The Single Member Districts Jack Franks Wanted for This Decade

One of the emails from Jack Franks political operative Oliver Serafini sent before he got his full-time job as “Communications Specialist” went to County Board member John Jung.

A reader asked if I had a copy of the map.

Looking in McHenry County archives, I found the following map for a 16-person County Board:

Jack Franks’ third suggestion for single-member districts.


The Single Member Districts Jack Franks Wanted for This Decade — 17 Comments

  1. Democrat Jack Franks proposed County Board district boundaries.

    No doubt what political party those boundaries would favor.

    Wonder who drew those boundaries and whom was consulted…Michael Kasper?

    The caption under the map states, “Jack Franks’ third suggestion for single-member districts.”

    What were the first two suggestions?

  2. Mark,
    By what analysis are these objectionable to you other than being proposed by a Democrat?

    And irrespective of the first two suggestions, would you even support single member districts?

    If not, why ask the question other than to support your manic obsessions?

  3. Everyone knows a Democrat is going to propose district boundaries favorable to a Democrat.

    Who drew the boundaries on the above map?

    Who was involved in that process?

  4. Sort of resembles the state and Cook County… what say you?

  5. Badabing aka Fierabras – You live in Lake County. No one cares what you think..

  6. Right you are, Joe!

    But of course our emperor-in-chief is in one big rush to stymie board members.

  7. The email in the article is dated July 3, 2014 and was sent by Oliver Serafini (who at the time was a Program Specialist employed by the House Democrats and apparently stationed in the Woodstock District office of then State Representative Jack Franks) to Scott Hartman of McHenry County.

    Scott Hartman is Peter Austin’s assistant.

    Peter Austin is the County Administrator.

    Oliver Serafini’s salary history as a state employee:

    2015 – $26,888

    2014 – $22,568

    2013 – $25,778


    A review of some recent history of Jack Franks attempting to gain political power for himself and Democrats in McHenry County:

    November 6, 2012 – Voters defeated the State Representative Jack Franks led effort to convert McHenry County form of government to County Executive, with an elected Executive.


    March 18, 2014 – Voters approve the State Representative Jack Franks led effort to convert the McHenry County Board Chair position from board elected, to voter elected.


    June 6, 2014 – State Representative Jack Franks advocates the County place two advisory referendums on the ballot.

    Advisory Referendum 1 – Convert the County Board from 6 districts with 4 members each, to 16 districts with 1 members each.

    The stated reason wais to save taxpayers money by reducing the number of county board members.

    Not highlighted by Jack Franks was reducing the existing 6 districts to 3 or 2 members each would also result in the reduction of County Board members.

    The likely unstated reason was likely to increase the number of County Board districts, drawing more Democrat friendly districts, increasing the chances that more Democrats could get on the County Board.

    Advisory Referendum 2 – If equalized assessed value (EAV) falls, property taxes are frozen.

    Two big problem with freezing property taxes is underfunded pensions and political games played by some of cutting what hurts most in an effort to force taxpayers to hike property taxes to restore the cuts.

    Jack Franks does not lead an effort to scale back legislative pension benefit hikes.

    Jack Franks voted for legislative pension benefit hikes to pensions that were already underfunded.

    Underfunded police and fire pensions are a big problem for several local municipalities and fire protection districts, and thus taxpayers.

    The two advisory referendums were not approved by the County Board to be placed on the ballot.


    June 6, 2014 – Northwest Herald report Kevin Craver reports that Jack Frank, while pushing the two advisory referendums:

    “Franks made clear that he is not pushing for County Board changes as an effort to run for the chairman’s seat in two years, following the footsteps of former state senators Chris Lauzen and Dan Cronin, now chairmen of the Kane and DuPage county boards.

    ‘What I’m trying to do is reduce our property taxes in McHenry County and make it livable so people don’t leave,’ Franks said.

    ‘I can promise you I am not running for county chairman in 2016.

    This is about good government.'”


    March 15, 2016 – Jack Franks is unopposed in the Democrat primary for 63rd State Representative.


    March 15, 2016 – Jack Franks supporter Democrat Jeffery Lichte is defeated by Republican Steve Reick in the 63rd District State Representative Republican primary.

    Jeffery Lichte is a Democrat who filed to run as a Republican.


    March 15, 2016 – Jack Franks announces he will run as Democrat candidate for the inaugural voter elected McHenry County Board Chair.

    He does not mention that on June 6, 2014 the Northwest Herald quoted him as saying he would not run for the position in 2016.

    His signature campaign pitch is to cut property taxes 10% in every property taxing district in the county.


