jolla. Since then, the County Grand Jury has come out in support of my efforts. Two weeks ago, one of my clients asked me to point out her survey monuments as she was in the process of selling her home. This should have been a relatively straightforward survey as all of her corners were in along with controlling centerline monuments. I estimate it will cost approximately $8,000 to restore her corners and reestablish the control network as virtually every single control monument has been destroyed. My client elected not to go forward with the survey.

As this initial complaint was filed five years ago and nothing was done, how is it possible anyone at the city can be upset that this problem is still in the news?

What will it take for this issue to be addressed?

http://www.lajollalight.com/sd-survey-m ... story.html

http://www.amerisurv.com/PDF/TheAmerica ... ol9No7.pdf

Re: Monument Destruction

Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 11:38 am
by mpallamary
If my math is correct, five years equals 1,825 days or 43,800 hours.

Re: Monument Destruction

Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:45 pm
by William Magee
Am a bit confused. Greg has established a thorough mon preservation program for those mons currently existing in public rights of way. Is it that you somehow want he and the city to resurvey and reestablish all those mons lost from years past?
If so then maybe kind of a tough demand to push considering that the mon preservation law was a bit lacking until recently.

Re: Monument Destruction

Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 6:54 pm
by mpallamary
Heaven forbid the city follow the law. The original complaint was filed 8 years ago. It went to the Grand Jury 5 years ago. Last year, the city destroyed the entire neighborhood of La Jolla Shores. I stood and watched the city contractors destroy the monuments and called. No one did anything.

If a private sector was involved with something like this, they would be fined, crucified, and put out of business.

Re: Monument Destruction

Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:46 pm
by mpallamary
Several people have contacted me regarding the recent article in the La Jolla Light regarding the ongoing destruction of survey monuments. It is necessary to place this matter in perspective.

Eight years ago, I contacted the City of San Diego after noticing a number of survey monuments had been destroyed by the City when they were replacing outdated sewer and water lines. I placed an initial phone call that went nowhere, followed by a number of emails, letters, more calls, and face to face meetings. Over the next three years, I begged and pleaded with the City to work with me in preserving these monuments. None of my calls were answered; none of my emails drew a response; and none of my letters produced any responses. My efforts were totally rebuffed.

I contacted the local JPPC in the hopes they would assist me. Not surprisingly, they did nothing and refused to look into this matter. Needless to say, numerous city employees were active with the committee and they made sure that my complaints went nowhere. After repeating all of these measures over and over, I contacted the San Diego County Grandy Jury in the hopes they could get the City’s attention. The Grand Jury issued a 15-page report supporting me and my efforts.

Once that happened, numerous city employees expressed their displeasure with me. One city employee threatened me, resulting in his demotion, further aggravating the situation. He and his associates felt I should have given the City the opportunity to address these concerns, neglecting my efforts over the previous three years. In spite of the Grand Jury report, nothing was done and nothing happened.

Two years ago, I contacted the City, to again express my concerns about the same problem in the same neighborhood, as I did eight years ago. I was assured that my concerns would be addressed and the monuments that were destroyed eight years ago would be replaced.

Nothing was done and nothing happened.

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by an old client who asked me to show her where her lot corners were located as she was selling her three-million-dollar home. I inspected the property and explained that all of her monuments and the controlling city monuments had been destroyed eight years ago and that I had spent countless hours over the last decade trying to protect these monuments, including the ones she had paid for. Because of the extensive destruction, what should have amounted to a couple of hours work, would now cost upwards of $8,000 as I would need to conduct an extensive survey to reestablish the control monuments. My client declined to engage me as she had not budgeted this much money for a survey, particularly given the fact that she had paid for a survey and monuments back in 2003.

I contacted the City again for what may be the 20th or 30th time (I lost count) and once again was assured the monuments would be replaced. I am still waiting for that work to be performed.

The point of this discourse is to explain what happened and the extraordinary steps I have taken over the last eight years to protect and preserve these monuments. In spite of my lengthy and labored efforts and the extraordinary harm the City has done to my client, there are those who question my efforts, under the preposterous notion that I have not dealt with the City fairly. Not only is this extremely insulting, it is an unjust claim. I believe that eight years’ time, combined with an extraordinary number of well documented requests and efforts would seem to be an absolute and complete exhaustion of every conceivable effort known to exist.

If anyone is interested in reviewing these documented efforts, do not hesitate to call me.

At the end of the day, we are all supposed to act in the best interests of the profession. Clearly, there is something wrong here.

Re: Monument Destruction

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:27 am
by astrodanco
Knowing how these things go, it probably won't get done until and unless you do it yourself. And then they'll probably rip them out again shortly thereafter. Ho hum.

