Franks County Board Liaison Picks Include Non-County Board Members

Former County Board member Ersel Schuster shares her opinion on the consistency show by County Board members in following its rules.

County Board Picks & Chooses Rules They’ll Apply

For those of you who took the time to attended or listened to the 2/21/17 McHenry County Board Meeting, I commend.

Whether you support what is occurring at the county; or if you are horrified over the actions of your county chair and board members; your County Board members are caving like an avalanche.

They, our county board members were elected to be independent thinkers, not sheep.

They are allowing themselves to be used for another’s personal agenda and gain as they allow their responsibilities and rights to be undermined.

For decades of having observed, as well as having served on this county board, the issue of Board members who were slackers’ and/or sheep is well known.

And, mind you, it is not unique to McHenry County but it does underline why half the country is so upset with their public officials.

In defining the “slackers’ and/or sheep” statement, I refer to those members who simply did not bother doing the homework.

They vote as “someone” suggest they vote, but more often than not, it is easier and nicer to be on the “winning” side.

They become “suck-ups” and vulnerable to a power base.

To this particular 2/21/17 meeting, while there are several issues that could/should be addressed, for purposes of this article, the issue of County Board Rules will again be the target.

It is simply one more aggravating example of board members clearly not understanding the purpose of their position and are willing to shame themselves by flip-flopping when they should be standing strong on our behalf.

Agenda item: 14.2 Resolution Recommending Appointment to Liaison Members and Related Committee is a clear example of this.

Section 2 Appointments:

2.1 County Board Member Liaison Positions

“County Board Member liaison positions shall be recommended for appointment by the Chairman within 60 days of the organizational meeting.

“The County Board Chairman may remove a County Board member from an appointed liaison position and name a replacement subject to approval of a majority of all County Board members.”

This certainly appears crystal clear.

Here are the appointments proposed by County Board Jack Franks in a searchable format:

  • ACE – Michele Aavang
  • Board of Health – Mary McCann
  • CMAP – Carolyn Schofield
  • EMA Coordinating Council – Steve Reick
  • Local Emergency Planning – Steve Reick
  • Ethics Commission – Michele Aavang
  • Fox Waterway – Joseph Remke
  • Gravel Advisory – Bob Paddock
  • Housing Authority – Sue Miller
  • McHenry County Conservation District – Robert Nowak
  • MCEDC- Michael Skala
  • Mental Health (708) – Paula Yensen
  • Northwest Water Planning Alliance – Larry Smith
  • Veterans Assistance – Tom Wilbeck
  • Valley Hi Cemetery Board – Jim Heisler
  • Valley Hi Operating Board – Chris Christensen
  • Valley Hi Operating Board – Craig Wilcox
  • Visit McHenry County – John Jung
  • Workforce Network Board – Kay Bates
  • Community Development & Housing Grant Youth Council – Kay Bates
  • Youth Council – Larry Smith
  • Stormwater Management Commission – James Kearns, Donald Kopsell,  Yvonne Barnes, Jeffrey Thorsen, John Hammerand,  Michael Rein
  •  Senior Services Grant Commission (SSGC)  – Paula Yensen (Chair)

Mike Walkup

Member Mike Walkup called this Rule to the board’s attention stating that…

“it was implicit in the Rules that these liaison appointments would be filled with county board members.”

As discussion gathered momentum, your chairman, as has become normal practice; interrupted the speaker to lobby, argue, spin, and to twist Rule, Section 2.2.1, for his desired outcome.

Jack Franks

While speaking to the issue, Walkup again raised the chairman’s ire to the point he was cut off and loudly dressed down.

Chairman Jack Franks, among other things, stated,

 “…and this from the man who ran against me?”

From all indications, politics was not the issue at hand… but the chair obviously felt it necessary to ridicule his political rival!

That outburst did generate an, after the fact, apology.

Following that altercation, member Donna Kurtz properly amended the resolution to eliminate the problem by removing the “non-county board member” appointments.

That motion failed 9 to 15.

After more discussion, the final vote on the resolution was 23 to 1 to approve all recommended appointments.

Those external committees under discussion for appointments are made up of non-elected officials, all of whom are County Board appointments.

Since actions of these committees are of importance to us as taxpayers; it only makes sense that those we elect to office should have a seat at the table and is consistent with the Rule.

It provides the connection and accountability between government and those agencies.

It is strange how those very folks, our legislator, who write rules and laws that you and I must adhere to, are the same people who believe it is their right to pick and choose which rules they will use and which they will ignore.


Franks County Board Liaison Picks Include Non-County Board Members — 32 Comments

  1. I used to be very suspicious of our board.

    I thought they did things for very ill advised reasons.

