Caucus Candidate Klein on His Trustee Run

Ralph Klein is one of nine candidates vying for a trustee position this April. See what Klein has to say about crime, economic development and the village in our interview.

Born and raised in Skokie, Ralph Klein wants to bring his business expertise to the trustee level.

For more than 30 years, Klein has owned and operated his own printing company in Logan Square. He is currently chair of the Skokie Zoning Commission and served as the chair of the Skokie Caucus Party in the past.

Klein, a product of the Skokie school system and Niles East graduate, said he believes Skokie’s long and short-term goals lye in economic development.

“The long-term goals are related to the short-term goals,” Klein said. “You want the value for your tax dollars. Right now, economic development and maintaining revenue streams is the only way we can keep ourselves viable.”

One of the areas Klein touched on was West Dempster, which is just west of Skokie Boulevard. Klein said he believes the village didn’t give up too much for the newly constructed Oberweis restaurant, which some say got too good of a deal.

“Do I think the property was given away? No,” Klein said. “They paid fair value. The sales tax are going to give – it’s almost like saying you don’t want to do something because you can do it for a dollar less elsewhere.

“It’s going to be a great business model and it’s going to help redevelop that area,” Klein added. “One business helps another – if one is successful, another will follow.”

One of the things Klein wants to bring from his Logan Square-based business to the village is temporary parking. 

“What saved some small businesses [in Logan Square] is designated loading zones, or short term parking,” Klein said. “In Logan Square, for example, parking is at a premium. This would especially be useful to small business owners on Oakton Street east of Skokie Boulevard. I think it would help those stores a lot.”

Klein on hiring more officers –

“Everybody is for hiring more policemen,” Klein said. “But you have to do it so  you are fiscally responsible. A policeman costs roughly $150,000 a year. When you hire a policeman, it is a 30-year commitment.”

Klein added that crime is down “7 percent” and violent crime is down “5 percent,” according to the latest figures from the Skokie Police Departments annual crime report. He also added that there are already plans in the works to hire more officers.

“If you were to hire 20 more officers right off the bat, that is $3 million more a year [for the village],” Klein said. “And that is a 30-year commitment.”

Klein added that the solution to continuing a decline in crime is not only hiring more officers.

“There are currently negotiations to open [police] satellite locations,” Klein said. “I would also like to expand the neighborhood watch program. Where I live, we haven’t had a robbery in our block for something like 25 years and I believe our watch program has a lot to do with that.”

Read other candidate profiles here


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Benjamin Goldman February 02, 2013 at 09:19 PM
I appreciate you correcting me. Again I don't know why the zoning commission or the village would put you through that. I suffered a similar experience with Ralph Klein and the Zoning board of appeals. Even though my case had the full backing of the village staff, the board lead by Ralph Klein voted against me. No compassion or understanding of the circumstance. Skokie may have several policies and ordinances that are good but when there is a situation that merit's special consideration, you can count on Ralph Klein to make the wrong decision. We both have felt the brunt of his poor decision making skills.
Susan Donian February 02, 2013 at 11:18 PM
Benjamin Goldman, thank you for your compassion. It is a sad day when the people running our Village put Greed and personal interests before their own citizens. Why would the Village put us through that? Sum it up in one word: Greed and as you and others have stated, do the math, a $825,000.00 and another $840,000.00 equals what? and the Village sold both properties for $400,000.00? The people took a loss of over a million dollars? I took a personal loss of my family, our income, the stress totaled my husband's sanity.. what a terrible, terrible, awful mistake. A stinking rotten deal! A waste of taxpayer's money. In the name of economical enterprise? How ridiculous. The damage done. That's irreversible, decisions that are so poorly conducted by irresponsible greedy power controlling people. All we can hope is to learn from these terrible mistakes. The Village of Skokie and its people deserve better. Time for a Change!
Susan Donian February 02, 2013 at 11:51 PM
Great comment David Zornig. How can one applaud a business model that begins with eminent domain of a vital and thriving business? That's isn't even what eminent domain is supposed to be used for.....
shp February 03, 2013 at 03:52 AM
Dear Susan - What a terrible ordeal you had to endure. I'm very sorry. Unfortunately, it can't be undone. This was ONE of many bad decisions the Village officials have made with our money. Please vote for the independent candidate Lisa Lipin. I know her well and she will not stay with the status quo. I also support the other independent candidates.
Susan Donian February 06, 2013 at 10:18 PM
Dear shp, thank you for your apology. Sadly, it has been a terrible ordeal and I am still enduring the 'fallout' and the ripple affect continues to tear through my life in a very bad way. As you accurately state, this is only ONE of the many bad decisions made by current officials. All the more reason to vote out the Caucus/OLD and in with the NEW and vote for INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES, such as LISA LIPIN AND BRIAN NOVAK, to name a couple.....


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