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LETTER: Rhoades listens and acts on suggestions

To the Editor:

Having served 16 years as the Pierce County Sheriff, you get to know a lot of people in our community and I came to know Kitty Rhoades well.

Whenever I contacted Kitty in my capacity as Sheriff, she always took the time to listen to the concerns I had about our community and the issues we were facing in law enforcement.

It's not fair to say she just "listened" because Kitty actually took the time to understand our concerns by asking questions and coming up with a number of possibilities she could look into to help.

For instance, not too long ago, both Pierce and St. Croix counties were plagued with a meth problem. Kitty battled it head on by introducing legislation restricting a person from purchasing large quantities of pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient in making meth.

Despite a great deal of push-back from all of the drug companies, Kitty got the legislation passed and signed by the Governor. Since then, the numbers of meth labs in both Pierce and St. Croix counties have dropped dramatically.

I watched Kitty as she listened to our paramedics in Ellsworth who felt strongly about the state requiring two-person paramedic crews, instead of one-person crews. Two-person crews would save more lives and allow better care for the patient and minimizing the room for error at the time. I knew this was going to be an uphill battle. Despite the chances I thought it would have of actually getting the change made, Kitty again introduced, passed, and got the legislation signed by the Governor.

Kitty doesn't just listen, she takes action despite all odds and obstacles; I've seen it time and time again with my own eyes.

There is no doubt that Kitty Rhoades is our voice of Western Wisconsin in Madison.

Jim Hines