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)
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.
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.