Home / News / Morton Grove Village Manager Czerwinski to retire; also served in Skokie, Niles – Chicago Tribune

Morton Grove Village Manager Czerwinski to retire; also served in Skokie, Niles – Chicago Tribune


After a 50-year career in public service that began at age 16, Ralph Czerwinski will step down on July 1 after nearly nine years as the administrator of the village of Morton Grove.

“It’s with mixed emotions,” Czerwinski said. “The job is fantastic. I love it. But I have two families. One has children and grandchildren in it. The other one is here in the village.”

The Village Board immediately launched a search on Feb. 13 for Czerwinski’s successor, approving a contract with MGT of America Consulting, LLC for executive recruitment services.

Village President Dan DiMaria said he was disappointed but not surprised to see Czerwinski retire.

“He has gas in the tank, but doesn’t want to work until he can’t,” DiMaria said. “There comes a time in everyone’s employment life to say enough is enough. He served us well. He served Skokie well. He wants to spend time with his grandkids. He wants to enjoy the fruits of his service.”

Czerwinski said he began his career in municipal government during high school and college in the village of Niles, where he worked in the Public Works Department and later became an engineering technician.

In 1975, he said, he became a firefighter in Morton Grove and worked his way up the ranks to chief in 1990. Czerwinski said he held that position until 2003, when he then served as village administrator until 2005.

He said he left that position to become fire chief in Skokie, where he stayed until returning as village administrator in Morton Grove in 2015.

“They were all positive experiences,” Czerwinski said. “The transitions were great. Picking up understanding from the early stages in the village of Niles and Morton Grove and the experience in Skokie gave me the opportunity to be a solid village administrator when I came back in 2015.”

DiMaria compared Czerwinski to a coach on a professional sports team, when describing his achievements.

“It takes a team,” he said. “I’m the general manager; he’s the coach. Everything you’ve seen is a team effort led by Ralph. At the village staffing level, I have to tell them what I want to get done. “I have to have someone to execute the plan, and Ralph was that guy.”

Among Czerwinski’s achievements were the successful development of Sawmill Station shopping center and attracting Moretti’s Ristorante & Pizzeria to the village, DiMaria said.

“He was a team leader,” he said. “He will be missed for sure, but we have to move on and keep on going.”

Czerwinski said he was “quite comfortable” giving the village a formal notice of almost six months.

“That will give enough time to find someone, either internal or external,” he said. “The search process will be moving forward.”

Neither DiMaria nor Czerwinski was willing to speculate on whether former Community Development Administrator Zoe Heidorn, who was recently promoted to assistant village manager, will apply for the job.

“That will be a personal decision for her,” Czerwinski said. “All staff have the opportunity to apply. Zoe did a great job in economic development. She helped in our communications in the village. She is a very positive light. “He certainly deserves the opportunity to be in that type of position and not merely focus on economic development.”

Heidorn replied “no comment” to a question about whether she would apply for the position.


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