McClellan Gains Support for Rapid Election Software Payment

Mary McClellan

“Houston, we have a problem,” began McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan’s presentation of the Finance Committee of the County Board Wednesday.

She explained that she could not conduct the February 28th township primary elections without the voting software from Dominion Voting Systems.

The problem is that, unlike last year, she was advised that she had to go out of bid because the Purchasing Ordinance requires that of items costing more than $20,000

Since the payment was almost $26,087.40, the Auditor’s Office and the Purchasing Office held up the payment.

McClellan pointed out that the purchase should have been allowed because the vendor is the sole source, an exception to the bidding requirement in the Purchasing Ordinance.

McClellan cite a case brought by Cook County Circuit Clerk Aurelia Pucinski which concluded county officials mentioned in the State Constitution had the say so about spending money once the County Board passed its budget.

She also pointed to a state law which used the word “shall” with reference to County Board duties with regard to paying election costs.

McClellan said she did not want to have to file a mandamus suit (a case asking the court to force a public official or board to do it duty).

“I don’t want to go there.  I want to work this out,” she said.

Finance Committee Chairman Mike Skala and other members expressed their desire to solve McClellan’s problem, scheduling a meeting before Thursday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

Associate County Administrator for Finance Ralph Sarbaugh pointed out that McClellan could have put in a resolution.

“You guys slammed me at 3:30 on the afternoon of Christmas Eve,” she replied vigorously.

None of the committee members objected to approving the payment, but Yvonne Barnes stated,

“I don’t want to get in the habit of putting something on the [County Board] agenda without going through the process.”


Comments

McClellan Gains Support for Rapid Election Software Payment — 9 Comments

  1. The purchasing ordinance is a control mechanism put in place by staff to micro manage the offices.

    Donna Kelly use to threaten the purchasing Director, Donna Kelly is now gone but the purchasing dirctor is so afraid to do anything because Ralph and Peter dictate to him.

    This is why Ralph is so against it because he is in charge of the purchasing department and he controls the budget so he thinks he is a wizard.

    He is a wizard alright just like the cucko wizard in the Wizard of Oz dont pay attention to the guy behind the black curtain just stay focused on what I tell you.

    I am know all be all.

    The average McHenry County Residence has no idea !!!!!!!

    He does not have to follow the ordinance he went a bought a truck because he thought it was best for the County that is why Yvonne Barnes was saying she does not want to see things going on the agenda after the fact.

    Ralph in the audio is begging to be forgiven for buying and than asking for forgiveness.

    What a pathetic joke the whole deal is.

    We need the Clerk to be able to take care of elections and stop this mess.

  2. Having seen how the county buys computer systems, they should probably hire a blind, one-legged, deaf monkey to do it for them.

  3. I’m good with bureaucrats having to get approval for expenses larger than $20,000.

    Did McClellan forget the election was coming up?

    She did not request quotes prior to 1 month before a primary?

  4. She said the amount is the same every time and that she had no problem last year.

  5. So she didn’t plan ahead and is trying to pass the blame.

    Typical bureaucrat.

  6. The turnout is usually very low for these off year elections.

    Is there some reason she can’t do everything with paper ballots and hand counts?

  7. Interesting suggestion, but the judges would all have to be trained again.

  8. Re: “but the judges would all have to be trained again.”

    What?

    Judges can’t count? (tongue-in-cheek)

    They count the write-ins every election.

    I guess it is better to have SOFTWARE (written by only God knows and it sure is not done by the Clerk) do the counting.

    SOFTWARE which the public is not permitted to see.

    Take special notice of the Clerk comment: “because the vendor is the sole source,”

    Now that all voting systems come under the scrutiny of the Federal Department of Justice, who controls that “sole source”?

    Why were NO poll watchers permitted to be in the same room where the last AUDIT of elections was conducted?

    I agree with Billy Bob.

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