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.”

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Lester Appell January 15, 2013 at 05:09 PM
In this era of insincerety it is a makes me proud to have someone such as Ralph Klein as a personal friend. He has said many times that people should not speak in idle terms if they are not involved. He has spent most of his life in Skokie having been born there and raising his family there. There are few people with his knowledge of local politics or with his integrity in this regard. Skokie should be proud to have man like Ralph Klein moving them forward.
Seymour J. Schwartz January 16, 2013 at 12:49 AM
With all the supporters writing favorably about Ralph Klein, one would think there is an election on the horizon. I am impressed about all the mice things said about him. I don't know him personally and he may be a nice guy one would want as a friend or neighbor. But Skokie does not need just a nice hard working person as Trustee; it also needs one who is competent, bold, a calculated risk taker, fully understands the problems and issues before they make public stances on issues, does not just bow to conventional wisdom, is insightful, and courageous. These are important qualities required to be able to affectively tackle seemingly intractable problems facing this village. For all I know, Ralph Klein may have these qualities. But from his remarks in Skokie Patch, I am nowheres near convinced. His proposal dealing with the parking problem in downtown Skokie is ludicrous. The needs of Logan Square and downtown Skokie are vastly different. His comments on economic development are unimpressive. As one who has worked closely with Village officials, the Police Department, and has participated in a research study on crime in the Village, I know Ralph Klein knows next to nothing about the Skokie Police Dept. and crime in the Village. I would delight in being convinced otherwise, but testimonials about what a hard working and fair and great guy he is as well as his shallow comments are not very convincing.
Benjamin Goldman January 16, 2013 at 04:53 AM
Lets just do some basic math that Ralph Klein believes in. Skokie taxpayers spend over a million dollars to buy a parcel of land on West Dempster. Then lets subsidize Oberweis (Ralph believes Mr. Oberweis must need Skokie tax payer dollars). Oberweis paid approx 50% of what it cost the village to acquire the property. All Ralph says is "its a great business model--one business helps another" Does Ralph now math--show me the metrics and the facts? How do we know Oberweis generates new tax dollars in Skokie and it not just a shift in consumer spending from one dining establishment to another. Show Skokie residents the numbers for Oberweis and how you do the math on granting tax breaks to wealthy individuals. Show us how the sales tax will be amortized and will close the $ 500,000 tax break that you support. Obviously Ralph is lacking vision, leadership and facts. He might be a nice guy, but we need leaders who make decisions based on accurate information. Sounds like Ralph believes in trickle down economics and tax cuts--historically proven to drive up deficits and cause hardship to the middle class. Who would vote for a guy that gives a tax subsidy to Jim Oberweis and sell out the citizens of his own town?
shp January 16, 2013 at 02:26 PM
Very well said Mr. Goldman! Again, another example of needing new leaders for Skokie. I would also like to see the facts on the Oberweis deal. Where does one find that information? Residents shouldn't have to dig to find the information. If it was such a great deal for Skokie then display the facts! People in Skokie can decide if it was a "great deal"!
JP Langmass January 16, 2013 at 05:55 PM
I don't know Mr. Klein, but what did he say about our police force in Skokie that has upset a couple of readers? Let's take a look at what the reporter wrote: 1- “Everybody is for hiring more policemen,” Klein said. “But you have to do it so you are fiscally responsible." (Sounds good to me.) 2- "...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's just quoting statistics from an official village report. Should Mr. Klein make up his own statistics?) 3- "He also added that there are already plans in the works to hire more officers."(Maybe you missed this part?) 4- "Klein added that the solution to continuing a decline in crime is not only hiring more officers." (Absolutely -- the issue of crime requires a multipronged approach.) 5- “There are currently negotiations to open [police] satellite locations” (Wonderful idea!) 6- “I would also like to expand the neighborhood watch program." (A very useful part of that multipronged approach.) From this brief interview I learned there are already plans for hiring more officers, and that discussions are going on for the opening of satellite police locations. Both will result in an increased police presence around the village. Isn't that what you are asking for?
Skokie Mike January 16, 2013 at 06:06 PM
^^^^ This. Makes absolute perfect sense.
