I haven’t gotten time to write an article on the Special Meeting of the McHenry County Board today in which a majority decided not to add an advisory referendum on whether the County Board Chairman should be elected at-large or not, but Grafton Township Supervisor Linda Moore sent me her comments before the meeting, which you can read here, and District 3 Republican County Board candidate Mike Walkup, an attorney, sent me his take on what the situation is now. It is below.
(Others who wish to add their voices to the discussion are welcome to send me their thoughts. The email address is on the left hand side of the page.)
“Laurel and Hardy, where are you?
“OK, so this is the situation now that the County Board has refused my suggestion to place the direct election of the County Chair on the ballot to coincide with the Franks petition to elect a County Executive.
- The Franks referendum WILL be on the ballot as it has been certified by the Court and even Franks cannot withdraw it.
- It is totally binding if passed.
- Franks is prepared to spend $250K getting out the false message that the referendum is to “elect the County Board Chair” and/or “to end cronyism in the County”, (both of which he told petition signers at the Fair).
- The Republican Party has about $2500 maybe in the bank and precinct committeemen who are not used to having to get out and work their precincts.
- This will be a general election with high voter turnout, including many people, possibly a majority of those voting, who are coming in to vote mainly for President and who usually do not pay attention to local issues . They will either vote based on how they interpret the obscure referendum language on the ballot or based on the sound bite, bumper sticker slogans from the Franks campaign. There is a saying in politics that if you can say something in five words or less and the opponent needs 50 words to rebut it, you win. The opponents will need to come up with a catchy phrase of some sort. How about “No County Czar. Vote NO on County Executive.”
- If the measure passes, it is totally binding and will result in an election for the new position in 2014 regardless of what the County Board or anyone else does in the meantime.
- The only way to get rid of the position is to repeat the same referendum and have it fail. This can only be done once every two years at a general election. We would have the Executive for a minimum of two years before we would have a chance to get rid of it. Even then, the obscurity of the required language would make that problematic.
“You have created a monster, and now it may destroy you.” Frankenstein, 1931