Half-Paid from McDOT Funds, Franks Patronage Worker Gets Department Tour

A Friend of McHenry County Blog filed a Freedom of Information Request with county government on February 2nd asking for “any documents that show Oliver Serafini worked at the Department of Transportation this January.”

You can read the reply below:

Oliver Serafini’s “work” for the McHenry County Department of Transportation during January, 2017.

Again, I ask whether the new “Lock Box” constitutional amendment prohibits what appears to be a ghost payroller on the McDOT payroll:

Section 11. Transportation Funds

(a) No moneys, including bond proceeds, derived from taxes, fees, excises, or license taxes relating to registration, title, or operation or use of vehicles, or related to the use of highways, roads, streets, bridges, mass transit, intercity passenger rail, ports, airports, or to fuels used for propelling vehicles, or derived from taxes, fees, excises, or license taxes relating to any other transportation infrastructure or transportation operation, shall be expended for purposes other than as provided in subsections (b) and (c).

(b) Transportation funds may be expended for the following: the costs of administering laws related to vehicles and transportation, including statutory refunds and adjustments provided in those laws; payment of highway obligations; costs for construction, reconstruction, maintenance, repair, and betterment of highways, roads, streets, bridges, mass transit, intercity passenger rail, ports, airports, or other forms of transportation; and other statutory highway purposes. Transportation funds may also be expended for the State or local share of highway funds to match federal aid highway funds, and expenses of grade separation of highways and railroad crossings, including protection of at-grade highways and railroad crossings, and, with respect to local governments, other transportation purposes as authorized by law.

The sign used to promote the Transportation Lock Box Constitutional Amendment.

(c) The costs of administering laws related to vehicles and transportation shall be limited to direct program expenses related to the following: the enforcement of traffic, railroad, and motor carrier laws; the safety of highways, roads, streets, bridges, mass transit, intercity passenger rail, ports, or airports; and the construction, reconstruction, improvement, repair, maintenance, operation, and administration of highways, under any related provisions of law or any purpose related or incident to, including grade separation of highways and railroad crossings. The limitations to the costs of administering laws related to vehicles and transportation under this subsection (c) shall also include direct program expenses related to workers’ compensation claims for death or injury of employees of the State’s transportation agency; the acquisition of land and the erection of buildings for highway purposes, including the acquisition of highway rights-of-way or for investigations to determine the reasonable anticipated future highway needs; and the making of surveys, plans, specifications, and estimates for the construction and maintenance of flight strips and highways. The expenses related to the construction and maintenance of flight strips and highways under this subsection (c) are for the purpose of providing access to military and naval reservations, defense-industries, defense-industry sites, and sources of raw materials, including the replacement of existing highways and highway connections shut off from general use at military and naval reservations, defense-industries, and defense-industry sites, or the purchase of rights-of-way.

(d) None of the revenues described in subsection (a) of this Section shall, by transfer, offset, or otherwise, be diverted to any purpose other than those described in subsections (b) and (c) of this Section.

(e) If the General Assembly appropriates funds for a mode of transportation not described in this Section, the General Assembly must provide for a dedicated source of funding.

(f) Federal funds may be spent for any purposes authorized by federal law.

State Rep. Jack Franks was a co-sponsor of this constitutional amendment, HJRCA 36.


Half-Paid from McDOT Funds, Franks Patronage Worker Gets Department Tour — 11 Comments

  1. Response to FOIA from HR:

    We are in receipt of your FOIA request for requests for extension granted by the Human Resources Director for the positions which were reclassified to personally serve the County Board Chair and the dates on which each of those three vacancies commenced.

    The Temporary Project Manager position became vacant on 8/12/16 and the Utility Coordinator position became vacant on 5/3/2013.

    These the only two positions filled with employees hired by the County Board Chairman.

  2. The Internal Support & Facilitites Committee Meeting audio revealed that Serafini and Geenen are on flex time (do not have to work in the office) and clocking in and out onsite and remotely.

    Those records are available via FOIA.