David Zornig January 16, 2013 at 08:43 PM
A good 1st step in satellite police stations, would be to reopen the existing one on Main & Lincoln. It certainly would seem the least expensive start up spot. Since it is already designed and equipped to be one. The squads must still gas up there anyway, to my knowledge. And it would make the lingering image of it sitting there vacant go away, (The criminal element needed to believe that it wouldn't be closing to begin with.) I'm sure Mr. Klein is a great guy, and experienced with the workings of the Village. But it would serve him well to get a campaign manager to give him better, if not less controversial talking points than two of the three above. The Oberweis deal began with the Village using eminent domain against a Skokie land owner. Not quite the business model anyone should necessarily applaud. Regardless of the deal afterward. And for the reasons I mentioned above, the Logan Square parking premium scenario he cited, is unfortunately completely irrelevant in comparison to Oakton Street. Even as a proactive measure. What stores East of Skokie Blvd. does he think that Loading Zones or temporary/short term parking would be useful for, save or help and why? Examples of store owners who requested such, would help back up such a proposal if it's going to be thrown out there as an idea.
Benjamin Goldman January 16, 2013 at 10:47 PM
Ralph Says regarding Oberweis: “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.” Just a few questions: 1. Why is Ralph in favor of using eminent domain in this situation? Another words forcing the transmission repair shop that owned and occupied this space to sell to the village. Why is Ralph favoring a non-local business versus a Skokie based transmission shop? 2. Hopefully by now you know that Ralph supports giving taxing breaks to selective wealthy individuals. 3. If Ralph is such an upstanding guy, why would he decide to appropriate so much money to Oberweis and not to pro-active positive programs that benefit all Skokie residents. Last time I checked a $6 milk shake from Oberweis increases obesity and lines the company's pockets. How about curbing poverty in Skokie, creating safer parks and giving resources to the Skokie Police department so they can be maximally effective? Not gonna happen under Ralph. Where's the vision, the thought leadership, the innovation? Not with Ralph Klein---more of the same.
Seymour J. Schwartz January 24, 2013 at 01:57 AM
Reply to Messrs. Zornig, Langmass, & O'Donnell: Everything Mr. Klein wrote about the police/safety issue is shallow. Using Kleins 7 points where Langmass asks what's not to like, I will comment. 1. Of course you have to be fiscally responsible. You find money for additional hires by redirecting budgeted money for low priority programs i.e beautification awards, cultural fairs, p.r for downtown revitalization. Since politicians are allergic to new taxes, use their typical strategy of raising fees, to name a few. These efforts are meaningless if violent crime is a serious problem. 2. 2012 crime stats. were preliminary. Four categories of the most serious crimes have risen the last 5-10 years in Skokie. Overall crime is down countrywide. Main reason, in spite of understandable touted ones by politicians and police chiefs is because the largest cohort committing serious crimes are males between 17-27. In decline because of 1 1/2 children of baby boomers now entering that group. Why has violent crime been increasing in Skokie? Because of recent migration of disproportionately younger males in that cohort from Chicago and foreign lands. 3. Officials stated they would like to hire 5-6 more officers. But did not say when. As money is not budgeted for this, this is likely to be long range. The problem is now. 5-6 additional officers-not enough. That amounts to 2 or 3 more per shift. Dent in the problem would be minimal. --Space limits-2 be continued--
Seymour J. Schwartz January 24, 2013 at 02:10 AM
Part 2 Continued from last Post: 4. Yeah, the only other solutions to reduce crime beyond more PD hires, eliminate poverty, bad parenting, and miraculously transforming deviants into upstanding citizens. I believe in Santa Claus too! 5. Satellite Police stations a no-brainer--just plain dumb. Can't use old Skokie police station because it is outdated, stripped of equipment, and too expensive to rebuild its crumbling structure. Also, would only increase presence in very small surrounding area. Police today is high tech and highly mobile. Other than a central police station, better policing is not a function of more bricks and mortar. More patrol cars, walking the beat, and high tech equipment, yes. Satellites may give people the illusion of more safety but that is all it is, an illusion. 6. A no brainer--highly advocated by Chief Tony Scarpelli and supplemented by updating their data base through his wonderful initiatives. But this idea did not originate with Ralph Klein. Bottom Line--increased safety too important to think of superficially and what sounds good. Life is too precious, safety on our streets and homes too important to think of in superficial terms in preserving it. We need trustee candidates who take this more seriously, less simplistically.
James S. Nasby January 24, 2013 at 07:27 PM
The Caucus Party has been in power and unopposed for many, many years. The crime situation, alone is enough to warrant some fresh blood on our Village Board. Talk to any qualified real estate agent regarding our crime rate versus all nearby suburbs, exempting Evanston. Morton Grove is 1/5 of our rate, for example. This can, and frequently does, effect the value of our homes and the ability to sell them. Add to this the often difficult (unfriendly) business climate reported by current extant business. Note the store front vacancy rate in our Village versus the surrounding suburbs.
