Written by former McHenry County Board member Ersel Schuster:
County Board Members Find Their Spine
Kudos’ to the re-established County Board Human Resources Committee (HR) members.
At the most recent HR meeting most members spoke to the elephant in the room!
While not on the agenda so action could be take, they actually addressed the illegal hiring of 2 people by the country chairman.
Although this was not planned by staff or committee chairman, committee members, along with Member Wheeler, had a discussion on the issue in open session.
The HR committee was the place to begin the discussion; however, due to circumstance beyond their control at the time… it is a little like trying to shut the door after the horse was on its way down the road.
Of special interest is the fact that the issue was planned to be on a joint committee meeting (Finance and HR) on March 8th for discussion/action.
Keep in mind, this was choreographed to get the issue before a “chairman-friendly” committee to ensure these 2 employees would be accepted into the fold, legitimize, and shut down the questions.
Once again, they have the cart before the horse.
Technically, changes to the definition of interaction between the county board and the chairman need to start with the Internal Support & Facilities (ISF) Committee.
When the county board approved the second referenda asking the public if they wanted to elect the chairman at large; those board members believed the relationship between the chair elected at large and the county board would be based on prior interaction as it had been for decades.
The one difference would be that according to statute this chairman would have no voting rights except that he breaks a tie in the event the county board had a 12 – 12 tie vote.
From all appearances, and during subsequent discussion regarding this new position, the board defaulted to that position and made no further recommendations regarding internal interaction between the 2 offices.
What we do know is that the County Board Rules make no allowance for additional employees, expenses or duties… nor were additional funds earmarked for anything more than what the chairman had spent.
So now we have the board, without reverting to the actual duties of this position, attempting to white-wash an illegal action.
All this could have been completely avoided had the elected chairman, Jack Franks, upon entering office had done so with a little humility and willingness to honor the relationship between the 2 offices by giving himself… say 6 months to settle in and work within the structure.
When “elected office holders” assume the gate is wide open for them to deliberately mis-interpret established rules, re-write the rules he doesn’t like, and bully his way into furthering a personal agenda… only the taxpayers lose!
County board members, your actions on this issue are important.
You, and only you, are the check and balance between county government running amuck… and the folks you represent.