    Now I almost feel sorry for these people.

    It’s becoming clearer, they really are THAT stupid!

    They act like a bunch of bumpkins that just fell off a turnip truck.

    It’s really frightening that our best chance is showing to be Mr. Walkup. (Most people think of him as the driver of that truck.}

    How do people this stupid even begin to believe they are able to govern anything!

    Don’t kid yourselves, all of governance is like this.

    The crafty get their way because the turnips don’t have a clue what they are signing on for.

  2. The Board are merely puppets for the chairman to play with.

    Only a very few of them realize it and they’re being penalized for opposing him.

  3. Cindy is so right. Vegetables are ruining this county. It’s a sign of the end times 🍆=😈

  4. It certainly didn’t take Reinert, Wilbeck and Christensen to start drinking the Kool aid.

  5. It would be helpful to compare what Jack Franks is doing, and has done, as County Board Chair, to the actions taken by prior County Board Chairs.


    This is the 2nd incident of Jack Franks taking action as County Board Chair to benefit someone employed by a campaign contributor.

    Bob Paddock is not a county board member.

    Jack Franks proposed that Bob Paddock be appointed to a County Board Liaison position.

    As such, although not elected by the public, Bob Paddock will be representing the County Board on the McHenry County Gravel Advisory Council.

    Bob Paddock is employed as a Union Organizer (Business Representative) by IUOE Local 150, an organized labor union.

    Jack Franks PACs have reported $72,350 in contributions from IUOE Local 150 & its affiliated organization, the Chicagoland Operators Joint Labor Management PAC.

    Since he announced he was running for County Board Chair on May 15, 2016, the Supporters of Jack D Franks PAC has reported receipts of $57,000 from these two organizations.

    Jack Franks PACs have reported receiving $1,035,910 from organized labor organizations since February 23, 1998.

  6. Now we know what the “round mound” and Steve Reick were discussing at lunch.

    I, for one, am looking for someone to primary Reick next year.

    I will not work for Reick again.

    I will not post his signs on my properties nor advise people support him.

    Petition circulations start this fall.

    If you live in Reick’s district and are interested, contact a Republican committeeman you can trust.

  7. Looks like Franks’ staffers Serafini and Geenen paid for themselves!

    They discovered unclaimed funds owed to the county!
    Well done!

    Can’t wait to see what the liaisons find out for the board as well.

  8. Should we expect Oliver and Bridget to “find” $130,000 every year to pay their salaries?

    If not, they are not paying for themselves.

  9. I’m disgusted that our lazy, incompetent county employees have not checked the iclaim website before this.

    I guess they could claim it “wasn’t in their job description.”

  10. Xout42 – Who knows?

    But guess what?!

    You and the goon squad can cool it for this calendar year.

    Also, please note, the Chairman had a budget to hire staff prior to the board defunding the office due to Franks being elected.

    Cal Skinner has confirmed this on the blog.

    Mark has confirmed this on the blog.

    Ersel Shuster had confirmed this.

  11. That’s a cute NWH article praising Franks hires on such an insightful act to “find” $130,000 by having a “hunch”….really?

    It’s not rocket science.

    There’s been a commercial airing on TV for weeks.


    Punched in names of family, friends, co-workers, etc. and found money, too!

    They did NOT pay for themselves.

    The positions should be vacated and legally posted.

  12. Glad to see Outwiththeold was on top of looking into McHenry County’s allotment

    – oh, wait….?

    They weren’t!

  13. Interesting how “it’s not rocket science” and “[t]here’s been a commercial airing on TV for weeks”, yet no one sitting on board for years ever thought of looking it up.

  14. It doesn’t matter who posted that the board chair had a budget on a blog.

    I looked through the budgets online from 2009 to present.


    If you can’t prove it was there stop accusing the county board of eliminating it.

  15. NBC Chicago Channel 5

    February 21, 2017

    Billions in Unclaimed Cash Due to Citizens, Business and Governments in Illinois

    – NBC 5 Investigates found piles of cash unclaimed by the governments of Chicago, Cook County, even the state itself – much of it sitting for decades.

    by Katy Smyser and Phil Rogers

    “But NBC5 Investigates also found there are piles and piles of unclaimed money – more than 15,000 different sets of funds – that should go into the coffers of local governments – cities, school districts, counties, even the state itself.”

  16. Northwest Herald

    February 24, 2017

    Simple Search by McHenry County Board Chairman staff finds $130,000 in Unclaimed Funds

    by Kevin Craver

    “A hunch on the part of two staff members hired by new McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks turned out to be worth more than $130,000.”

    “Franks said Geenen’s and Serafini’s initiative and discover proves their worth.

