CROWN POINT | Veteran Lake County Surveyor George Van Til, a Democrat, says his job can't be done in the time proposed by Republican challenger Eric Krieg.
Krieg confirmed he does not anticipate leaving his position as a mechanical engineer at BP.
"I'm going to put in the hours the job requires, and that's the bottom line," Krieg said.
Van Til said that means taxpayers will be paying more for less service.
State law confirms Krieg's professional engineering license would boost the surveyor's base pay by 50 percent, from an annual $56,510 to $84,765 — something of which Krieg said he was not aware.
County officials familiar with the pay issue said because Van Til is not an engineer, the county is currently contracting out those services.
Van Til, 65, and Krieg, 40, have been locked in an ongoing public dispute regarding Van Til's handling of two stormwater drainage projects. Krieg has accused the 20-year veteran surveyor of bid rigging and other improprieties — claims Van Til refutes.
Van Til has labeled Krieg, of Munster, a political newcomer who has made accusations based on "his arrogance because he doesn't know the office."
Van Til, of Merrillville, said the key to his successful tenure is his accessibility.
But Krieg argued his professional license insures both the necessary expertise and years of experience to handle project management, which spans various disciplines.