Mike Walkup Takes on Jack Franks’ Power Grab

Some thoughts from District 3 Republcan McHenry County Board candidate Mike Walkup:

“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Lord Acton

Michael Walkup, who is critical of the concentration of power a County Executive form of government would bring.

In Illinois, politics is like an iceberg.

Ninety per cent of it is under the surface.

On November 5th, after voting for President, Congressman, and county board members, voters may also be asked the following question:

“Shall the County of McHenry adopt the county executive form of government and elect not to become a home rule unit?”

Does anyone have any idea what that means?

I ran it by a couple of local lawyers and they had no clue.

What it means is that, if passed by a majority of the voters, commencing in 2014, McHenry County voters will be voting to elect a County Executive who will replace the current County Board Chair.

If elected, the County Executive, who will serve a term of 4 years, will have the following powers:

  1. Appoint the heads of all county departments and members of all county commissions and special districts;
  2. Administer the county budget;
  3. Be able to veto any ordinances or resolutions of the County Board requiring a 3/5ths vote of the Board to override.
  4. Various other duties.

Jack Franks, who is passing petitions to put a County Executive question on the fall ballot.

This may sound well and good on the surface.

After all, isn’t it better to elect the highest executive officer of the county directly rather than have it done indirectly by votes of the 24 elected County Board Members, as is the current practice?

The problem here is that any Chair of the Board, whether elected by the other County Board Members or directly by county wide popular vote, can have his or her duties modified by the Board as they see fit.

Therefore there is a check and balance if the Chair oversteps his/her authority or abuses his/her powers, ie. the Board can vote to strip the Chair of such authority at any time.

This is not the case with the County Executive, whose powers are set by state statute. No matter how tyrannical the County Executive gets, the Board can’t do much about it.

Once elected a County Executive will be hard to remove and abolishing the executive form of government would require an additional referendum which the average voter may not understand any more than they understand the referendum to set it up.

Although I favor the direct election at large of the County Chair, the County Executive will be taking things too far.

Be careful what you wish for. You may get it (and more).

P.S. I will be a Republican Party candidate for County Board, District 3 in November.

Those of you who want to point out that I used to be a Democrat, go ahead. I can use the additional votes.


Mike Walkup Takes on Jack Franks’ Power Grab — 18 Comments

  1. So Jack Franks is proposing the Will County form of government, since only Will Co has the county executive form of government. Yup, it will eliminate the county administrator in McHenry Co.

    Keep something in mind, the elimination of the county administrator is a selling point, given voters will be replacing a highly paid unelected administrator with an elected one.

  2. A blatant power grab by Franks is obvious.

    He and his fellow DemocRATS want a Chicago style form of local politics…..one man rule.

    Another Rahm Emmanuel in the making.

  3. I am pretty sure that a referendum questionon the ballot cannot be in the form of a compound question which is the case at hand.

    Someone should get the opinion of a qualified lawyer.

  4. This would be a lot more persuasive if it didn’t come from a Park District board member who embraced every tax increase opportunity that came down the road and took responsible positions such as buying at NO discount the Viking Dodge property.

    I don’t care if he used to be a Democrat, so was Pres. Reagan.

    Walkup is a taxaholic who has only HIS OWN interests at heart.

  5. In response to the above comments:

    (1) I AM a “qualified lawyer”. I have been admitted to practice law in the State of Illinois since 1976, and I represented Bob Anderson on all of his cases to get township abolition on the ballot. (We won the cases , he lost the referenda). The language is taken straight from the state statute. 55 ILCS Sec. 2-5005 (b) and was also printed in that fashion in media stories elsewhere as taken directly from Franks’ petitions.

    The alternative language is “Shall McHenry County become Home Rule County and establish…” etc. Sec. 2-5005 (a).

    I see the NWH has come out today against this proposition and for electing the Chair at large.

    (2) I think Mr. Greenlee was the guy with the sandwich sign in front of Viking Dodge.

  6. Jim: don’t think you need a lawyer on this one. The statute looks readable and the ballot wording specific.

    The good news is that the wording does not refer to the people electing the county chair as it is being advertised to the masses.

  7. Aw, Mikey.

    You hurt my feelings.

    Thin skin there with the name calling?

    I didn’t support tax hikes to suck money from the people of Crystal Lake you did for no good reason. Other than to build a monument to yourself.

    Let’s talk Viking Dodge for a minute.

    1. No that was not me.

    2. You supported paying full price for that property in a down real estate market.

    3. You wanted this purchase without consulting with the City of Crystal Lake for any adverse impact it might have on anybody else.

