Another Stolen Trump Sign – Up To, Is It 6 Now?

Filed my fifth police report with Lakewood about another Donald Trump sign that disappeared.

The Trump sign used to be on the west side of the mailbox.

The Trump sign used to be on the west side of the mailbox.  MIke Walkup signs are now available.

It was stolen between 5 Saturday night and this afternoon when we returned from lunch at Colonial Cafe (where we found the wine price has increased substantially).

Black Box Ad – Unclear on the Process

The following ad appeared in the Northwest Herald Saturday.

It says that the Woodstock Rural Library District wants to spend 8.58% more next year than this year.

A"black box" ad without the black box appearing in the Northwest Herald.

A”black box” ad without the black box appearing in the Northwest Herald.

Unless there has been massive new construction outside of the City of Woodstock in the library district, the money for the ad was wasted.

The maximum in additional aggregate property tax money that the Woodstock Rural Library District and any other tax district (except Home Rule units) can extract next year is 7/10 of one percent, plus new growth.

So why did this library district waste the money on the ad?

Don’t the folks in charge understand the Property Tax Cap’s limitations?

And, what about the Northwest Herald’s ad folks.

The law says there shall be a black box around the ad, but this one does not have one.

I wonder if the district will have to publish another ad to meet that statutory requirement.

The County Administrator’s Contract

Now that you have read the articles about the debate over the McHenry County Administrator’s contract, below is what the County Board members had in front of them during the debate.

The proposed contact, by the way, was not posted on the county’s web site along with other agenda items.

Transparency apparently was not desired.


Jack Franks – Labor Unions’ Million Dollar Man – Part 22

Today, Mark’s research brings us to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, a most faithful contributor to Jack Franks’ campaign fund.

For some reason I can’t get the last six to copy in the same format.

They are

  • IBEW PAC Voluntary Fund 11/1/2013 $350
  • IBEW PAC Voluntary Fund 6/15/2013 $350
  • IBEW PAC Voluntary Fund 3/01/2013 $300
  • Ill State Conf of IBEW 9/26/2003 $150
  • Ill State Conf of IBEW 8/4/2003 $150
  • Ill State Conf of IBEW 8/28/2002 $350

Jack Franks Lays Out Door Hanger, Complete with “Cut 10” Lie

Here’s what was distributed to a Grafton Township precinct recently.

The back of this Lying Jack Franks door hanger is blank. Maybe that's where he has printed his plan to Cut 10.

The back of this Lying Jack Franks door hanger is blank. Maybe that’s where he has printed his plan to Cut 10.

It touts the endorsements that Lying Jack Franks has received from the three newspapers who have made endorsements.

And, it has

To all three editorial boards, Franks backed off from his Cut 10 campaign promise that he will cut homeowners’ property tax bills 10%.

He told them he would cut county government’s tax levy 10%.

But some people I talked to today are see through the subterfuge.

One man told me that Franks really was proposing cutting 1%.

He knew that 10% of 10% is only 1% of his tax bill.

Trump Takes Cary-Grove High School Mock Election

Not only has Donald Trump and the rest of the Republicans down to State Representative achieved victory in the McHenry High School District Mock Election, but they have also done so at Cary-Grove High School.

Results can be seen below:

Cary-Grove High School 2016 Mock Election Results.

Cary-Grove High School 2016 Mock Election Results.

Part 3 – Who’s the Best Politician in McHenry County?

Still more of the debate on giving County Administrator Peter Austin five-year contract:

Mary McCann explained that she liked by Thorsen had said, but still wanted to vote on the resolution.

Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen, appointed only weeks ago, said that he was “completely incapable of judging whether he’s done a good job or not.”

Evertsen pointed out that the contract has been in effect since June 7, 2005.

“I’m not aware of the County Board even having reviewed the contract.”

To be changed, the County Board would have had to have acted during May.

“Are they smart enough by May?

“Apparently they have been for twelve years.”

The motion to delay voting on the motion failed on a voice vote.