David Zornig January 24, 2013 at 08:32 PM
I disagree that the satellite stations are dumb. No matter how high tech police systems become, the crimes are still committed by humans. Ones just as crafty and savvy to technology. Any additional police presence anywhere, will still help thwart crime. And give residents piece of mind. Since policing today is indeed so high tech, reactivating phone lines to the old station that already has jail cells, seems a pretty cheap endeavor. The building is not "crumbling". The Village would just likely be hesitant to admit it would have a need for it again. As to not steal thunder from the new one, or admit any amount of crime warrants it's re-use. Stripped of equipment? Phone lines and basic laptops tied into the main system is pretty much the minimum needed. In addition, I'm sure the landlords of other various vacant stores would gladly let the Skokie Police temporarily use their spaces as pop-up satellite stations. An even better idea actually. Since it would also keep the criminals guessing as to where they are being watched from next. And maybe attract business. And again, they would only need phone lines and desks. They could transport suspects to either of the two with cells. As of right now, the criminals all know the majority of Police are posted near the Niles/Chicago border. Evanston Police were smart enough to open one on Howard Street. Long a troubled spot for them. Why would anyone be against satellite stations?
Benjamin Goldman January 24, 2013 at 08:57 PM
James, I just drove down Dempster in Morton Grove yesterday and the vacancy rate was considerably lower. Small businesses that are vibrant in Morton Grove. I am sure that Zoning considerations and the ease of doing business in Skokie contribute to the vacancy rates. Ralph Klein has been a part of this problem for too long. Lets elect leaders willing to innovate and change!
Seymour J. Schwartz January 25, 2013 at 01:29 AM
David Zorning, I respectfully disagree that satellite police stations are very useful. The Village of Skokie did a real estate study of the old Main police station in order to either use it for other community needs or to price it for sale. Conclusion- it was sorely in need of costly repairs and renovation because of its age and condition. Thus the decision to sell was made. "All but crumbling" was a little over the top. Mea culpa. However to use its jail cells for temporary incarceration necessitates modern equipment and technology available in the new police station not available in the old one. Example, electronic fingerprinting and identification equipment, better observation equipment, etc. Satellite stations need manpower to staff the building itself, like jailers, etc.--manpower taken away from patrol and other important policing functions. Satellite stations does not mean additional police patrolling. They would come from the officers already on the force. A mobile force in autos will still give just as much coverage and presence on the streets as is the case without satellite stations. There is absolutely no need for satellite particularly given static manpower available, limited resources (think of utilities and mainten. needed for a large bldg. adding to no more street coverage). Most patrol officers are not in the south of Skokie. Main HQ is there. Patrolmen located thru out village and in hot spots where needed.
David Zornig January 25, 2013 at 02:35 AM
Thanks for your insight. I'm well aware of how the Police Dept. is able to spread manpower where & when it's needed. You should have confidence in the same, should the satellites somehow become a reality. The needs within them, would be far less than what the main station offers. Especially with the high tech nature of most of it. Cruising around in cars endlessly, wastes the same amount of dollars that the utilities would at today's prices anyway. Don't let the Village cloud your mind with maintenance costs. (They'll be against the satellites, because it'll look bad) Satellites would add an instant sense of security wherever they'd appear, for however long they exist there. That is undeniable. Of course it would take spreading manpower accordingly, and could be phased in along with the new hires. Your examples overstate the obvious. No coverage would be lost anywhere, if applied sensibly. And no one would know less officers were on the street, unless the PD came out and said it. If anything the public would assume there were more by appearance. It's how it's phased in that would determine it's effectiveness. As far as the old police building, forgive me for not trusting any decisions or studies the Village comes up with. I've experienced how they operate firsthand. Any and all future land deals by the Village should be via referendum by the voters, and on a case by case basis. Too much secrecy & consultants for my liking.
Seymour J. Schwartz January 26, 2013 at 05:12 PM
Hopefully, this will be my last comment on why satellite police stations would be a waste of scarce village resources bringing no appreciable increase in public safety. There is no benefit for having satellites. There is no purpose that can't be accomplished in one main police station. What occurs in satellites? Do police officers gather there and have coffee? Do they play dominos? Do they water the plants outside? What would they do? Heck if I know! David, Skokie doesn't need an illusion of a greater police presence. In fact, the more uninformed & misinformed the public is about the state of public safety, the less safe the public will be. They ail be less likely to be engaged in their civic obligation being an informed force in judging their leaders' decisions and policies representing the public's wishes. Also, & I wish candidates for trustee understand this: 5 or 6 additional officers is no panacea in dealing with the ominous turn in the upward trend of certain serious crime liked armed robbery in the streets/public areas & open drug dealing in our parks where children play, and around 7-11s. These additional officers surely will ease the burden of our overworked force but they only amount to maybe 2 more per shift. Police also need more support personnel, the latest equipment, constant training, etc; More $$$s in their budget & more proactive interaction-contact with the public. Satellites are not the answer. Effective resources are.