  3. Would be interesting to see the job descriptions for those positions (utility coordinator and Temporary Project Manager.

    There was an open position with a budget to hire since May 3, 2013 for the utility coordinator position?

    The Board Members know this?

    The Board needs a monthly Personnel Report from administration.

  4. Susan on 02/17/2017 at 9:50 am said:


    I. Purpose
    The purpose of the Salary Administration Policy document is to state McHenry County’s
    compensation processes and procedures that have been established to ensure that the policy is
    administered fairly and consistently.

    II. Statement of Policy
    It is the policy of McHenry County to establish and maintain competitive salary ranges consistent
    with the economic/budgetary requirements of the County which will allow the County to effectively
    compete for qualified personnel, retain productive employees, and ensure that salaries are
    equitable and commensurate with the duties performed by each employee. This policy is
    implemented through the following sections:

    A. Position Analysis
    For each position, the appropriate Position Analysis form will be completed describing all the
    pertinent factors relating to the position. The department head must sign the form and submit
    it to the Human Resources Department, where it will be evaluated using the McHenry County
    Job Classification System. The Human Resources Director will notify the department head of
    the final rating.

    B. Position Descriptions

    1. Position descriptions shall be maintained by the Human Resources Department for all
    positions (full-time, part-time, seasonal and temporary). Position descriptions will be
    developed by the Human Resources Department, in consultation with the Department
    Head, from the completed Position Analysis form.

    2. Position descriptions will contain a summary description of the position and essential
    duties performed by incumbents, as well as list the knowledge, skills, and abilities an
    employee should have in order to succeed in the position. Examples of duties listed in
    the position description are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work
    performed. The omission of specific duties does not exclude them from the position if the
    work is similarly related or a logical assignment to the position.

    3. The position description does not constitute an employment agreement between the
    County and the employee and is subject to change as the needs of the County and the
    requirements of the position change.

    C. New Positions

    1. A Position Analysis Form must be completed and a position description developed for
    any new position (not already contained in the current Job Classification System).

    2. The completed Position Analysis must be submitted to the Human Resources
    Department. The information provided will be applied to the established McHenry County
    Job Evaluation System to determine the appropriate classification of the position. When
    necessary, the consultants will be utilized to assist in determining the appropriate
    classification of the position.

    3. All new positions should be planned for and submitted to the Human Resources Director
    and the Associate County Administrator of Finance during the budget process. Priority
    will be given to requests presented in the context of a reorganization that enhances
    customer service and/or reduces the cost of doing business. Mid-year requests for new
    positions will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and must be approved by the
    Page 60
    Susan on 02/17/2017 at 9:50 am said:
    Liaison Committee, the Human Resources Committee, the Finance and Audit Committee
    and the County Board.
    New position and reclassification requests submitted during the budget process must be
    position specific to be considered for funding. If funding is approved during the budget
    process and the department wishes to use the funding for positions other than the
    approved position, a resolution authorizing the change will be required by the County
    Board prior to the change taking place.

    4. Sections C-1 and C-2 must be completed before any new or reclassified positions can be
    presented to the appropriate board committees and County Board for approval.

    D. Position Evaluation: Classification System
    The County maintains a job classification system (Resolution R-200802-12-058) which
    contains an inventory of jobs, designated by title, within the various classifications existing at
    the County. The Classification System consists of a grouping of similar positions into
    categories of substantially similar complexity and responsibility and general qualifications. All
    positions will be evaluated and classified in order of their relative value, utilizing the approved
    evaluation techniques of the McHenry County Job Classification System.

    E. Salary Structure
    The County is committed to maintaining a salary structure, consisting of position grades and
    salary ranges that will allow the County to effectively compete for qualified personnel and to
    ensure that salaries/wages are equitable and commensurate with the duties performed by

    1. Salary Ranges –
    All position grades will have a salary/wage range that indicates their minimum,
    midpoint, and maximum monetary value. Salary ranges should be broad enough to
    provide salary/wage growth for competent personnel.