Yvonne Barnes

Yvonne Barnes

Moving on to the mail motion,Yvonne Barnes unloaded her disdain with the following:

“This is not an evaluation.

“This is an employment contract.

“I respectfully disagree with the people who don’t consider this a political agenda item.

“I think it smacks of it and it’s the worst case I’ve ever seen.

“It went through committee [which] was selectively chosen because of its make-up.

“It didn’t go through Human Resources [Committee].

“I think this smacks of dirty politics.

Larry Smith took the floor to point out the document was an “at will contract,” meaning Austin could be fired any time.

“I think the five-years is really an irrelevant argument.

Carolyn Schofield

Carolyn Schofield

Carolyn Schofield took offense at Barnes’ comments.

“The way this was done is extremely common.

“I think the compensation in here is on the low side.

“I’m just disgusted with the way this is headed.

“It makes me sad this Board has become so dysfunctional and so jaded and believe in such conspiracies that occur.

“We try to run a professional organization here and this is anything but when we come to these meetings…

“This is really disgusting.”

Schofield contended that Austin is what “bind[s] this organization” together.

“To sit here and say that there’s a conspiracy that is going on here and there’s politics being played here, he is what binds us

“And if we don’t have a strong administrator to continue and to remove politics from the day-to-day operation and to have a continuous flow that we are going to need in the next month this will be even more dysfunctional than we are today.”

Joe Gottemoller

Joe Gottemoller

McHenry County Board Joe Gottemoller added his opinion at this point.

“I would not want to be chairman of this organization without a strong administrator.”

Chuck Wheeler

Chuck Wheeler

Chuck Wheeler took offense at what Schofield said.

“This is a vote on this contract.

“We are not voting on Mr. Austin.

“We are not voting on his performance.

“If you want to get political Ms. Schofield, that’s what’s happening here.”

With the mention of Schofield’s name, Gottemoller admonished Wheeler to address the whole Board, not an individual member.

The contract was approved 13-8.

Jack Franks – Labor Unions’ Million Dollar Man – Part 21

hotel-employees-and-restaurant-employees-international-union-logoWe move on to unions whose names start with “I” now.

First up, the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International.

Again, thanks to Mark for doing the research.

The Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union gave Jack Franks $2,000 on 9/28/2000.


Part 2 – Who’s the Best Politician in McHenry County?

More on the McHenry County Board discussion of a five-year contract for County Administrator Peter Austin:

Diane Evertsen

Diane Evertsen

Diane Evertsen started off, complaining about the size of the compensation, which she calculated included a 3 1/2% .

She compared that with the 3/10 of 1% raise that Social Security recipients will receive next year.

Her “Number 1” problem, however, was the five-year term of the contract.

“It’s absolutely unconscionable,” Evertsen said.

Yvonne Barnes

Yvonne Barnes

“‘Unconscionable’ is a good word for this,” Yvonne Barnes said.

“I can’t vote for this.

“I can’t decide whether I’m extremely sad that this is on our agenda or extremely sick this is on the agenda.

“There are no words for me that I can state in public what I feel about how this came to us and what’s included in this.

“Honestly, in my eight years on the County Board this is the most shameful resolution I have ever seen.”

Barnes pointed to a recently passed a County code for employees which included “accountability, integrity and respect.”

“I think this fails in all three areas.”

Robert Nowak

Robert Nowak

Robert Nowak was next.

He wondered why a residency requirement was not included in the contract.

Discussion led to the revelation that Administrator Austin lives in Crystal Lake.

Nowak also wondered why performance standards were not included in the contract, although he did not use that phraseology.

Tina Hill

Tina Hill

The Lake in the Hills Board member thought it would be good to have a commitment to cut the budget 5%.

Tina Hill pointed out that the County Board gave the Administrator direction “when we pass our budget policy.”

Jeff Thorsen

Jeff Thorsen

Jeff Thorsen expressed concern about the long-term nature of the contract.

“Five years.  I have a problem with that with the Board on the eve of change.

“I think the least we can do is postpone the decision until a Board that’s going to have to live with that decision can have the opportunity to weigh in.