David Zornig January 26, 2013 at 08:50 PM
With all due respect, I wonder if you actually read what you are responding to. "scarce village resources"? Where did you get that from? The new station was $31 mil. including grants. You don't think more couldn't be found if needed? As crime rises or falls, circumstances dictate spreading those effective resources you mention. It's called being proactive. Satellites are not "the" answer, They are an additional tool that the public would welcome. Win/Win. Don't judge their effectiveness in $ only. Your next two paragraphs are frankly platitudes. An "uninformed & misinformed public", is strictly your interpretation of why others wouldn't understand your thinking. "civic obligation being an informed force judging their leaders' decisions and policies representing the public's wishes"? Wow. The public includes the ill-informed, who may never comprehend all of this. Ask that public if they'd "wish" for more police and a better visual presence. Satellites would not be "an illusion of a greater police presence". They would factually be one. Chicago has multiple police districts. If we're getting more Chicago style crime, then spreading the police presence out in advance makes sense. Instead of just treating hot spots away from home base. Who said the current police force was "overworked"? If we have any officers who are, wouldn't their union step in? I love the new station. Toured it in fact. Times & crimes change though.
Seymour J. Schwartz January 27, 2013 at 04:44 AM
David, Resources are scarce in every governmental body in this country because the public everywhere does not want their taxes to rise even though they demand ever increasing public services. All politicians are afraid to raise taxes, therefore they can't keep up with demanded and sometimes necessary services. This is a fact and I spent my whole professional career as an expert on this. Skokie officials know that there are many public services that need improvement yet they can't pull the trigger and raise their share of the property taxes in the last 21 years. And who can blame them for the bind they are in. THEREFORE, Skokie resources, that is money, to pay for improved services IS scarce. I ask again, HOW WOULD SATELLITE POLICE STATIONS PROVIDE BETTER SAFETY FOR THE CITIZENS OF SKOKIE? You have not because you can't provide the answer because there is none. Making people feel better does not provide better safety from criminals. Further, only the people within a few blocks of the satellite will be acutely aware of its presence seeing it day by day. Chicago is divided into police districts that have roughly a similar population as all of Skokie. It is an administrative imperative to divide into many police districts. Don't compare apples and oranges. Finally, if candid, Skokie officers admit they need greater manpower and village officials acknowledge this need. They are stretched. Also, satellite do not mean more police patrols, period.
David Zornig January 27, 2013 at 05:54 PM
I have already answered your question. You just disagree. The broad daylight stabbing/car jacking yesterday happened 5 blocks from where the old station is. Would it have happened if it was still open? Yes. But a closer proximity & regular presence of officers where people actually LIVE, will make a difference. You say only those close will notice. Guess what, the criminals notice too. Criminals are savvy. They know where the station is. They know they are only a call away from getting caught too. The new station might as well be in Chicago. If they'd built it in the middle of town, we might still be debating satellites. They were brought up in the 1st place, because confidence in the current system has waned. And you yourself cite an upward crime trend. Why the resistance to anything positive? You & I can't comment on their effectiveness until they open some. But placing cops anywhere that they weren't before, is a plus. A constant & changing show in force, can keep some criminals at bay. Just like squads patrolling trouble spots. It's nice to think that everything can be handled from one spot. But it's now been questioned. Satellites would make even the least educated about policing take notice. Word spreads in the community where and when the police are. For both good & bad. Temporary locations can bring peace of mind, and cause some criminals to move on. Sadly I don't think Chicago vs. Skokie crime is apple & oranges anymore.
Seymour J. Schwartz January 28, 2013 at 03:13 AM
David, There are some fundamentals about crime that buildings full of police or even police patrolling the streets can do little to prevent. In fact most crimes committed in a community, one type which affects adversely the greatest number of people and the other type which is the deadliest form, cannot be easily prevented no matter the degree of police presence. They are white collar crime and domestic violence. Most white collar crime is given much less attention by police departments yet affect the most people, such as fraud, embezzlement, identity theft, bait and switch, etc. Domestic disturbance put police at the greatest risk for their lives and in which more murders are committed than in any other category. In fact the SPD doesn't even publish any statistics on domestic violence. The SPD is being overwhelmed by the great increase in identity theft, and need much more resources than is already available to combat it. No criminal thinks they will be caught. They commit their deviant behavior when they think no one, including the police who cannot be everywhere, particularly if they are holed up in a satellite building, is looking. It is just as safe for a criminal to act near a police station as anywhere else because the police are busy with other things. It is easier to speed by a squad car that has stopped a vehicle because they are too busy to notice your speeding. The officers in a satellite won't be vigilant in their immediate environment.
