Signs the Recession Not Over in McHenry County

When I went searching for the people Democrat Jack Franks wanted to hire, I thought he would have done so in December.

Turns out that he didn’t accomplish the goal of hiring a caseworker (whom he calls an Executive Assistant) and a Communications Specialist until January.

Part of my search consisted of filing a Freedom of Information request for Human Resource Department paperwork.

I asked for all the new hires in county government during December.

Most surprising were three in the Circuit Clerk’s Office.

They were for the position of Court Specialist I.

This is an entry level job.

Paying not much.

What surprised me was that three of those higher had bachelor’s degrees.

One was saving money to go to law school and seeking court experience.

The other two were not.

It reminded me of reading about college grads sweeping streets in India decades ago.

When I asked Circuit Clerk Kathy Keefe about it, she replied,

“I am always surprised by that as well. We have hired quite a number with Bachelor’s Degrees over the last few years, and our recent group of hires oddly enough all had degrees.

“Court Specialist I is our entry level position that we have in all our divisions, but generally work our counters, phones, and clerk in the courtrooms.

“We have been very lucky to get some really great pools of applicants through the County’s HR Department.

“This last group of hires are all working out very well.

“The biggest risk of hiring those with degrees is that sometimes they leave fairly quickly because they get better offers.

“If we have higher level positions that open up and we are able to promote them, sometimes we can keep them.

“If we don’t, many times they get poached by attorneys or even other departments here in the Courthouse.

“My theory is that I would rather have sharp people for a shorter time, than ‘not so sharp’ for a long time.”

Asked about pay, Keefe sent the following:
“[They] start at $12.25 per hour, but after 6 months they are evaluated and if they meet certain training goals they are eligible for an additional $.50 per hour.

“They are eligible for an additional $.50 per hour at the end of 12 months of employment if they are doing well.”


Signs the Recession Not Over in McHenry County — 14 Comments

  1. Just look at the amount of office and retail space available in all parts of the County. Owners of buildings have torn them down just to save on real estate taxes…Black Dot, Cub Foods, WalMart, many others. Many restaurants remain closed. Not good.

  2. And the solution proposed by the State Democrat majority and some Republicans is to tax us more and more!!

    Until we eliminate the Constitutional public sector pension guarantee, eliminate public sector unions, eliminate prevail wage laws and project labor agreements, keep paying for the social services and healthcare for illegal aliens and reduce the phenomenal regulatory burdens in this state, the exodus will continue.

    In 2013, FAIR did an analysis of the cost to maintain Illinois as a quasi-sanctuary state – $24.5 BILLION per year.

    Do not even try to tell me that illegal aliens pay taxes because the amount of dollars rebated to illegal aliens in the form of Earned Income Tax Credits more than eats up the amount they pay in FICA AND Income Tax!!

    I won’t even go into detail about crimes committed by illegal aliens with the associated costs.

    Do not forget our country lost out on the purchasing power of $582.000,000,000 which is the amount of money sent OUT of the U.S.A. in 2015 in the form of ‘remittances’.

  3. In addition to requesting who the county hired, it is good to know who left county employment and the reason (resignation, termination, etc.).


    Bridget Geenen

    The McHenry County “Payroll Advice” form signed by the Human Resources Director on December 23, 2016 indicated:

    “Job Title” of “Temp Project Manager.”

    “Please type anything in the remarks section that will help clarify the action you are taking. Remarks: Position to be converted to serve as Executive Assistant for County Board Chair.”


    – The Human Resources Director is Cheryl A Schrader-Chukwu.

    Is that really Cheryl A Schrader-Chukwu’s signature on the “Payroll Advice” Form?

    The signature looks more like it has “P” and “A” … Peter Austin? … than a “C” and “S”


    The offer letter from McHenry County to Bridget Geenen is also dated December 23, 2016, and is signed by Peter Austin and Jack Franks.

    On the offer letter, the names and titles of Peter Austin (County Administrator) and Jack Franks (County Board Chair) appear under the signature.

    Compare Peter Austin’s signature on Bridget Geenen’s offer letter to the signature that appears above “Human Resources Director” on HR “Payroll Advice” form for Bridget Geenen.

    They appear to be the same signature.

    Peter Austin appears to have signed as the Human Resources Director, even though he is not the Human Resources Director.

    Also, the HR “Payroll Advice” form has a slot for the signature of “Department Head” along with the “Date” for that signature.

    However, no signature or signature date for “Department Head” appears on the HR “Payroll Advice” form.


    Human Resources “Payroll Advice” form for Bridget Geenen appears here:

  4. A second point is that Bridget Geenen was offered County employment for a position which did not yet exist.

    To recap, the HR “Payroll Advice” form indicated Bridget Geenen was hired as a “Temporary Project Manager.”

    Additional note, the offer letter indicates the County offered employment to Bridget Geenen as the “County Board Chairman’s Executive Assistant.”

    Both documents were dated December 23, 2016.


    A similar situation exists for Oliver Serafini:

    – Peter Austin’s (County Administrator) signature appears above the slot for “Human Resources Director” on the HR Payroll Advice form.

    – The job title on the HR Payroll Advice form (Utility Coordinator) does not match the job title on the offer letter (Communications Specialist).

    – In addition, the HR Payroll Advice form indicates 50% of the budget for the “Utility Coordinator” position is from from MCDOT, yet the offer letter does not offer employment for “MCDOT” just “County Board Office.”


    Here is a copy of the HR “Payroll Advice” form for Oliver Serafini which indicated a “job title” of “Utility Coordinator” and a remark that “Position to be converted to Communication Specialist split 50% General Fund, 50% MCDOT.”

  5. Here is a copy of the offer letter to Oliver Serafini from McHenry County, indicating Peter Austin’s signature (which also appears to be the signature of the “Human Resources Director” on the HR Payroll Advice form), the job title of “Communications Specialist” (not Utility Coordinator as listed on the HR Payroll Advice form), offering employment for only the County Board Office (not MCDOT which is listed as funding 50% of the position on the HR Payroll Advice form).

  6. Two Men And A Truck sightings and more home for sale signs going up
    tell me that the recession is far from over in McHenry County
    and Illinois in general.
    Time to raise taxes and drive more people out of the state, or into
    the poorhouse. Praise be unto Madigan and his DEMOCRAT pirates.

  7. I see. You meet “training goals”, are “doing well”, you get more money. Forget the fact they produce nothing, generate zero dollars and are just an enormous, useless service I don’t want to pay for.

    The Public Sector is a joke.

  8. its sad the loyalty in the work place is missing anymore! all the BS’s out there shows a lot of the dumbing down of everything all made to Easy like buying toilet paper from the store! All Vanilla give me the experienced, much more educated then most of your Bs’rs, and with less attitude !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *