Oliver Serafini, “Communications and Public Policy Impresario”

That’s what new patronage hire Oliver Serafini has at the top on his LinkedIn page.

While his job previous to becoming McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks’ “Communications Specialist” was with the Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Illinois Chapter, before that he worked for Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan.

He says he coordinated “legislative and media engagement strategies” for a couple of Democrats.

“More than 150 stories and column submissions were published as a result,” he says.

His committee assignment seems to have been the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.

From 2013-15 Serafini worked for Jack Franks in his district office.

He says that he “managed the legislative agenda, district office operations and media presence of State Representative Jack D. Franks.”

Seven years before that he was President of Hengdai Films LLC.

He marketed “’A Better Life,’ a feature length documentary film comparing the experiences of three Mexican immigrants in the Chicagoland area.”

Two years before that Serafini worked for Benjamin C. Head Consulting where he reports three accomplishments:

  • Created and executed public messaging and outreach strategies for political campaigns, non-profits and businesses.
  • Trained campaign staff and volunteers in outreach methodologies, voter persuasion, data collection and database management.
  • Created a coalition of voters to oppose further cuts to State of Illinois social service programs, and facilitated citizen participation in a successful grassroots campaign to drive legislator engagement.

Serafini served as Field Director for the Rafael Vargas for 43rd Ward Alderman campaign.


Oliver Serafini, “Communications and Public Policy Impresario” — 20 Comments

  1. Questioning: soon to be earning zero McHenry County taxpayer dollars, we hope!

  2. Forgot to mention that he got Jack’s sandwiches, large fries and diet pop every day.

  3. The employment “application” of Oliver Serafini is found here:


    Mr. Serafini’s employment “application” includes Marty McCormack as a reference.

    Marty McCormack and Oliver Serafini worked as Program Specialists in the Michael Madigan House Democrat organization.

    Mr. McCormack is still employed by the House Democrats on the Issues Development Staff.


    Many Program Specialists are released from their jobs to work on political campaigns during campaign season.

    This is done by Republicans and Democrats.

    This was the case for Oliver Serafini and Marty McCormack.

  4. Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
    — P.J. O’Rourke, Civil Libertarian

    I don’t make jokes, I just watch the government and report the facts.
    — Will Rogers

    Anybody laughing now?

  5. So, now you have FRANKS and a MADIGAN throw-a-way running the board: great voting there, McHenry County -NOT

  6. I haven’t had much to say about Jack Franks, at one time we voted Republicans for Jack Franks, because the alternative would have been a disgrace to McHenry County. Now I am watch Franks at work and creating his own little world.

    Jack reminds me of a princess who has to get her way, and he is making McHenry County His Castle. Has anyone woke up from this fairy tale yet?

  7. So Franks ran on the ruse of cutting 10% from our taxes. How can he do that when the first order of business is hiring 2-3 people no other Chairman of County Board needed? He’s increasing our cost for that job by 3 – 4 times!!!

    He’s a disgrace. The board is going to be known for being a disgrace if they don’t take control & rein him in!!

  8. Peter Austin the County Administrator claims there is no additional overall county cost for Mr. Serafini and Ms. Geenen due to unfilled and reassigned vacancies.

    To actually track that over time one would need quite a bit of information.

    No clue about the Parliamentarian position.

    Apparently the Board does not approve a monthly Personnel report included in the Board packet which would include hirings, firings, resignations, and promotions with for instance the position, department, employee name, and itemized overall compensation.

  9. He is nothing more than another waste of our tax dollars! N.s.

  10. With the elected County Board Chair, McHenry County has the following:

    1. The County Administrator organization

    – Peter Austin, County Administrator

    – Ralph Sarbaugh, Associate County Administrator

    – Scott Hartman, Deputy County Administrator

    – Jim Hurley, Assistant to the County Administrator / Public Information Officer

    – other administrative / secretarial types



    2. The County Board Chair organization.

    – Jack Franks, County Board Chair

    – Oliver Serafini, Communications Specialist (Hired as Utility Coordinator with job to be converted to Communication Specialist with job split 50% General Fund and 50% MCDOT per the HR “Payroll Advice” document signed December 23, 2016 by the HR Director).

    – Bridget Geenen, Executive Assistant (Hired as Temporary Project Manager with job to be converted to Executive Assistant per the HR “Payroll Advice” document signed December 23, 2016 by the HR Director).

    – ?, Parliamentarian

  11. Cindy, that may have been true in the past but we have a couple of great people that have been on the County Board and several new members were ushered in last election. A couple of them have already exceeded my expectations in their comments to Franks.

    They need our calls and our encouragement that we’ll be behind THEM if they do a smack-down which is needed. Franks is nothing but a democrat punk thug Madigan wanna-be.

  12. Peter Austin knows the hirings violated policy.

    That is why he purposely tried to pass off an old copy of the salary administration policy to the Internal Support Committee members Wednesday 2/8/17. Barnes didn’t fall for it; but Austin is not fulfilling the job description with his obfuscation.

    Shame on Austin–it’s time for the Board to find his replacement. A replacement that will follow law and policy and will not give the Chair power not granted in the Illinois Constitution.

  13. Yvonne Barnes’ committee doesn’t have the authority nor would I trust her judgement to lead an effort to replace Austin. The committee is inefficiently run much due to Barnes’ need to inject her every thought into discussion. Her degree of self-aggrandizement is breathtaking.

  14. McHenry County Board

    Internal Support & Facilities Committee

    Chairman – Yvonne Barnes

    Vice-Chairman – Jim Heisler

    Member – Donna Kurtz

    Member – Mike Walkup

    Member – Kay Bates

    Member – Michael Rein

    Member – Michele Aavang



    It was not noted how a replacement for Peter Austin would take place.

    Anyone interested in all the changes that Jack Franks has initiated and attempted to initiate can listen to the Internal Support & Facilities Committee meetings on audio tape, and read the minutes (once they are posted), both of which are archived on the County Meetings Portal website.

    Ms. Barnes speaks plainly and directly about subjects in general and about the Jack Franks changes more specifically.

    She is modest, does not have a big ego, and is concerned about following process.

    Just because Jack Franks or Peter Austin can find a loophole to do this or that does not mean it is in the best interest of county taxpayers to not include the entire board in the process, does not mean transparency should be sacrificed, and does not mean that prior precedent should be ignored.

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