Representative of Rounds visits area

By Jeff Smith

Kwinn Neff, constituent services representative for Senator Mike Rounds, meets with some of Rounds’ constituents from Hot Springs on Oct. 17. Neff visited Hill City and Keystone to hear concerns from community members.

Kwinn Neff, constituent services representative for Senator Mike Rounds, visited Hill City and Keystone on Oct. 17.

Neff said Senator Rounds and his staff provide access to constituents that might not have other options. People that come to mobile offices wouldn’t be able to voice their concerns otherwise.

Constituent service is where government representatives help people understand their rights and responsibilities relative to various federal programs. They provide assistance as people work through a problem.

Neff said he does a visit to towns in the West River area once every two months. His areas of focus are  Deadwood, Edgemont, Lead, Hill City, Hot Springs, Spearfish and Keystone.

“A lot of the time we get veterans that are older and won’t necessarily go to Rapid,” Neff said.

He said the issue with veterans is their care and benefits.

When he gets to the Hills the biggest issue talked about is the ongoing worker shortage. In line with that, Neff said the main topic for people who came to his mobile office at Hill City Cafe on Oct. 17 were the H-2B and J-1 visa programs.

“The senator is fully aware of that issue and the effects it could have on our area,” Neff said.

He said everyone in the area is fully dependent on what takes place.

There were about 10 people that attended. In other locations it depends on the time of his visit.

“I figured I would try the Hill City Cafe first and then next time I might try the library,” Neff said.

The feedback he received from the people who visited with him will be given to senator Rounds.

“It gives him a report on situations out in local communities and issues that are on his constituents’ minds,” Neff said.

One visitor from Wyoming came to Neff’s table and told him how a recent interview the senator did gave her hope for the future. She was thankful for his level of bipartisan efforts. Neff said it was encouraging to hear someone say that about him.

“I can say he is a bipartisan guy and open to finding solutions,” Neff said.

Neff also visited with local officials and went to the local chamber office.

Julie Wickware-Klein, mayor of Hill City, said it’s important for representatives of government officials to come to Hill City to get an idea of the needs and wants of average citizens.

Wickware-Klein said her focus has been on Hill City and she hasn’t been able to talk to anyone so far at the state or federal level.

Neff said that if anyone has any questions or comments to relay to Rounds, the Rapid City office is on 1313 W Main St. and the telephone number is 605-343-5035. Rounds’ website is