From former McHenry County Board member Ersel Schuster:
Residents of McHenry County, We have a problem!
Within the first 30 days after being sworn into office, this person proceeded to
- cancel regular County Board committee meetings
- rewrote the Board’s Rules of operation
- took over assignment of the committee appointments
- took it upon himself to eliminate a regular County Board meeting
- made unauthorized purchases
- lobbies and argues his case/agenda from the podium
- hired a Legislative Assistant
- hired a Communications Specialist
- stepped between the county administrator/staff and the County Board
- hired a Parliamentarian
- among many other infractions
It appears this man has assumed the role as a “county executive” and as such, believes he has can interfere with the county board’s duties/responsibilities.
This could not be further from reality.
McHenry County voters rejected the executive form of county government by about a 2 to 1 margin.
A second referenda, orchestrated by this man with then Chairwoman Hill’s assistance, was successful.
By definition, the only difference between a chair being elected from among county board members and the chair elected at large is that voters established a new government office and elected a chair to a term of 4 years.
The elected at large chair has the same powers as the original position except that, in this new set-up, the chair can only vote to break a tie vote of the full county board. He/she is not a member of the county board.
The following costs incurred by the last 3 chairmen, extracted from the County Board Budget, were:
- 2016 – $ 2,320.36 – Gottemoller
- 2015 – $ 253 – Gottemoller
- 2014 – $ 2,744.54 – Hill
- 2013 – $ 4,818.77 – Hill
- 2012 – $ 4,584.82 – Koehler
- 2011 – $ 3,867.85 – Koehler
Additional and specific expenditure detail is available on the County’s website at the following link: https://www.co.mchenry.il.us/county-government/departments-a-i/auditor/vendor-payments.
Within the first 60 +/- days your newly elected chairman has, without the authority to do so, increased cost to this office of nearly $200,000 in salaries and benefits for his new hires.
Add in the chair’s salary/benefits and looming additional expenses and you are already pushing $500,000.
McHenry County has no need for a “communications specialist…” nor is there a need for a “legislative assistant.”
These people have been hired to
- do the chairman’s job
- provide public relations to “promote” the chair
… pure and simple.
Committee chairmen are being sabotaged by having their meetings cancelled and agendas altered to meet the county chairman’s personal agenda.
This gross interference with “select” committee’s is inexcusable.
It is delivering gross lack of responsibility and transparency for those paying the bills.
Simply put, the county chairman, under State Statutes and County Board Rules, is the face of this county board.
He/she executes documents and directives from the board.
If these county board members are unable to see the big picture and where all this is headed, they do not deserve the positions they hold.
They are not representing anyone but their personal agenda.
As an aside, but of great importance… when setting the new salary for the next chairman’s term of office, the county board must reduce, by 2/3rds, the current salary.
This position has never been more than part-time and has always been grossly overpaid.
Contact your county board members by mail, phone or email. This information is available on the county’s website at: https://www.co.mchenry.il.us/county-government/departments-a-i/county-board/meet-your-county-board-members