Monday, March 17, 2014

Gary Ratcliffe for Utah County Surveyor!

Friday I filed to run for Utah County Surveyor for a second term.  I believe it is important for the Surveyor to be accountable to the people because we do many things that can affect the people of this great county. 
The Utah County Surveyor's race may not be the hottest race this campaign season, but the Surveyor actually plays a very important role in property rights. 

The surveyor administers the county land survey records, re-establishes and maintains the official government survey monuments (objects placed to mark key survey points on the Earth's surface) and reviews property boundary surveys and subdivision plans.  Wow, that sounds boring, but it really isn't!  I'm passionate about it because in short, what the surveyor does protects your property rights.  I have been working diligently for over 30 years protecting YOUR property rights and am committed and passionate about continuing that process.

I have lived and worked in Utah County all my life.  My wife Michelle and I have five children and five  grandchildren with one more on the way.  I have worked in the surveyor's office for 34 years and have been the County Surveyor for 3 1/2 years.  I believe that there are several extremely important and vital services that government provides but outside of these services I believe in the least amount of government involvement possible.  I am always trying to find ways of doing more with less because I know how hard the citizens of Utah County work to earn each dollar that funds the Surveyor's office.


**ACTIVE MEMBER OF UCLS (Utah Council of Land Surveyors)

My only agenda lies in serving YOU the citizen and helping protect YOUR interests.  I commit to you that I will continue to my job with exactness and in the most efficient way possible. 
If you have questions please email me at or call me at 801-420-2915.

Thank you.

Gary Ratcliffe

Friday, April 2, 2010



Government can be ineffective whether it be large or small. I believe it often has to do with management skills and capability. I have been able to successfully manage a very small County Surveying Department very effectively with a small staff thanks in part to advances in surveying technology.


There are several extremely important and vital government services provided to people. Outside of these services I believe in the least amount of government involvement possible.


I have been working diligently for the past 30 years in protecting YOUR property rights and am committed and passionate about continuing that process.


I have managed the County Surveyor's budget successfully and responsibly in a very fiscally conservative county. I am always trying to find ways of doing more with less because I know the source of those dollars and how hard citizens work to earn them. You will always get a lot of "bang for your buck" with my office.


**ACTIVE MEMBER OF UCLS (Utah Council of Land Surveyors)

OTHER: Having basically served as the chief deputy in the County Surveyor's Office for many years, I have been made intimately aware of the statutory functions of the Office and have been performing those effectively. I understand those functions very well and that helps me be effective for your benefit. I don't have any hidden agendas that many political candidates seeking office may have. My only agenda lies in serving YOU the citizen and helping protect YOUR interests.

As all of us go through this political process together you may have all kinds of questions pertaining to the County Surveyor function. While there are several statutory functions of the Office, none is more "key" than the location and preservation of over 4000 survey monuments county-wide. These monuments also known as the "PLSS" literally define your property title rights and as such become important to all of us. We have been able to identify approximately 3300 of these 4000 monuments. I have made it a priority to identify the remaining 700. I have personally been to all 3300 of these identified monuments, some of them multiple times. I know their history, condition, etc. There is NO ONE on any level of government OR in the private sector that understands or knows more about these monuments or has a better understanding of the history of surveying in Utah County. I AM VERY PASSIONATE ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING THE RIGHT PERSON SERVING YOU IN THIS CAPACITY.

I look forward to meeting you and encourage your support!

To Whom it May Concern

I’ve had the privilege of knowing and associating with Gary for the last 14 years. Our paths crossed over a mutual interest around wrestling. I’m not talking about the highly glamorized professional entertainment version of wrestling, but rather high school wrestling, which couldn’t be further from the hype, recognition or acknowledgment. We happened to have had boys of the same age that wrestled so that is where it all started for me and my boys.

Having just moved to a new part of the valley, I was interested in getting my boys into wrestling because I wanted them to be able to experience and learn important life principles just as I had been exposed to. Gary was running both a little kids program as well as coaching the Jr. High team. Just a short time that passed before I was able to recognize that this program existed because he felt it was important enough to sacrifice his leisure time and resources for something with a much greater purpose. That purpose simply put was to help young boys learn and grow into good young men. Sure he wanted to help his own boys become successful in the sport, but his example and influence reached much further than just his own. He influenced a generation of young boys for the good with little to no support from the school or community.

A man that can see a need and take the initiative and get it done is a rare commodity it seems. Gary has exemplified this attribute over the years. When the regular season for wrestling was over, he recognized more mat time would enhance the kids performance so he continued by coaching more practices. Here again, there was no paycheck involved in this endeavor. He expected nothing, but just did it because it was the right thing to do.
Coaching any sport is a challenge, but wrestling not only exposes the flaws in character of the wrestler, but will also show the character flaws of a coach as well. In working with Gary I experienced what it’s like to work with a man that had solid character and values. I couldn’t have wished for a better man for my boys to associate with and be influenced by. Wrestling is a tough sport, and not only for the boys. It’s tough on coaches as well. There are numerous occasions to make the popular or more comfortable decisions. Gary made the right ones and at the right time.

