Not only was State Rep. Jack Franks spanked by the Chicago Tribune Sunday, but Chuck Sweeney, the political columnist for the Rockford Register-Star took negative notice of his Com Ed tree removal legislation, House Bill 3884.
After hostile reaction from those who consider quality of life quite an important reason for living in McHenry County, Franks has figured out his bill to allow chainsawing every tree within 20 feet of an electric line “too severe.”
That sounds like his reaction to the blowback from his co-sponsorship of the bill to allow red light cameras.
He even features a video on his web site on the issue.
It reminds me the “NOT ME”-themed cartoons of Family Circus.
Opposition came from municipal leaders, the McHenry County Defenders the Fleming Road Alliance and The Land Conservancy of McHenry County.
The Environmental Defenders of McHenry County picked up on the email alert from Lisa Haderlein of The Land Conservancy of McHenry County and sent our one of their own, which you see in part below:
“There is a bill in the Illinois House that would give the electric utilities the authority to remove any trees that can grow taller than 25 feet and are growing within 20 feet of their lines.”
Haderlein characterized the bill as “the ComEd Clear Cut bill.”
Franks told Sweeney, ““I’m not happy with the way it was drafted, that’s why I didn’t call it for a vote,” said Franks.”
The outcry from your constituents and potential constituents had nothing to do with your rapid retreat, your backing and filling.
The final two sentences in Sweeney’s column about his talk with “Chainsaw Jack” seems to refer to McHenry County Blog:
“Franks strongly objects to some bill opponents who are calling him ‘Chain Saw Jack.’
“’I don’t want to have clear-cutting going on,’ he said. ‘I live on a farm with a forest in back. No one can question my conservation credentials.’”
Well, maybe it’s not Franks’ “conservation credentials” that should be questioned.
Maybe it’s his judgment.
But, if the tool fits, maybe the nickname is appropriate.
What an argument for term limits and, lacking that, a Republican opponent who will knock on the door of every home with a tree within 20 feet of a power line and tell the owner, “‘Chainsaw Jack’ introduced a bill that wold have allowed Commonwealth Edison to chop down your tree without even telling you, let alone getting your permission.”