Re: Monument Destruction

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:48 am
by Lee Hixson
In a just world, such citie/counties could be subpoenaed by the forum and forced to defend themselves publicly. That's for starters. To finish, they should pay for a competent survey subcontractor to go back in and conscientiously make things right again.

Re: Monument Destruction

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:56 am
by mpallamary
It is a sorry state of affairs and, it is all thoroughly documented.

Re: Monument Destruction

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:30 am
by William Magee
BPELSG should have the agency's designee in responsible charge of engineering on file.
The following section of the B&P code will put that designee's license at risk:
6730.2
(c) The designated person in responsible charge of professional civil engineering work of any department or agency of the state, city, county, city and county, district, or special district pursuant to this section is responsible for compliance with subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 8771.


Note that this portion of the law is fairly new so its use as a hammer is unavailable for mon destruction from 8 years ago. However it should be very effective for mon destruction by a public agency or its permittees occurring since 1/1/2015.

Re: Monument Destruction

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:16 am
by Proud7191
Michael, I guess it could be worse. You could be a child victim of sexual abuse and a publicly entrusted city detective can be suffering from "Burn Out" and not do his job and investigate!. See the attached article. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states ... of-burnout
No skin off his nose, he probably retired at 105% of his highest yearly salary. What bugs me and is unanswered, is where his boss was? What discipline did he receive? It is a very scary situation when public workers forget who they work for. Thanks for being an advocate for the profession and keep up the good and inspiring work! Jp

Re: Monument Destruction

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:57 am
by mpallamary
I have attached a newsletter from the LA Chapter from 2012. I did a news story here in San Diego. The picture in the article is at the same location as the article running this week in the La Jolla Light. As I mentioned, nothing has been done. This was well publicized back in 2012.

http://www.clsa-la.org/images/June_2012_Newsletter.pdf

Re: Monument Destruction

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:10 am
by mpallamary
Here is a powerpoint from La Jolla Shores I prepared and submitted to the City several times. I was standing there watching city employed contractors actively destroying survey monuments. I complained to the city and was told it was no big deal. "It happens all the time."

Re: Monument Destruction

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:11 am
by mpallamary
This Central Valley article is five years old.

http://www.californiacentralvalleysurve ... ting.shtml

Re: Monument Destruction

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:20 am
by mpallamary
Here's another article from five years ago.

http://www.lajollalight.com/sdljl-la-jo ... story.html

Re: Monument Destruction

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:19 pm
by Dave Lindell
I would think that a person with a lot of skin in the game could get the wheels rolling.

Have that client sue the City for the $8000+ and see what happens.

Or have everyone in the subdivision sue for the maximum in small claims court.

(I hope you get the work.)

Re: Monument Destruction

Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:22 am
by mpallamary
Here's the problem. La Jolla is very affluent. The homeowners are concerned with being stigmatized by this problem for fear it will affect valuation and the ability to sell along with legal disclosure duties. Usually what we see is litigation that, of course, could have been avoided.

Re: Monument Destruction

Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:29 am
by mpallamary
The newspaper interviewed me on the very same street that was the subject of an investigative interview in 2012 - five years ago. Here is a link to that interview. As I mentioned, the original complaint was eight years ago. This interview was part of the reason the Grand Jury issued their report.

https://youtu.be/k_oHxuEO0JM

Re: Monument Destruction

Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:27 pm
by mpallamary

Re: Monument Destruction

Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:19 pm
by sako
Wait, if I uncover the paved over monument, it's against the law?

Re: Monument Destruction

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:07 pm
by Warren Smith
No, more like against the stricture to maintain a smooth surface for the motoring public. More of a myopic mindset.

Re: Monument Destruction

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:30 pm
by sako
Well, I always fill up the hole, or close the monument box after taking the shots. I don't think surveyors have a myopic mindset.

Re: Monument Destruction

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:12 pm
by Warren Smith
No, it's the pavement specialists that do.

Re: Monument Destruction

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:59 pm
by land butcher
A rail, tar and feathers comes to mind.

A project in San Diego required closing a side street for a few hours to make a water line conn. The Contractor had to do it in the middle of the night and put road closed signs 2 miles from the project.

The City of SD can't follow the law but forces the private sector to go way beyond normal procedures.

I know 2 civils that will not work in SD due to the people that work for the city.

Re: Monument Destruction

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:01 pm
by land butcher
The bad part is the city could have added a few bucks to the paving contracts the costs are born by the taxpayers. Now those same taxpayers, if required to have their property surveyed, are on the hook for thousands of dollars.

Govt arrogance and incompetence.

Re: Monument Destruction

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:17 pm
by land butcher
And the city of San Diego has such user friendly fees for going online and printing record info on your own printer. Especially when you consider that it's less than a 50-50 chance that the mons will still be there.
3 - 8x11s $10.