    4. You didn’t even think about the possibility of the Viking property costing even more with hidden costs such as soil remediation.

    5. You supported purchase of that property without a fully thought out plan for its use.

    People in your district are supposed to trust your judgement and you want to call me names?

    Keep exercising that fine judgement for the citizens of your district.

  8. Mr. Greenlee: I will take your word for it that you are not Sandwich Board Sign Man.

    He was similarly obsessed with the Viking Dodge deal so I thought you might be he.

    My apologies.

    To answer your questions once and for all:

    (1) Viking Dodge was a very good looking deal when we looked at it and we got the price well within our appraisal. The price went down later when Dodge pulled the dealership franchise, which couldn’t be anticpated at the time. Oh to have a crystal ball!

    (2) We had full support from City staff all the way through until we were blindsided by the Council at the last minute for reasons that are still not clear;

    (3) We did all of the due diligence including soil tests to the tune of $200,000 all together which I am still burned about given what happened;

    (4) I, and all of the other Board members, believe that local recreation is a good thing especially in a down economy when people may not be able to get away for vacations. We have built new bathrooms, picnic shelter, playground and splash pad at Veteran Acres, are rebuilding the 20 year old playground at Woods Creek, and are constructing a completely new beach house at West Beach, the current one being in a dilapidated condition.

    I stand by all of our decisions.

    Would you prefer that we let everything deteriorate until there is nothing left but rust and wood chips?

    I do not share the view of some on this blog that there should apparently be NO government.

    I think we should have GOOD government which is efficient.

    Now, can we get back to the topic at hand, the future take over of McHenry County by the Franks Family for their fun and profit?

  9. I am a Republican and I am in favor of electing the County Board Chairman
    Countywide. I think it is despicable the way they choose a County Board
    Chair now. There are all kinds of closed door deals cut, for example why
    do we pay a Vice Chairman more for doing a nothing job. A true Conservative
    will beat Jack Franks.

  10. Mike Walkup is a tax and spend liberal Democrat. To suggest anything otherwise is not rational. Drive down Walkup Ave. and take a look at his house. OMG.

    He seems to be a good person. He’s nice, cordial, pleasant. I’m sure he’s a good neighbor.

    But he’s a liberal Democrat. He was and always has been. He believes Government is the solution to problems rather than a necessary evil and the source of the problems in a free-market economy.

    Again, to suggest otherwise is not rational. Please don’t use typical political language to cloud an otherwise obvious reality….which BOTH sides do.

    Althoff, Beaubien, Franks et al are liberals too. Stop the BS. Call it like it is.

  11. Mike, Paul has his points regarding Viking and you know i was in dis agreement with you EARLY regarding Viking.

    However, Skeptic, why are you attacking Michael’s home?

    You have to be the most arrogant Knuckle head I have ever not KNOWN.

    Oh yeah, I don’t know you…. Because you are so afraid to be upfront about who you are with all you moronic allegations….what a total KNUCKLE HEADED SHEEP DIP

  12. You see, Government would be the solution to any problem you would have with Michael”s house …I don’t expect you to get that though….

  13. Actually, my house was built by my great, great grandfather who was one of the founders of the McHenry County Republican Party in 1856.

    The Democatic Party at that time was supporting the continuation of slavery.

    Now that we are done attacking the messenger, how about the message?

    You know, Jack Franks as the Tsar of McHenry County.

  14. We elect the board, I trust them to figure out amongst them who is the most qualified to serve as Chairman.

    Franks is looking to buy another election.

    I am sure many will be tickled to help him.

  15. Those of you who live in municipalities, if someone came to you & said, do you want to continue to elect your mayor, or simply elect an additional trustee, & they decide who will be mayor (like McHenry Co & school boards do)?

    The McHenry Co board can short circuit Franks, & initiate an at large election for county board chairman on their own this month.

    Let’s see what they do.

  16. Mike Walkup didn’t mention that the Republicans in 1856 were the Liberal Pro-Federal Govt Social Progressives and the Democrats at the time who were supporting the continuation of slavery were the Conservative States-Rights Anti-Federalists.

    The parties reversed platforms under Roosevelt & the Dems have triangulated to the center since the 90s

    When someone uses the word “liberal” as an attack & hurls straw man fallacies about who believes in free markets and who doesn’t, it just makes the accuser sound like an unreasonable extremist with a talk radio addiction.

    Ease up kids.

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