Gary later accepted the head coaching job at Springville High School because the previous coach had vacated the position and there was an urgent need. It was a need that he selflessly met by using his vacation days from his full time employment job so he could spend the necessary time to coach. He also took his personal time to haul kids to tournaments and wrestling camps of which was done a lot at his own expense. He went above and beyond the call of duty, but the more time I spent with Gary, it was substantiated that this was part of his standard operating procedure.

Over the years together, I can say that Gray is a guy that I can trust. He’ll say what needs to be said instead of what people may want to hear. He’s ambitious and always looking to improve upon and make things better. He will do what he says he will do without excuse. I was proud to sit beside and coach with a man whose integrity was never in question, but rather validated by the many that I’ve come across that have known or had interactions with Gary. He’s a dear friend to this day and they don’t come much better in my opinion.


Steve Petersen
RedCliff Ascent
Discovery Academy
Discover Ranch

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Early Meetings with Delegates

I have recently begun communicating with county delegates and have had a great experience. It has given me an opportunity to share with them, at least in part, a small picture of what the Surveyor's Office is all about. I have enjoyed getting to know people, interacting with them, and appreciate the time they have spent speaking with me. Thank you.

Running for political office has been a stimulating yet humbling experience. In fact, this whole political process has been very educational. Through this process I have reflected over the many experiences I've had while performing the functions of the Office. I have had the opportunity to meet and work with many great people, enjoy both success and failures, and gain a depth of knowledge.

I love surveying. I have had many great, and not so great, experiences while out in the field. Let me share with you one of these “not so great” experiences. I was with a couple of co-workers, sitting in a metal shack with no windows, on top of Mount Timpanogas. We were doing County GPS work on a Government triangulation station. We had too much equipment to pack up in one trip so we first backpacked all of our surveying equipment to the top, leaving our sleeping gear below in the saddle. As night was settling in, we were so exhausted that none of us wanted to hike back down to get our sleeping gear. Because there was little concern about the weather-it was the middle of July and no storms in the forecast-we figured a nice night under the stars would work great. Boy were we wrong. As night fell the wind started to pick up, clouds rolled in, and it started to rain. We were ill equipped, with little warm clothing and a “windowless metal shack.” Lightning was hitting around us and the winds were blowing rain in. I have never spent a more miserable night in my life. I remember trying to keep our minds occupied by inventing games such as, “how many words start with the letters x, y, and z?” Periodically, we would take turns leaving this now muddy, dirt floored shack to make sure our surveying equipment hadn't blown off of the ridge top. I distinctly remember touching the surveying equipment several times that night and getting "zapped" with all of the static electricity in the air from the lightening close by. I guess that’s what you get when you rely solely on the weather man.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Little More About Me

I have been a product of Utah County my entire life. I was born and raised in Orem, and have lived in Provo, Lindon, and Springville. As a young man I was fortunate enough to grow up in an area with a great scouting program that helped me become an Eagle Scout. I believe in and do my best to live the principles embodied by the scout laws and oath. I am married to the former Michelle Johnson of Orem. Together we have been blessed with 5 children: Aubrey, Cole, Brandon, Dusty and Micarie. We are also fortunate to have 4 grandsons: Hayden, Gage, Tristin, and Cade. We are also anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first granddaughter in June. We love our grandsons, but can’t wait for our first granddaughter!

Over the years I have developed many interests and passions. I have thoroughly enjoyed the outdoors: camping, hunting, fishing, ATV riding and just about anything in the mountains. However, the one thing that really occupied my time involved setting up a youth wrestling program in our community. My wife and I ran a program for quite a few years. I have been involved in coaching kids in elementary school, junior high and even high school. I had an opportunity to coach at Springville High School and be involved in the lives of our youth. This provided a real challenge and growing experience for me, but served as an incredible blessing. My associations over the years of coaching have been a rewarding and enriching experience. I hope that in some small way I have helped kids grow into responsible, successful adults.

My introduction to surveying was quite by accident. After coming home from an LDS mission to Germany I jumped back into school at BYU. I was better than 2 1\2 years through my college education (studying to become a school teacher) when I decided to take the summer off to work and earn some extra money. I was in the process of trying to get information pertaining to a church custodial job and someone had given me the name of an individual who allegedly had the information. Upon contacting that individual he informed me that he wasn’t the one with the information but told me that he owned a surveying company and that he would be willing to hire me for the summer. I immediately fell in love with the surveying profession. I worked in the private sector for a few years and soon found myself working for Utah County, where I have been for nearly 30 years. I have loved being a county surveyor and feel fortunate I am able to serve the citizens in this capacity.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hi, I'm Gary Ratcliffe and I am running for Utah County Surveyor. For the past 25 years I have had the privilege of serving in the County Surveyor's office. Our most important function is insuring accurate survey points across the valley. This network of survey monuments directly define and control property boundaries in Utah County. In fact, they form the basis of our property rights! Their preservation is paramount and has always been my first priority.

I am currently the Chief Deputy and manager of the County surveyor's office. I am proud our office has received some of the highest ratings in the nation for both accuracy and efficiency!

Accurate public surveying is critical in defining the legal extent of your property and all land titles in Utah County. For over three decades I have performed that work with exactness. Now I am kicking off a campaign to respectfully request your support and vote for the newly separated office of County Surveyor.

Thank You! Gary Ratcliffe