Jack Franks has given another signal that he wants to be King of McHenry County.
Today a robo-call poll asks whether people favor a McHenry County Board Chairman “elected by the citizens of McHenry County.”
Here’s as close to the script as a Friend of McHenry County Blog could get:
“Hi this is State Representative Jack Franks asking for your opinion on a bill I just filed in the Illinois House of Representatives.
“After the tone press 1 if you think that County Board chairman should be elected by the citizens of McHenry County or press 2 if you think he should be appointed by the county board.
“Thank you for your time and consideration, and if I can be of any help please don’t hesitate to call my office for any reason.
Franks, sitting on $450,000 in his Political Action Committee, is again signaling that he is not satisfied just being a State Representative.
And, who in their right might would want to commute at least 3 hours twice very week the General Assembly is in session.
From personal experience I can tell you it is wearing.
Franks obviously enjoys the limelight and he obviously enjoys exercising influence.
So why not try to change the way the McHenry County Board Chairman is election in a direction in which he might well be able to win.
There is no way that the Democrats could gain control of the County Board if they had to elect a majority of its members.
And, even if he could, that does not guarantee enough power.
But in a big constituency big campaign money talks.
Ask Kent Gaffney and Danielle Rowe about that.
As readers may remember, I’m not a supporter of at-large election of the County Board Chairman.
The reason is not that I don’t want to have a say.
It is because, under state law, when a County Board Chairman is elected at-large, power is tremendously concentrated in the hands of that Chairman.
Concentration of power is something I have opposed all of my life.
It leads to abuses of power.
Do I think Jack Franks is capable of abuse of power?
And would a Republican County Board Chairman be capable of abuse of power?
I believe so.
I think the County Board Chairman needs the checks and balances that the present system provides.
But since everyone wants to vote on everything, undoubtedly a sizable majority will say they want a direct election for the McHenry County Board Chairman.
The problems that come with concentration of power won’t become evident until it is too late to do anything.
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It should be noted that Franks is having a fight with McHenry County Board Chairman Ken Koehler. Some say that it is because Koehler refuses to dump former State Senator Jack Schaffer from the Metra Board.
And, there is no doubt that Franks was fuming over the billboard that was put up by Liberty Outdoor at the location on Route 14 closest (next to Woodstock Harley Motorcycle) to his legislative office.