“I have a deep concern that a Board that is partially on its way out is imposing a long-term situation on a Board we don’t even know who is.”

Chuck Wheeler

Chuck Wheeler

Chuck Wheeler pointed out that Austin’s contract automatically was renewed if the County Board took now action.

“I thought that was not in good judgment and now we get five years.

“I would ask that we take a second long look at this.

“Mr. Austin has done a fine job as Administrator,” Wheeler said, but indicated he wanted “commitments made by Mr. Austin to the Count Board.

He then moved to table the resolution until next January.  (The new Board will be sworn in the first week of December.)

Carolyn Schofield

Carolyn Schofield

Carolyn Schofield, who decided to run for State Representative rather than running for re-election, “completely disagree[d] with that.

“You’d rather take the opinion of someone whose been here one month over those who have been here four years?

“Be professional here,” she urged.

Hill, who also decided not the run for re-election, opting for seeking the Recorder of Deeds office, “vehemently disagree[d]” with the motion.

Pointing to her fourteen years on the Board, Hill argued that one of the reasons to vote on Tuesday “is so that it is not politicized in the next term of the County Board.

“I’m the one qualified to make that decision.”

Hill referred to Donna Kurtz speaking “eloquently” on that the need for “lack of politicization” in committee.

She argued for continuity, saying that by delaying the vote until January  and “you’re going to see everything flying all over the place.

“We are hiring a professional administrator who is not political.

“Personal agendas and politics–I just won’t stand for it!”

Mike Walkup

Mike Walkup

McHenry County Republican Board Chairman candidate Mike Walkup agreed with not waiting.

He pointed out that “a future Board Chairman could terminate the Administrator and act as the Administrator.

“If that’s what you want and you want to take that risk, go ahead.

“We should act on it in the current term.”

= = = = =
More tomorrow.

Part 1 – Who’s the Best Politician in McHenry County?

If you thought it was Jack Franks or Pam Althoff, you’re wrong.

Neither of them have been able to snag a 5-year term in office.

McHenry County Administrator Peter Austin, on the other hand, got a five-year contract extension.

That puts him in the driver’s seat until after the next County Board Chairman is out of office.

One County Board  member told me, “[His] ackage now tops a quarter million taxpayer dollars.”

The Resolution passed by the County Board gives no clue as to details:

The resolution authorizing County Board Chairman Joe Gottemoller to extend County Administrator Peter Austin's contract less than two months before a new County Board Chairman takes office.

The resolution authorizing County Board Chairman Joe Gottemoller to extend County Administrator Peter Austin’s contract less than two months before a new County Board Chairman takes office.  No copy of the proposed contract can be found on the County’s web site.

I’ve been too busy with the election to follow County Government as closely as I would have liked.

As background on this issue, take a look at the minutes of the October 10th meeting of the Management Services Committee, Chaired by Tina Hill.

Management Services Committee Discussion of County Administrator Employment Agreement

The committee members were informed the Human Resource Committee has looked at the current County Administrator’s Employment Agreement to update and remove any irrelevant language.

There is currently an existing agreement in place so they don’t have to rush the changes through.

There is some severance language included that could be read three different ways so they will update this language to make it more clear and understandable.

Increases will remain the same as the employees.

They have included comparables for review.

The vehicle allowance escalator has been removed and will remain flat.

The term of the contract is still up for discussion.

They included a date for after the election though they would like this completed next Tuesday though this may be deferred back to committee.

Ms. Miller noted she would be disappointed if this is not supported.

She stated they need to maintain its continuity of leadership in the County, regardless of the outcome of the election.

She stated the employment of this position should not be a political issue and they should all realize that instability is destructive to the County.

This needs to get done and approved.

She stated if there are modifications that need to get done then do so and get this completed.

It was stated if you review the pay of the current administrator in the corporate arena, the County is
getting a great deal.

The County needs to have an accomplished Administrator in order to create stability for the County.

Mr. Walkup noted that many people do not realize there are alternate models out there for running of a County.

In some areas the County Board Chairman acts like the County Administrator.

