A press release from McHenry County Board Chairman candidate Mike Walkup:
WALKUP RESPONDS TO TRYON 11TH HOUR MOVE ON CHAIR
State Rep. Mike Tryon today introduced a bill which would prevent anyone from running for County Board Chairman at the same time as they are a county board Member.
This is a last minute effort to throw water on the campaign of Michael Walkup, who is running for his Board seat at the same time as he is running for County Board Chairman, according to Walkup.
“State law not only allows for someone to hold both positions, but actually requires it in certain instances, such as where the County Board Chair elected at large is allowed to hold office for only a two year term instead of four,” said Walkup
55 ILCS 5/2-3007
The Board considered placing a two year term on the ballot but that was rejected because the state statute would require in that instance that the Chair also be a Board Member simultaneously.
This could have led to the situation where someone was elected by the entire county to be Chairman, but then lost his or her district seat, resulting in having to revert to the old system of appointing the Chair by the Board Members, thereby frustrating the will of the voters.”
To say that this is a ‘loophole’ in the law, as Rep. Tryon did, is simply not the case.
“The legislature set this up deliberately.
“Holding both positions also allows for the Chair to vote on all issues. As it now stands, in a county the size of McHenry which has a directly elected Board Chair, the Chairman simply oversees the meetings and does not vote, even to break ties.
“It that is going to be the case, why then do we pay the Chairman over $100,000 per year in salary and benefits? The Chair does not sit on any committees. Aside from chairing two meetings a month, what then does the Chairman do for that salary?”
Walkup had previously successfully introduced a measure which will prevent someone from collecting salaries for both positions.
“Having a Chairman who is not a Board Member also results in an extra Board seat along with the salary and benefits that go along with it, an additional cost to the taxpayers.
“Not only that, but in the case of the current Chairman, who is a Board Member now, it will result in an appointment of a replacement thereby depriving the voters of District 3 of the opportunity to vote on who should be representing them.”
“In addition, someone who runs for County Board Chairman should at least have a current or recent seat on the Board so they have some knowledge of county government.
“Requiring some sitting members to choose between relinquishing their seats to run for Chair, while not requiring others to do so because their terms do not coincide with the Board Chairman election cycle, is unfair and reduces the available pool of potential candidates to basically 12 people.
“Finally, if we are going to eliminate concurrent positions, we should put another referendum on the ballot to allow the voters to decide if they would like the Board Chair to be limited to a two year term rather than four.” said Walkup .
“I can only conclude that this desperate 11th hour measure is being attempted because the powers that be are worried.”
“There are going to be a lot of new voters in this primary due to the interest in the Presidential race and the mood of the country is against incumbents.
“Think what you may of Donald Trump, but he has awakened a sleeping electorate and they are going to make themselves heard all over this year, and that is not good news if you are an office holder.”