Jack Franks Pushes for Return of the County Czar

A press release from Mike Walkup, running as the Republican candidate for McHenry County Board Chairman:


In 2012, Democrat State Representative Jack Franks placed a referendum on the ballot in McHenry County to create the position of COUNTY EXECUTIVE, to provide for a popularly elected position to preside over the McHenry County Board.

The masthead of the No County Czar web site.

The masthead of the No County Czar web site.

Up to that time, the County Board had elected a Chairman from among their own members for two year terms.

This proposal was immediately criticized because it would have given the County Executive sweeping powers by state statute which could not be modified by the County Board, thereby eliminating important checks and balances.

It was dubbed “County Czar” and went down to overwhelming defeat at the polls.

Two years later, the McHenry County Board placed another referendum on the ballot asking the voters if they wanted to have the current County Board Chairman position elected at large rather than only by the Board, with the understanding that this position would likewise be subject to check and balances by the Board.

The voters went on to approve this measure overwhelmingly.

NOW, Democrat Jack Franks, who had previously stated to the local newspapers that he would NOT run for County Board Chairman, is not only running for that position but telling people that he has

“lawyers who have told me that the County Board cannot limit the powers of the County Chairman.”

The Northwest Herald headline from early June of 2014 about Jack Franks' promise not to run for McHenry County Board Chairman.

The Northwest Herald headline from early June of 2014 about Jack Franks’ promise not to run for McHenry County Board Chairman.

He has also stated in a radio interview by WGN radio that he is running for County Board Chairman because he


WELCOME BACK COUNTY CZAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Jack Franks Pushes for Return of the County Czar — 36 Comments

  1. Just what we need a Crook County Democrat shoving his state killing policies on us at a local level vs just nailing us from Springfield.

    NO WAY Jack!

  2. Come on, at least use a picture of one of the actual Czar’s.

    The big fluffy hats would work on Jack.

  3. Franks interns at the Fair were telling people who made the appropriate inquiries that he had a “3 Step Plan” to “cut taxes by ten percent.”

    Step One: Elect Jack Franks

    Step Two: “Force” the County Board to “make cuts”.

    Step Three: Get rid of County Board Members in 2018 who don’t cooperate with Step 2.

    This will be done by first of all usurping the Chairman position by declaring that the Chairman is not subject to control or limitation of his powers by the County Board. It will not matter if this is legal or not.

    The fact that Franks would not also be a Member of the County Board will be used to reinforce the idea that he is therefore not subject to County Board Rules limiting the power of the Chairman.

    Then, if and when the County Board tries to fight back, Franks will declare that the Board is being ‘obstructionist’ and preventing his plan of reducing taxes from succeeding.

    He will then use this to buttress Democrat County Board candidates for 2018 who he will also fund.

    It is a foolproof plan if he can get past Step One.

    The County Board will be in a lose lose situation.

    If they try to assert their authority, they will be obstructing “tax cuts”.

    If they don’t, they will be emasculated.

    There will be no way out.

    It is perfect.

    IF the Board wants to try to assert itself, expect lawsuits in which special counsel will have to be hired, possibly by both sides, as the States Attorney may have a conflict.

    This will then cost the taxpayers which will be used by Franks to again assert the obstructionism and now wasteful spending of the Board.

    Like I said, perfect.

    A case in point is happening right now in neighboring Winnebago County.

    They have had some scandals over there, including criminal indictment and guilty plea by the purchasing director for embezzlement , and had revoked the 12 year Chairman’s authority for being able to use a $230,000 discretionary purchasing fund last April.

    Just yesterday an article was published reporting that their county board was considering a Rules change that would strip the Chairman of most of his powers and place those powers in the hands of a 7 member Executive Committee made up of Board Members.

    The ability of the Board to do that legally is being looked at.

    See today’s Rockford Register Star, http://www.rrstar.com.

    Do we want McHenry County to go that route?

  4. Franks approaches politics like a chess game.

    He has been making his moves for several years.

    He is now one move away from CheckMate.

  5. The current County Chairman criticizing the guy who created his job.

    Mike Walkup for the Know-Nothing Party ticket.

  6. Current McHenry County Board Chairman is Joe Gottemoller, for the ‘no-nothing’ person’s information.

    The County Board Chairman position
    Has probably been around since before
    Jack Franks was ever born.

  7. So you should get elected to stop Jack??

    That is what you got?


    The citizens of this county have 18 years of leadership from Franks- like it or not, he has been reelected 9 times.