He voiced concern the new County Board Chairman could try to change the County to a similar manner and take over the Administration of the County himself.

Chairman Hill stated she feels comfortable voting on this item but would like some advocacy for this.

A resolution could be brought forward in two weeks for consideration at the first County Board
meeting in October.

This item will flow to the Human Resource and Finance and Audit committees in order to share with them what has occurred and to get more awareness and advocacy for approval of the contract.

It was suggested the contract be brought to the County Board the night of the 18th.

Mr. Austin informed the committee members he would not be at the next Finance and Audit Committee meeting.

The Human Resource Committee would review this item on October 6th and the Finance and Audit Committee on the 13th.

Mr. Skala noted the contract mentions his “employer” though the contract does not define who that is.

He suggested they include in the first line the “McHenry County Board” to define his employer within the contract.

It was suggested they make clear that the 24 members of the County Board is his employer.

Mr. Heisler suggested they include the voting members of the McHenry County Board.

The committee members agreed with this suggestion.

Mr. Austin thanked the committee members for their support.

The information will be updated as discussed.

= = = = =

The Finance and Audit Committee had this on its agenda, but nothing in its agenda packet

Discussion: County Administrator Employment Agreement

Yvonne Barnes

Yvonne Barnes

During the Board meeting Tuesday, Finance Committee member Yvonne Barnes complained of the paucity of conversation during that committee meeting.

She pointed out that it went through a committee that “was selectively chosen because of its make-up.”

“It didn’t go to Human Resources,” she emphasized.

“I think this smacks of dirty politics.”

That was pretty much at the end of the discussion on the five-year contract.

Since the discussion interested me, I thought you might find it of interest, too.

= = = = =
More tomorrow and the day after.

Feds Charge Harvey Man with Sex Trafficking of a Minor

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

South Suburban Man Charged with Transporting a Minor from Illinois to Wisconsin to Engage in Prostitution

CHICAGO — A federal grand jury in Chicago has indicted a south suburban man on sex trafficking charges for allegedly bringing a minor to Wisconsin to engage in prostitution.

DERONARTE NORWOOD, 30, of Harvey, forced the minor to engage in a commercial sex act, according to the indictment.  In May 2015 he brought the minor to Wisconsin from Illinois for the purpose of engaging in prostitution, the indictment states.

Norwood was arrested last night in Waukegan. 

He pleaded not guilty during an arraignment in Chicago this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary M. Rowland.  Judge Rowland ordered Norwood held in custody until a detention hearing on Oct. 24, 2016, at 2:00 p.m.

The two-count indictment charges Norwood with sex trafficking and knowingly transporting a minor to engage in prostitution.  Both counts are punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Zachary Fardon

Zachary Fardon

The indictment was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Substantial assistance was provided by the Lake County Gang Task Force, a multi-jurisdictional task force with federal and local law enforcement members.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicole M. Kim and Abigail Peluso.

The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

If you believe you are a victim of sexual exploitation, you are encouraged to call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.  The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Franks Gives $175 of His Money to Other Candidates

Lying Jack Franks, running for the McHenry County Board Chairmanship, raised $152,200 during July, August and September.

He also cashed in $45,000 that he had invested in the Bank of Omaha.

He spent $130,567.49.

At the end of September, Franks had $603,925.31 in his campaign bank accounts.

Required to be listed separately are transfers of cash to other Political Action Committees.

Take a look at the summary below of money shared with other candiates:

No contribution of more than $150 was made to any Democratic Party candidate.

No contribution of more than $150 was made to any Democratic Party candidate.

Jack Franks

Jack Franks

You can see that Jack Franks does not believe in sharing his campaign largess.

Looks as if he attended a couple of small fundraisers.

And one, if he paid early, might for the wine and cheese fundraiser thrown by Algonquin Township Road Commissioner Bob Miller and his wife County Board member Anna May Miller.

I’ve been wondering why most Democratic Party candidates’ signs do not have a Jack Franks sign next to them.

Maybe it’s because

Jack Franks Is FOR Jack Franks