    2. Maintenance –
    Salary Ranges will be reviewed from a competitive standpoint based on prevailing
    trends (salary survey data and economic indicators) and the County’s ability to pay
    on an annual basis by the Director of Human Resources. Appropriate changes will
    be recommended by County Administration and approved by the County Board.

    3. Starting Salaries –
    All new employees will normally be paid the minimum rate in the appropriate salary
    range. However, the County recognizes that department heads may need flexibility
    during the hiring process to recruit qualified candidates. The recognition of
    extraordinary experience or qualifications, labor market demands, or other
    qualifications of the candidate may justify a higher rate of pay, subject to the following
    Hiring Range Approval
    Minimum of Salary Range Department Head
    Minimum to 1st Quartile Dept. Head & Dir of Human Resources
    1st Quartile to Midpoint County Administrator
    Over Midpoint County Board
    In no event shall the salary offered exceed the salary range of the grade.
    Page 61
    Susan on 02/17/2017 at 9:51 am said:

    4. Vacant Positions
    If a position becomes vacant, steps must be taken to fill it within 90 days.
    Failure to take the appropriate steps to fill the position within 90 days will result in the
    position being eliminated. If a department has difficulties filling a vacant position, a
    request for an extension can be granted by the Director of Human Resources.
    Budget is allocated based on position, and not the employee in the position. If
    budget savings from an unfilled position occurs and is used in any other manner
    without board approval, the unfilled position will cease to exist and will need to be re-
    established as a new position in the next budget process.

    5. Promotions

    a. A promotion is considered movement into a job classification that is at least one
    (1) salary grade higher than the employees’ current position.

    b. At the time of promotion, an employee is normally eligible for a salary adjustment
    based upon the following considerations:
     The employees’ performance history;
     The amount of additional responsibility, including education and
    training required for the new position;
     The location of the employees’ current salary in the new salary
     Internal equity;
     Departmental budgetary constraints.

    c. A completed performance appraisal will be required anytime an employee is

    d. A promotion normally results in a salary increase not to exceed 6% of the
    employees’ current salary. If the minimum of the new salary range is higher than
    the proposed promotional increase, the employee shall be moved to the new
    minimum of the salary range. In no case can the increase exceed the budgeted
    amount of the position the employee is being promoted into without approval of
    the County Board.

    e. For departmental promotions within the same grade, due to increased
    responsibilities and job duties, the normal salary increase will be 3% but not
    greater than 6% of the employee’s current salary. In no case can the increase
    exceed the budgeted amount of the position without approval of the County

    f. In the event the promotion is into a position that is two grades or more above the
    employee’s current position, salary will be determined by the department head,
    the Director of Human Resources and the County Administrator.

    g. For internal promotions into a salary grade 15 or higher, the annual salary
    amount (not to exceed the budget for the position) will be determined by the
    department head, Director of Human Resources and the County Administrator.

    h. In the rare event labor market conditions warrant considering internal equity for
    an internal promotion into a professional position (Grade 10E to 14E), the annual
    salary may be allowed over the normal increase as set forth in Section 5C, but
    Page 62

  5. Per the above ‘Salary Admin Policy’, if vacant position after 90 days, there would have had to be a ‘request for extension’ filed by department head.

    Were such extension requests filed ?

    Were extensions formally granted by Dept, Human Resources chief?

  6. From FOIA to HR:

    Written requests for extensions granted by the Human Resources Director do not exist so this is a partial denial of your request.

  7. RC:

    Then these positions should have been eliminated per policy?

    In that case, they are “New Positions’ and fall under that policy, section C of first page 60.

    We’re all those conditions met?

  8. Proper procedure would include new position analysis presented to and approved by human resources director and then approved by County board during budget process

  9. Which member of the public is going to file an Ethics Ordinance complaint about Franks’ campaign materials being distributed at the Expo?

  10. Not to nitpick rules here, but usually when rules are evaded or ignored, it is in order to accomplish some greater good, or to right some universally recognized wrong.

    It is morally repugnant to turn a blind eye to rules evasion in order to grant patronage benefits for positions never given a chance for fair full public competition for best man to fill the position.

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