    July 7, 2016 – McHenry County Blog reports that today Jack Franks name appears for the first time on the Illinois State Board of Elections (SBE) website as having withdrawn as a Democrat candidate for 63rd District State Representative.


    July 9, 2016 – The McHenry County Democrat Party selects a friend of Jack Franks, John Bartman, to replace Jack Franks on the ballot as Democrat candidate for McHenry County Board Chair.


    November 8, 2016 – Jack Franks is elected McHenry County Board Chair, defeating Mike Walkup.


    November 8, 2016 – Steve Reick is elected as 63rd District State Representative, defeating John Bartman.


    November 8, 2016 – Voters pass the following advisory referendum:

    “Shall the number of County Board Members be reduced from the current 24 Members’ following the 2020 Decennial Census?


    December 5, 2016 – Jack Franks takes the Oath of office as McHenry County Board Chair.

    He immediately attempts to gain political power by proposing rules changes, a key tactic used by Michael Madigan to gain political power as House Speaker in the Illinois State House of Representatives.

    Rules changes include changing the number of committees, how often the Board meets, reducing the number of Regular County Board meetings, implementing a regularly scheduled committee of the whole meeting a few days before the regular county board meeting, etc.


    December 21, 2016 at 12:55PM

    Email from Oliver Serafini to Peter Austin (County Board Administrator):

    “Please send me anything you need me to review and / or complete.”


    December 21, 2016 at 3:40PM

    Email from Peter Austin to Oliver Serafini:

    “Attached is the County employment application that I would like you to complete.

    If you can get that to me tomorrow morning that would be great.

    I’ll get you an offer-letter tomorrow morning as well.”


    December 21, 2016 at 9:57PM

    From Oliver Serafini to Peter Austin

    “Pete –

    Completed Application attached.

    Thanks for your help with everything.”


    December 22, 2016 at 10:44AM

    From Peter Austin, to Oliver Serafini

    “Oliver –

    Attached is the letter offering employment with the County.

    Please call me if you have any questions.”



    More emails.


    December 23, 2016 – “Jack Franks Wants Personal Staff” post appears on McHenry County blog.

    The post contains a “Chairman Transition” email obtained through a FOIA request, containing a Jack Franks wish list.

    A flurry of activity ensues.

    etc. etc. etc.


    January 26, 2017 – Peter Austin (County Administrator) appears before the County Board Internal Support & Facilities Meeting regarding the Oliver Serafini and Bridget Geenen hires.

    There are also complaints about an item that was requested to be added to the agenda, that was not added to the agenda.


    etc. etc. etc.

  8. Ersel, with all due respect, it takes two to tango.

    I can’t help but to shrug at these comments about Democratic gerrymandering on Franks’ part.

    The board is made up of 23/24 Republicans.

    Also, where is the proof Franks is bringing this up again? I see a letter dated from 2014.

  9. Jack Franks said at the town hall meetings in his 2016 County Board Chair campaign that he proposes converting from (6) county board districts with 4 members each, to (12) county board districts with 1 member each.

    Jack Franks’ County Board Chair campaign website did not mention anything about increasing county board districts or reducing county board members.

    Jack Franks for County Board Chair commercial had a page stating “Jack Franks will” “shrink the County Board” (no mention of increasing the number of districts in the commercial).

    A recent Northwest Herald article by Kevin Craver discussed the status of a few Jack Franks proposed changes as County Board Chair.

    The article states that Jack Franks “ran on a platform that included going from 24 members in six districts to 12, single member districts.”

    Suggesting to reduce County Board Members by 12 and increase County Board Districts by 6 in town hall meetings, but not mentioning the increase in county board districts in the commercial, and not mentioning either the reduction of members or increase in districts on the county board website, is hardly a platform.

    But it is clear by that and subsequent Jack Frank comments on the issue in county board meetings that his wish is for the County Board to move from 24 county board members to 12, and to move from 6 county board districts to 12.


    Northwest Herald

    McHenry County Board Chairman Moving Forward With Anti-tax Referendum

    – Jack Franks reconsiders other advisory questions on consolidation

    January 13, 2017

    by Kevin Craver

  10. typo, should read, “…and not mentioning either the reduction of members or increase in districts on his county board chair chair website…”

    Full corrected sentence broken down:

    Suggesting to reduce County Board Members by 12 and increase County Board Districts by 6 in town hall meetings,

    but not mentioning the increase in county board districts in the commercial,

    and not mentioning either the reduction of members or increase in districts on his county board chair campaign website,

    is hardly a platform.

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