State Rep. Jack Franks may be the leading Democrat in McHenry County, but his support among other Democratic Party activists isn’t sufficient to get other leading Democrats to support his referendum to switch from a weak Executive to a strong Executive form of county government.
I’m not terribly surprised, given I never saw him at the meetings of the Democratic Party Central Committee I attended. (That was two years ago. Maybe he goes now.)
In the County Board debate on whether to put a competing referendum on the ballot that would allow voters to elect the County Board Chairman, as is the case in nearby Kane, DuPage and Winnebago Counties, three prominent Democrats spoke out in opposition to the Franks’ position.
In the Public Comment period on August 17th, District 1 County Board candidate Nick Chirikos.said, “I question Mr. Franks’ timing.
“I think the voters of McHenry County deserve a better opportunity.”
He went on to say that there was a “possibility even misrepresentation in the manner in which the petitions were collected.”
When asked later if he opposed the referendum’s passage, he said, “I am opposed to it.”
Later in the meeting, District 3 Democrat Kathy Bergan Schmidt, a former head of the Party Central Committee, lashed into Franks’ proposal:
“I, for one, will be out there urging people to vote against this Trojan Horse referendum that was certified yesterday.”
Paula Yensen, wife of the current Party Chairman Mike Bissett, agreed with Schmidt when her time to talk came.
“I’m in concurrence with Kathy Bergan Schmidt’s opposition [to the County Executive form of government].
“It gives unlimited power to that position.
“A countywide race for that position would be very expensive,” she said, pointing out that it cost $100,000 in Kane County.
“I do not support Mr. Franks’ referendum.”