Candidate profile: Richard Klein

Name: Richard Klein

Age: 53

Family members: I am married to my wife Cheryl for 26 years. I have 3 sons and 3 grandchildren.

Town: New Athens

Office seeking: Mayor of New Athens

Occupation: Aceytelene Operator for Praxair, Inc

Previous and current elected offices and terms served: Mayor of New Athens 2013-current. Village Trustee 2012-2013

Why are you running? Four years ago I was given the opportunity to serve our community when I was elected mayor. Since then we have made improvements within public safety, aging water/sewer lines including the replacement of a lift station. We have only begun to improve our aging sidewalks and curbs. We had a successful 150th anniversary celebration this past September.

With diligent hard work and collaboration from our treasurer, public works superintendent, and former mayor we successfully obtained reaccreditation of our levee, which protects the community from the Kaskaskia River flooding. We acquired and sold abandoned and aging properties in the community. I would like to continue with improvements to public safety, our environment, and growth or our community and river way. I would look forward to working with our schools to increase visible school spirit in the community. If elected for another four years I would be honored to serve the people of our great community.

What is the most important issue facing the village of New Athens? How would you approach it? Seeking reimbursement assistance for the levee re-accreditation fees, and well planned growth and improvement to aging areas of our community.

If you were writing a job description for the position you’re seeking, what would it say? The mayor would be an elected official as it currently is. In addition to providing leadership to the village council the mayors chief responsibility is to ensure safety and security to the citizens of the community. The mayor should have a good and fair relationship within the community.

How would keep costs down or reduce costs in your municipality? I have a lot of faith and a good working relationship with our village treasure which I feel is important. It’s important to surround yourself with people you trust. I will seek grants when available to avoid unnecessary spending of taxpayer money. I will work with the county and state leaders in seeking reimbursement assistance with our levee accreditation.

In St. Clair County, there will be votes on two sales tax referendums. One would benefit school facility costs, one would benefit public safety. Do you support either or both of the referendums? Why or why not? When proposing tax increases its always a sensitive topic. There are many people out there struggling with limited income and when we propose taking more income away with tax increases its difficult. Such increases in taxes are not proposed without great thought and discussion. I see both taxes as an investment in our children’s future and safety. Our schools don’t get the assistance from the state like they used to. We need police officers on the street to protect us and with the increase crime against police officers their safety is at risk as well. The increases will provide increased protection for us all.

Why should people vote for you? I am running for mayor because I enjoy living in our community and want the citizens of our community to be proud of where they live. I will respect the honor granted to me and work to provide a safe growing community.