David Zornig January 28, 2013 at 04:06 PM
With all due respect, I think you have lost focus of the original debate by over analyzing it. Satellites vs. none. Your crime fundamentals analysis and such, is all interesting reading. If anyone other than the author or editor is still even following this thread. But you are applying a bunch of book smart theories, to problems that needs street smart solutions. Cause that's where the crime happens. I had a friend who had a criminology degree. Yet he couldn't change his own tire, and declined any help. His car got towed while he debated himself about a plan of action. Theoretical vs. practical thinking. Fortunately Mr. Klein said originally that there are "currently negotiations to open satellites." So obviously the Village is already beyond your way of thinking. You seem fixated on ONLY using the main station, and just letting patrols handle everything else. An additional police presence anywhere it currently isn't, will have an undeniable positive effect. It's a practical solution that at least should be tried, before shooting it down. I'm sorry you can't see that. By your logic, if it's just as safe for a criminal to act near a police station, then why have any? Your theories about the criminal's mindset & officer's vigilance or lack of it within their environment, may all look good in print. But in the real world, practicality and effectiveness is what matters. You may now have the last word, because we are at a stalemate.
Michael Patrick January 29, 2013 at 07:23 AM
FYI-The new hires referred to for the PD are simply replacements for Officers who have retired, etc. There is no increase in staffing contained in the current budget, nor is there any funding to reinstate those positions frozen or eliminated since 2009. With reference to a satellite location...current trends in that regard lean more to neighborhood "offices" that are open and staffed part time but are not operated as a police station. In this concept the Village would fund and staff several such offices as anchors in targeted neighborhoods and business districts. The assigned Officers split their time between the office and patrol of the area. They serve as a liaison between the department and their neighborhood. They do not routinely answer calls; therefore, either additional staff or cuts in other assignments are needed in order to implement these satellites. The impact of these satellites is the subject of intense debate which consists primarily of opinion and anecdotal evidence. This is a concept the deserves consideration, perhaps even implemention on a trial basis. Unfortunately neither option is likely as long as the Village continues to insist crime is down and that residents' perceptions otherwise deserve neither action nor acknowledgement.
Seymour J. Schwartz January 29, 2013 at 08:02 PM
Thanks Michael Patrick, your comments seem essentially correct. The one area where the Skokie Police Department is lacking, by its leaders own admission is one-one personal interaction with the public. Officers raised in this electronic device generation are too involved on patrol looking at their computer screens and other high tech gadgets that they fail to roll down their windows and interact in such ways as saying hello to passerby pedestrians. These kinds of courtesies go a long way in gaining trust and approval of citizens and even can be helpful in gaining useful information. If satellites provide a better liaison with the neighborhood, and particularly have more officers walking the beat, the relationship can flourish. But, there is always a but, it is unfeasible in a time of scarce budgeted resources to allow for a lot more manpower and overhead money. Many may not realize it, but Skokie PD once had a small satellite in Old Orchard Mall. But it eventually closed, I presume but do not know for sure, probably because of limited resources during the economic downturn. However, you are right on one thing, and I have always felt it, and is the essential reason I have been posting a lot in patch. A constant nudge is needed to provide the impetus by our Village officials to take the political risk and pare down the budget of non- essential items and redirect them to the police dept. and maybe even consider a slight property tax raise and/or in car stickers
Susan Donian February 01, 2013 at 11:52 PM
Susan Donian February 02, 2013 at 05:45 PM
Benjamin Goldman, I appreciate your comments and thoughts and believe your are 100% accurate in your statements. However, Please note, for the record, the land bought through eminent domain by the Village of Skokie was not bought from Avery Tarshis, he was our tenant, the land was truly owned by my family, and my ex-husband, Daniel Donian through a family trust. We did NOT want to sell the land. There were many other places on Dempster street that NEEDED to be purchased because they were vacant. We had a thriving business there with an excellent tenant providing a great service to the community for over two decades. My ex-husband and I fought the eminent domain lawsuit until it destroyed our family. I couldn't take the abuse anymore, I filed for divorce. The damage is done. The eminent domain lawsuit crushed my husband, ruined my family and it wasn't good for Skokie either.....
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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