Republicans and Democrats Give Jack Franks Another Hook to Attack County Board

Democrat Jack Franks could be pondering whether there is legislation action he could take a veto-proof General Assembly that would further his McHenry County agenda.

Democrat Jack Franks could be pondering whether there is legislation action he could take a veto-proof General Assembly that would further his McHenry County agenda.  Or maybe he will decide to pass another petition concerning the County Board.

Democratic Party Board member Paula Yensen set the agenda that did not include an action item for an April referendum on whether the County Board Chairman should be elected at-large or not.  She opposed Franks' County Executive referendum.

Democratic Party Board member Paula Yensen set the agenda that did not include an action item for an April referendum on whether the County Board Chairman should be elected at-large or not. She was joined in seeking a delay by newly-elected Democrat Nick Chirikos. She opposed Franks’ County Executive referendum.

Yesterday’s meeting of the McHenry County Board’s Management Services Committee resulted in inaction on the issue of putting a question on the April ballot asking whether voters want a direct election for County Board Chairman in 2014 has given Democrat State Rep. Jack Franks an opening.

When he passed petitions to ask voters whether they wished to adopt the County Executive form of government, he said at times that he was doing so just because the County Board wouldn’t put a referendum on the ballot regarding the at-large election of the County Board Chairman.

So, might Franks again introduce legislation to force a referendum.

Could he convince his Democratic Party colleagues to go along with him?

If he doesn’t or can’t, would he pass another petition to see a referendum on single-member districts, something that might actually help the local Democratic Party?

If memory serves me correctly, he passed such legislation about ten years ago for advisory referendums, suggesting that if the County Board didn’t follow the wishes of the electorate, he might just pass a mandate.

In researching what advisory referendums can be put on the ballot by petition, I found the following language:

Advisory referenda. The voters of a county may advise the county board, through an advisory referendum, on questions concerning

  1. the number of members of the county board to be elected,
  2. whether the board members should be elected from single-member districts, multi-member districts, or at-large,
  3. whether voters will have cumulative voting rights in the election of county board members, or
  4. any combination of the preceding 3 questions

The advisory referendum may be initiated either by petition or by ordinance of the county board.


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