    Walkup- you can’t even decide if you want to be Chairman or board member.

    It sure seems like you are just trying to ensure you have healthcare.

    When are you going to put out your plan Mike instead of your conspiracy theory about Franks.

  8. If you call voting for Mike Madigan 9 times leadership then maybe Lying Jack Franks has it.



  9. Other things Walkup can’t decide: Are you a farmer or an attorney or disabled or are you running for two offices?

    Also, why are you selling your farm for $500k?

    Is disability running out?

    Why do deliberating obfuscate seemingly innocuous language like, “I want to run the county?”

    Why would you being running for Chairman if not to run the county?

  10. Jack Franks is a tax hiker through the underfunded and unfunded mandates for which he has voted and which have passed into law as Public Acts.

    Just about everyone in the Illinois General Assembly, if not everyone, and all of the Governors, are guilty of the same.

    The worst underfunded and unfunded mandates from Springfield are pension and retiree healthcare benefit hikes.

    Per one sentence added to the State Constitution and approved at the special election on the re-written constitution on December 15, 1970, those benefit hikes are enforceable contractual relationships, the benefits which shall not be diminished or impaired.

    “Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State, any unit of local government or school district, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.”

    Once added, any employee at that time whom is a member of the said pension or retiree healthcare plan, receives the benefit in retirement until they pass away.

    It’s a lifetime guaranteed tax hike funded by taxpayers.

    Where will the money come from?

    Because there is no funding plan to pay for all that.

    Bottom line, Jack Franks is a tax hiker.

    Even though he says he’s never voted for a tax hike.

  11. Joe Gottemoller may have made
    Mistakes with the power plant
    Debacle, but never has acted like
    A czar/dictator.

    Jack FRANKO is the egomaniac
    who made the comment last week
    on WGN stating . . .

    “I want to run the county”

    That is far from an ‘innocuous comment’ !

    “Why would you be running for chairman
    If not to RUN the COUNTY?”


    Mike Walkup is a team player leader & has
    Proven that publicly on the board for the last 4 years !

    Jack Franks has no solid accomplishments after 18 years
    In Springfield.

    He comes back to Mchenry County
    now & uses excuses of ‘disillusionment’
    & Illinois being ‘broken’ whem he helped
    Create the brokenness (literally) with

  12. ‘Walkup has raised taxes too!’
    Is a MEANINGLESS comment
    Without information to back
    It up. RIGHT Mark !

  13. Moderate,

    You are sounding more like Jackie himself with every post.

    You are also using words far beyond your normal limited vocabulary.

    You almost sound like a 1L.

    They questions you raised above are definitive red herrings.

    They have nothing to do with the race in question.

    “Why is he selling his farm?”

    “Is his disability running out?”

    That kind of slimy garbage is not what voters want to see or hear.

    It reveals to the voters that the other candidate has the attacking candidate concerned and scared.

    Thus the infantile lashing out with personal attacks instead of arguing on the issues.

    When Jack feels the heat, you consistently come out of the woodwork with personal attacks per above.

    It is almost like you are jackie’s alter ego.

    Or perhaps it is his hand controlling your actions and words like a puppet.


  14. Inish,

    The citizens of the county do not have 18 years of anything from jackie.

    He only represented one legislative district in a rather unimpressive and lackluster career.

    I will ask yet again, what are jackie’s accomplishments over his 18 years of taking up space in Springfield.

    Not votes, not appointments he made, they don’t count.

    Where did he save the taxpayers of McHenry County tax dollars?

    What, exactly, is the leadership he provided over those 18 wasted years?

    Voting for Madigan 9 out of 9 times does not count either. Being a delegate for Hillary does not count.

    Getting elected nine times is only an accomplishment for Jack, unless he did something to save $ for the taxpayers he was elected to represent.

    Show us some proof, don’t just blindly regurgitate jackie’s political ads. We are not buying it.

  15. John Lovaas,

    Your uninformed and completely inaccurate comments demonstrate nothing other than you do not know what you are talking about.

    Free education to follow:

    1. Walkup is NOT the current chairman

    2. In spite of you willingness to completely misrepresent reality, jackie dd not create the position of Chairman. He did not invent the internet either. That was Al Gore, he told us so.

    In keeping with the Olympics theme, I give you a 0 on knowledge, a 0 on insight, a 0 on research, and a 10 on clueless.

