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Letters to The Platteville Journal for April 2
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Elected sheriffs

The editor of The Journal brings up some very valid points and a cogent argument regarding the office of Sheriff (Etc., March 19).

I think that the office of sheriff, with its wide and broad powers, was determined to be an elected position by the Founding Fathers. Its history starts in England where the sheriff acted under the king’s authority and even collected taxes. The word “sheriff” itself is believed to be a combination of “shire reeve” … a person keeping the peace in the shire.

I believe the idea was to reflect the influence of the people, as who is the chief official to enforce their own laws. People may not like the law, but they are the ones responsible for their creation. The law enforcement officer is the person charged with their enforcement. I believe the sheriff as an elected position was to see that good judgment was used in the enforcing the law.

I think the Founding Fathers felt that it was a check and balance system to ensure that there is a measure to protect against a police state; too stringent enforcement would lead to election of a new sheriff.

Democracy and its forms of government may be considered volatile because of rapid shifts in attitudes. This makes enforcing the law a bit challenging. Also remember the U.S.  is still relatively new in world history and people have the power to govern themselves is still evolving.

Appointed or elected has a political dimension because it represents the will of the people. If appointed, the official responds to the elected officials they serve. The correct title is “Office” and not “Department” for sheriff because it stands alone and is not subjugated to the governing body like a police chief.

The citizens are charged with their own authority should be very mindful of that power. As such, each citizen in a democracy has a duty to act intelligently when exercising their rights, most importantly the power of their vote.

Michael Gorham

Saluting volunteers

Through Southwest Health, community members make a difference each day by touching the lives of others. These community members are the volunteers who understand the importance of giving back, the value of providing help and, the significance of the gift of time.

These volunteers come through the doors of Epione Pavilion, Southwest Behavioral Services, and Southwest Health each day to help their fellow community members in countless ways. Our volunteers offer a link to the community and provide comfort to others, when they need it the most. Each of our volunteers shares their unique talents which help to brighten the lives of our patients, staff, and people throughout our communities. The compassion and unwavering dedication toward fulfilling the Southwest Health mission, caring for life, is inspiring to me and the entire team at Southwest Health.

In honor of National Volunteer Week April 6–12, Southwest Health will be hosting a luncheon to recognize our volunteers. Southwest Health is very fortunate to have dozens of volunteers who give of themselves to help others. As Southwest Health continues to grow, there will be numerous opportunities to join fellow community members in supporting our organization’s life saving and life sustaining programs and services.

National Volunteer Week is a great time to learn more about volunteer opportunities throughout Southwest Wisconsin and at Southwest Health.  To become a volunteer please contact either Liz Delehanty, Epione Pavilion Activities Director or Tammie Richter, Foundation Director for Southwest Health at 348-2331 for more information.

As CEO of Southwest Health, I encourage you to join your fellow community members, volunteer and make a difference in the lives of others. On April 7, when I welcome the approximately 50 volunteers who will be honored during the Southwest Health Volunteer Luncheon I will be surrounded by some of the most selfless individuals in Southwest Wisconsin. On April 7, Southwest Heath will take a moment to say thank you and honor our volunteers. I know that many of my fellow administrators, directors, and managers of organizations through Southwest Wisconsin will be doing the same during National Volunteer Week and I know that we all join together in saying, “thank you.” The individuals who volunteer in Southwest Wisconsin help to ensure we all have a wonderful place to live, work, raise families, and fortunately for all of us receive outstanding healthcare.

Dan Rohrbach
Southwest Health CEO

The Platteville Journal will print most letters to the editor, regardless of the opinion presented. The Journal reserves the right to edit material that is libelous or otherwise offensive to community standards and to shorten letters the Journal feels are excessively long. All letters must be signed and the signature must appear on the printed letter, along with a contact number or email for verification. Some submitted letters may not be published due to space constraints. “Thank you” letters will not be printed. All letters and columns represent the views of the writers and not necessarily the views of The Platteville Journal.