McHenry County Board member Ersel Schuster talked faster than I could take notes during the debate over whether Cathy Ferguson should be appointed to the McHenry County 708 Mental Health Board. I asked her for a copy of her comments on Chairwoman Tina Hill’s selection. It appears below:
“I chose not to speak up regarding the prior 708 appointment for many reasons. In any event… NOT because there was some dastardly conspiracy regarding that recommendation… but, because I did not wish to offend or embarrass anyone.
“Today, having closely watched the contortions of the re-assignment question and having taken a long hard look at what has transpired around the 708 Board appointment process… I have concluded that:
“First, to our appointment procedures… having worked well in the past, they have enabled us to effectively deal with the process as it was intended.
“Second, in my time on the board, the 5 prior county board chairmen/women I’ve served under… were able to oversee the appointment process without resorting to strange interpretations of the board rules, parsing words or reading in language that is not there;
“Third, the Public Health & Human Services Committee, following these time-honored procedures, did propose another, well qualified, candidate with the very credentials many of us have called for…
“Chair Hill and member Gottemollar have been quoted in the media as having called for appointing a candidate with the financial background and management skills… yet, Chair Hill, you chose to pull rank and refused to bring forward the committee’s recommended candidate…
“With that I would like to remind my colleagues that our chairperson is 1 of 24… and as such, has no more power than we give her.
“Therefore, be aware that your vote on this question has greater consequences than a simple vote for-or-against a candidate.
“Fourth, while the candidate before us this evening has an excellent resume and references indicating years of service in the field of drug intervention / counseling, those are not the in depth qualifications we need on the 708 board at this time.
“Your candidate lacks your stated qualifications.
“To my fellow board members who want simply to make this controversy go away… I remind you that our role is to select the best qualified persons for the boards, commissions and committees where we are charged with oversight.
“If you really do want the issues swirling around the 708 to go away… you need to appoint people who are qualified to do the job once appointed.
“Going-along-to-get along does not respect, or serve, the taxpayers we represent.
“Please vote no to the questions before us. Not because this is a bad person, but because maintaining order on this board is paramount!”
The 708 Board meets this afternoon at its building in Crystal Lake at 620 Dakota Street at 5:15 for a committee meeting to be followed at 6 by a Board meeting.