  16. Bottom line is Jack Franks is one of the people that has caused this mess in Illinois!

    All the bills that are passed and mandated by the State effect the businesses and local governments on there budgets! Take prevailing wage.

    The state mandates it so now all government bodies have to spend overinflated pay that could be done much cheaper.

    How about business taxes.

    Same thing.

    Please tell me what Jack Franks passed in Springfield that was Party line vote that helped Illinois?

    He really only started working across the isle more recently to make it look like he is independent.

    How about the first 6,8,10 yrs in office?

    He is a master politician no doubt about it.

    I only hope that the party does get behind Walkup and goes out and talk to people of what Franks is all about.

  17. Again people:

    (1) The County Board does not run “McHenry County”, if by “McHenry County”, you mean the panoply of separate and independent political entities such as municipalities, townships, school boards, park districts, library districts etc. that make up what goes on within the four corners of McHenry County on the map.

    The County Board OVERSEES the operation of COUNTY GOVERNMENT. “County Government” is not synonymous with “McHenry County”.

    County Government has certain limited functions, some of which are exclusive to the unincorporated areas (outside of municipal boundaries).

    (2) In terms of property taxes, which account for about a third of the revenues for County Government, only about ten percent of the tax bill goes to County Government.

    The County Treasurer (an independently elected officer) merely serves as a collector for the levies passed by dozens of other separate and independent taxing bodies over which the County Government has no control.

    The fact that the checks are made out to “McHenry County” doesn’t mean that County Government gets the money.

    Therefore, if someone running for County Board Chairman is claiming that he will “Cut McHenry County taxes by ten percent”, he does not have the power to do that.

    The County Board at best could reduce the portion of the taxes that is received by County Government by that amount but that will add up to only one percent, not ten percent, of the tax bill.

    (3) The County Board Chairman does not “run” even the County Government. That is done by the County Administrator and his staff which answers to the County Board but handles day to day functions. The County Board merely sets policy and reviews activities, budgets and expenditures. This is the way that City Councils, Park Boards, School Boards, etc. work. The Boards provide oversight and policysetting. The staff handles day to day operations.

    (4) The County Board Chairman presides over meetings of the full County Board and performs various ancillary functions, such as meeting with staff to prepare Board agendas, signing documents, cutting ribbons, interfacing with leaders of other government entities, attending seminars and workshops, etc. The Chairman does not sit on, much less chair, the Board committees.

    As a result of Board Rules changes that the Board made last year, the Count Board Chairman does not pick the Chairs or members of committees.

    This will now be done by the Board members themselves through the Committee on Committees, the members of which will be selected by the Board Members from each County Board District.

    That is, unless, the new County Board Chairman decides that he can throw all of that into the waste basket and rule by Ukaze (you may need to look that one up).

  18. You might want to look up the Coverage about the investigation into Blago before he was impeached.

    If memory serves me, Jack led that charge.

    My point was that people keep electing him so they must be happy.

  19. Inish,

    I know all about the investigation.

    He was buddies with Blago before Blago was impeached.

    Be honest.

    He has been elected on name recognition and a huge campaign war chest.

    When I ask Dems why they like him, they do not have a single logical answer.

    Nobody can name a single accomplishment.

    Most, when questioned are embarrassed to admit they rally don’t know anything abut him other than campaign literature.

    In business, we called that brochure-ware.

    What has he done to reduce our tax burden?


    Promises that have never been fulfilled.

    In this cycle, people want to see results, not empty promises.

  20. So, based on Walkup’s comments, he is running to:

    Not run the county.

    Be a weak leader and defer responsibility to the board.

    But hey!

    He’ll cut ribbons!

  21. Moderate- get off of the Walkup disability rant.


  22. For those demoncrats who read this blog and do not like long posts (poor concentration spans?) feel free to skip this one.

    Don’t confuse the Demoncrat supporters with the facts!

    During the short time since Mike Walkup was elected to the Board, here is what has happened to property tax rates in the County:

    Twp. Road Dist. AVERAGE 15.29%
    Township AVERAGE 9.75%
    Schools AVERAGE 16.72%
    Park Districts AVERAGE 9.42%
    Municipalities AVERAGE 13.06%
    Library districts AVERAGE 19.55%
    Fire districts AVERAGE 20.06%
    McHenry County 8.27%
    MCCD 11.50%
    MCC 10.89%

    The percentages reflect the increase in property tax rates since Mike has had a vote on the Board.

    So, which unit of government is doing its utmost for the taxpayer?

