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Kenneth Hahn

October 16, 1997

Re "People's Politician Hahn Dies," Oct. 13: In the winter of 1967, as a freshman at the then Pepperdine College's South-Central campus, a fellow classmate, Jim Hahn, took myself and several other guys to his dad's downtown office for a tour. I was a bit taken aback when we entered the Hall of Administration and proceeded to the office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn. Jim introduced us to his dad and nearly 30 years later I still remember Hahn's broad smile and outstretched hand. "Kenny Hahn, glad to meet you."

In the mid-'70s, as a rookie Inglewood police officer, I ran into Hahn all the time when he would tell his driver to stop that big white Buick when he saw me on a traffic stop, at an accident or just having a cup of coffee. The smile, handshake and the verbal assurance that "you guys (law enforcement) are doing a great job and I just wanted to thank you," never failed to brighten my day.

Years later, while working undercover aboard an RTD bus, who but Kenny Hahn boarded the bus and in his soft but authoritative voice asked, "Is everybody happy with the bus service?" Everyone on board was so stunned, not a word was uttered but a wave of applause broke out as he smiled, waved and walked away.

Los Angeles County hasn't lost a great politician, it has lost a great man. A man of the people.

PHIL F. COLONNELLI

Manhattan Beach

* Supervisor Hahn: The best argument against term limits!

GEORGE and DENISE WOODS

Venice

* I was struck by the irony that juxtaposed the death of Hahn with the governor's signing of the legislation permitting the Valley and other areas of the city to secede (Oct. 13). Hahn represented well over a million people. Yet the obituaries mourning his death noted how his brand of "pothole politics" empowered his constituents, how close the people felt to him, how secure they were in their knowledge that he cared about them and worked on their behalf.

Could it be more obvious that the structure of government is not as important as the responsiveness of those who serve?

JOY PICUS

Woodland Hills

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