    He has instructed county staff to work with the treasurer’s office to recoup the funds.

    ‘We won’t deliver on the promise of lower taxes and a more accountable, transparent government without people on the team thinking outside the box for the benefit of taxpayers,’ Franks said.”

  17. Safe to assume Franks’ minions didn’t have a “hunch” but saw the report on TV?

  18. What a coincidence.

    The hunch by Bridget Geenen and Oliver Serafini (not one but both of them) that McHenry County may have unclaimed funds held by the State Treasurer’s office occurred within days of a report by the NBC 5 Investigative reporting team that counties throughout the state have unclaimed property held by the State’s Treasurer’s office.

  19. Sue,

    Your inability to navigate the budget isn’t evidence of an absence of a Chairman’s budget.

  20. Let’s praise a good result, and look for more.

    I would support Chairman using his extraordinary powers to fire incompetent or redundant County employees and thereby reduce budget.

    Let’s not have rules bent or broken for personal benefit, but for the good of Team McHenry County.

  21. I’ve cited where it could be found if it ever existed.

    All you’re doing is running off at the mouth – unable to provide any evidence.

    If you were half as smart as you think you are you’d back up your statements with facts.

  22. Where’s the proof on Tirio’s patronage hires, moderate?

    Same place as the proof the Chair previously had a budget?

  23. Moderate… would you please show me where I said the county board chairman had a budget?

    I will provide some numbers showing what prior county board chairman have cost us in my next post.

  24. Moderate’s claim from an above comment:

    “Also, please note, the Chairman had a budget to hire staff prior to the board defunding the office due to Franks being elected.”

    Agitator alleged others confirmed this.

    Others asked where was this documented, and Agitator provided no documentation, just a vague, you said this a few weeks ago comment.

    No one other than Moderate has stated the Chairman had a budget to hire staff prior to the board defunding the office due to Franks being elected.

    Would Oliver Serafini (the Communications Expert patronage hire by Jack Franks) have issued a press release and sent it to Northwest Herald if the county board had defunded the County Board Chair office?

    How did Oliver Serafini and Bridget Geenen get hired by Jack Franks since Moderate claims the board defunded the office?

    The documentation trail of how those two were hired is a very interesting topic.


    Ersel Schuster reported expenditures by the last 3 County Board Chairs in this post:

    McHenry County Blog

    Bill of Particulars re Jack Franks

    March 7, 2017

    The following costs incurred by the last 3 chairmen, extracted from the County Board Budget, were:

    2016 – $2,320.36 – Joe Gottemoller

    2015 – $253 – Joe Gottemoller

    2014 – $2,744.54 – Tina Hill

    2013 – $4,818.77 – Tina Hill

    2012 – $4,584.82 – Ken Koehler

    2011 – $3,867.85 – Ken Koehler


    The previous County Board Chairs did not have a dedicated communications specialist, executive assistant, or outside counsel Parliamentarian.

    The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s office is and has been used by the County Board for Parliamentarian services.

    Jack Franks decided the County State’s Attorney’s office was not good enough for him, so without permission from the County Board, he hired an outside the county law firm for Parliamentarian services.

    Apparently no law firm in McHenry County is good enough for Jack Franks for Parliamentarian services.

    The law firm hired by Jack Franks for Parliamentarian services contributed $1,000 to the political campaign of Jack Franks shortly before Jack Franks was elected to office as McHenry County Board Chair.

    The name of the law firm is Storino, Ramello & Durkin, which is located in Rosemont (Cook County).

    The Supporters of Jack D Franks political action committee (PAC) reported this contribution on November 7, 2016.

    On November 8, 2016, Jack Franks was elected County Board Chair.

    On December 5, 2016, Jack Franks was took the Oath of Office as County Board Chair (his first day on the job).

    On January 17, 2017, Jack Franks introduced Nick Peppers of Storino, Ramello & Durkin to the County Board during the regular County Board meeting.

    This was a surprise to the County Board.

    Jack Franks did not involve the County Board in the decision making process.

    Jack Franks didn’t even notify the County Board of his intentions.

    Employees of the County State’s Attorney’s office were at that January 17, 2017 County Board meeting to provide parliamentarian services to the County Board.

    Those County State’s Attorneys, paid by taxpayers, were unaware that Jack Franks had hired outside counsel to provide parliamentarian services to the County Board Chair, until Jack Franks introduced Nick Peppers as the Parliamentarian for the County Board Chair.

    So now the County Board Chair has outside counsel for parliamentarian services.

    And the County Board has the County State’s Attorney’s office for parliamentarian services.

    Previously, the County Board Chair had used the County State’s Attorney’s office for parliamentarian services.

    The Parliamentarian interprets board rules and provides advice.

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