    I do expect more to be done, but at least the County has set an example.

    More than I can say for Mike’s opponent who is promising to work with other units of government to lower your property tax.

    Just like Mike’s opponent has sat on two different State commissions to reduce the number of units of government with practically zero result.


    The only way to reduce government expense in this state is to reduce the stranglehold of the public sector unions and unions like Local 150.

    Mike’s opponent is a Demoncrat and will NOT do anything to jeopardize those hundreds of thousands of dollars in union campaign financing!

    Citizens United helped level the playing field in campaign finance and Mike’s opponent openly objects to that decision.


    Maybe because Citizens United helped to reduce the union stranglehold on campaign financing!

    Mike is in his fourth year on the Board.

    His Demoncrat opponent has had eighteen years to fix the pension funding problems in the state (one of the reasons for the large property tax increase for fire districts) with what result?

    One thing the Democrat is correct about is the fact that the proportion of property taxes collected from home owners versus businesses has risen astronomically.


    Because the Democrats are taxing and regulating businesses out of this state.

    Those Democrats include Madigan and one of his willing sidekicks who now wants to

    “run McHenry County”.

    His words, not mine.

    The Democrat running for County Chairman is attempting to do to this county what the occupant of the White House has done to this country – create divisiveness.

    Just read this blog and note the tone of the anti-Walkup posts.

    Listen to the Demoncrat’s interview at WGN – link posted elsewhere on this blog.

    Just what does the appearance of Walkup’s property have to do with how he has voted as a county board member?

    Why did the Democrat not run for a seat on the County Board in addition to running for Board Chairman?

    Did he not think he could beat one of the two Republicans running in his district?

  23. Northwest Herald

    September 20, 1998

    “In his speech, Franks pledged to hold himself to three terms in the Illinois house.”


    Northwest Herald

    November 4, 1998

    by Jami Peterson

    “Franks, a political newcomer, has said he plans to serve only 3 terms if elected.”

    Jack Franks – 15,575 votes

    Mike Brown – 15,437 votes


    Jack Franks terms as a State Representative in the Illinois General Assembly

    Term 1: 1999 – 2000, 91st General Assembly

    Term 2: 2001 – 2002, 92nd General Assembly

    Term 3: 2003 – 2004, 93rd General Assembly

    Term 4: 2005 – 2006, 94th General Assembly

    Term 5: 2007 – 2008, 95th General Assembly

    Term 6: 2009 – 2010, 96th General Assembly

    Term 7: 2011 – 2012, 97th General Assembly

    Term 8: 2013 – 2014, 98th General Assembly

    Term 9: 2015 – 2016, 99th General Assembly


  24. moderate or whomever you are

    The Chairman of The County Board does not run the county.

    The schools, police, States Attorney, Clerk, Recorder to name a few are beholding directly to the voters.

    Each City has its own government.

    Townships have their own government.

    So what gives you the opinion that the chairman of the county board “runs the county”?
    The chairman has no authority over most of the government in the county.

    You saying otherwise is Bologna.

    Clearly, you have never lead anything if you think it is weakness to rely on a team.

    This is particularly true when the only way the chairman can “lead” the team is by being able to influence.

    Jack lost any real opportunity to influence by the way he has dealt with the current board.

    The Board does not report to the chairman.

    Either you really can’t grasp the situation, or you are intentionally attempting to mislead people with an inaccurate view of the authority of the chairman.

    You can say what you want, but that does not make it true or even believe able

  25. Just print some flyers with the Northwest Herald quotes and find volunteers to hand them out.

  26. Walkup does not tell everyone he never voted for a tax hike.

    Franks does.

    Claiming all the unfunded mandate Public Acts coming out of the Illinois General Assembly / Governors offices in Springfield have not resulted in tax hikes is absurd.

    Here is a good document about the subject.

    Illinois Municipal League

    Report to the Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates Task Force

    Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, Chair

    March 4, 2015

    27 pages



    The Illinois Turnaround (aka Turnaround Agenda)


  27. Just a little background for Inish.

    This is how politics works.

    Madigan and Franks and all the other Dems knew Blago’s issues.

    They supported him during the race.

    Now Blago wins.

    So what does Franks and Madigan do they go after Blago to impeach him.

    They look like heros.

    They put in Quinn who they liked working more with and get there agenda through.

    If you think that Madigan didn’t know about Blago’s issues before the election your just blind.

    Blago got railroaded.

    Call it a theory.

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