First, what Ersel Schuster found in the audio recording of the last Internal Support & Facilities Committee meeting.
The saga continues over the McHenry County Board’s Rules
How much more honest it would have been had the new chairman entered office with the intent and spirit of cooperation with the 24 board members.
The time wasted over his “power” struggle is relatively minor when compared to the disruption of the board’s duties and responsibilities; not to mention that it is inexcusable.
Included in this mix is a disagreement over who controls committee meeting agendas.
Both issues surfaced during the 3/8/176 Internal Support & Facilities Committee (ISF) meeting.
Member Michael Rein took the lead in addressing the issues and requesting the Rules discussion/action be placed on the next ISF agenda.
County Administrator Peter Austin was asked for assurance that the issue would be on the committee’s 3/22/17 agenda.
He refused to confirm this request stating he could not say that the board had clear jurisdiction over the Board Rules.
After listening to this committee’s meeting audio… it is clear the County Administrator and staff have some serious, personal decisions to make.
Simply put, these employees, under the management and leadership of the County Board’s Administrator, answer to, and carry out directions of the County Board.
They have no right to sabotage board members’ duties.
The same holds true for the board chairman.
The two issues at point are vitally important as they strike at the core of order and civility.
It was noted in open session, at a county board meeting, that the chairman, together with staff are meddling and undermining board members.
Committee directed agenda items have been removed and/or changed and meetings have gone unscheduled or cancelled.
This prevents board members from doing the job they were elected to perform.
To this, Member Donna Kurtz asked:
“What is the limit of authority that the ad hoc committees can have?”
This is actually a third issue needing serious consideration by the board members since the chair is quick to call together one ad hoc committee meeting after another to slam through “new rules.”
These ad hoc committees are carefully stacked with members who will deliver the chairman’s message.
As defined in the Board Rules, the purpose of an ad hoc committee is to address issues that do not fall under one of the standing committee structures.
It is currently being used as a way around the county board as the chairman institutes those Rules changes he needs to systematically remove county board members from the day to day business of running the county.
As the discussion continued, it was learned that all, except Member Kay Bates, is of the opinion that control over the County Board Rules is under the jurisdiction of the ISF Committee.
This is a great example of what happens when people are elected to an office without fully understanding the role they take on.
Too often it is easier to listen to a perceived power broker than to research and make the simplest of independent and objective decisions.
Note to the ISF Committee members: you are on the right track… however, please remember, once you start amending the Rules, the most-simple of changes can create huge problems for your taxpayers if not done right.
This is where politicians and public servant part ways.
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The following email provide background to the fight over the control of Rules between McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks and the non-compliant Republicans on the County Board: