Professional vs. Politicized Management of County Government

Peter Austin

Crystal Lake used to have a strong mayor-alderman form of government.

Sometime in the 1950’s before I moved here, the Crystal Lake Jaycees got fed up with that politicized governance and won a referendum campaign to create a city manager form of government.

A mayor was still elected, but he didn’t make the hiring decisions.  He didn’t decide who the city bought goods and services from.

After the “good government” referendum passed, the City Manager did.

The McHenry County Board has the equivalent of a City Manager.

He is called the County Administrator.

It’s Peter Austin.

He’s a professional, not a politician.

If there are complaints about his management decisions, perhaps someone would share them in the comment section.

Under State Rep. Jack Franks’ proposal, power would be concentrated in one person the way it used to be when Crystal Lake had a strong mayor form of government.

Philosophically, I am opposed to concentration of power.

There is no denying that establishing a County Executive form of government would concentrate power.

For that reason, I shall oppose the referendum.


Professional vs. Politicized Management of County Government — 3 Comments

  1. That’s what this referendum is all about.

    It will not replace Ken Koehler at all.

    He can still be elected and can still be the chair and appoint all of the committee chairs and collect the same salary.

    What this will do is replace the professionally trained adminstrator who can be dismissed by the County Board when his contract runs out with someone with no administrative background who you can’t get rid of.

    People need to understand that.

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