Text of the Overturning of Jack Franks’ FOIA Denial of His Inaugural Speech

Here is the latest evidence that McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks is not living up to his promise to be transparent.  (Sentences in paragraphs have been separated to make them easier to read.)

ATTORNEY GENERAL

March 23, 2017

Via electronic mail Mr. Cal Skinner
McHenry County Blog
275 Meridian Street Crystal Lake, Illinois 60014
[email protected] com Via electronic mail

Mr. Scott Hartman
Deputy County Administrator McHenry County Administration
2200 N. Seminary Avenue
Woodstock, Illinois 60098
[email protected] mchenry. il.us

RE: Request for Review — 2016 PAC 45451

Dear Mr. Skinner and Mr. Hartman:

This determination letter is issued pursuant to section 9. 5( 0 of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 ILCS 140/ 9. 5( f) (West 2014).

For the reasons that follow, the Public Access Bureau concludes that the response by McHenry County ( County) to Mr. Cal Skinner’ s FOIA request violated FOIA.

On December 7, 2016, Mr. Skinner submitted a FOIA request to the County seeking a copy of a written document from which County Board Chairman Jack Franks Chairman) read certain comments to the County Board and the public at a December 5, 2016, county board meeting.

On December 14, 2016, the County denied the request pursuant to section 7( 1)( f) of FOIA (5 ILCS 140/ 7(1)( f) (West 2015 Supp.), as amended by Public Act 99- 642, effective July 28, 2016 ).

The County also asserted that the document is not a “public record” under the definition of that term in section 2(c) of FOIA (5 ILCS 140/ 2)(c) (West 2015 Supp.)).

On December 14, 2016, this office received Mr. Skinner’s Request for Review contesting the denial of his request.

On December 20, 2016, this office forwarded a copy of the Request for Review to the County and asked it to provide a detailed legal and factual basis for its conclusion that section 7(1)( f) was applicable to the record.

This office also asked for a detailed explanation of its assertion that the requested record is not subject to the requirements of FOIA because it is not a public record as defined in section 2(c) of FOIA.

On December 29, 2016, the County responded that the document was a “personal preliminary draft and notes prepared by an elected official on his personal computer in preparation for making his personal remarks at a County Board Meeting” which “does not meet the definition of a public record.”‘ (FMN 1)

Further, the County asserted that it does not possess the record and therefore it was unable to provide a copy of the record for this office’s confidential review or in response to Mr. Skinner’s FOIA request.

Additionally, the County stated that, ifit was a public record, it would be exempt from disclosure under section 7(1)( f) as the ” preliminary draft of and notes for” the chairman’ s remarks. (FN 2)

On January 5, 2017, this office forwarded the County’ s response to Mr. Skinner.

He replied on January 5, 2017, and January 13, 2017, disputing the County’ s contentions that the document is not a public record and that it is a preliminary draft rather than a final copy.

He suggested that the County redact any portions of the notes that were scratched out and not read by chairman, and disclose the remainder.

= = = = =

FN 1 Letter from Sarah P. Zurek, Assistant State’ s Attorney, Office of the State’ s Attorney, McHenry County, to Marie Hollister, Assistant Attorney General, Illinois Attorney General’ s Office ( December 29, 2016), at 1.

FN 2 Letter from Sarah P. Zurek, Assistant State’ s Attorney, Office of the State’ s Attorney, McHenry County, to Marie Hollister, Assistant Attorney General, Illinois Attorney General’ s Office ( December 29, 2016), at 1.

= = = = =

DETERMINATION

Section 2( c)

FOIA requires that “[e] ach public body shall make available to any person for inspection or copying all public records.” 5 ILCS 140/ 3(a) (West 2014)). Section 2(c) of FOIA broadly defines “public records” as “all records * * * and all other documentary materials pertaining to the transaction ofpublic business, regardless of physical form or characteristics, having been prepared by or for, or having been or being used by, received by, in the possession of, or under the control of any public body.”

By emphasizing that it does not have physical custody of the notes at issue and by characterizing them as a “personal preliminary draft” prepared by the chairman on his “personal computer in preparation for making his personal remarks,” the County’ s response to this office appears to assert that the notes are the chairman’ s personal property rather than “public records.”

The requirements of FOIA, however, are not limited to those records prepared with a public body’s equipment and physically maintained by the public body.

In Competitive Enterprise Institute v. Office of Science & Technology Policy, No. 15- 5128, 2016 WL 3606551, at * 1 ( D. C. Cir. July 5, 2016), the District of Columbia Court of Appeals considered a federal agency’ s argument that e- mails pertaining to the agency’ s business and policymaking ” were ‘beyond the reach of FOIA'” because the agency’ s director maintained them “in an ‘account’ that ‘is under the control ofthe Woods Hole Research Center, a private organization.’

The court disagreed, stating, that there was no indication that the private organization had exclusive control of the e-mails or that the agency director was unable to access the e- mail account:

“If the agency head controls what would otherwise be an agency record, then it is still an agency record and still must be searched or produced.”

Competitive Enterprise Institute, No. 15- 5128, 2016 WL 3606551, at * 4.

The court added that the agency’ s position was incompatible with the purpose of federal FOIA ( 5 U. S. C. § 552 et seq. ( 2012)):

The Supreme Court has described the function of FOIA as serving the citizens’ right to be informed about what their government is up to.

“If a department head can deprive the citizens of their right to know what his department is up to by the simple expedient of maintaining his departmental emails on an account in another domain, that purpose is hardly served.

It would make as much sense to say that the department head could deprive requestors of hard-copy documents by leaving them in a file at his daughter’s house and then claiming that they are under her control. Competitive Enterprise Institute,_ No. 15- 5128, 2016 WL 3606551, at * 4.

Likewise, the Illinois FOIA is intended to ensure public access to “full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts and policies of those who represent them as public officials and public employees consistent with the terms of this Act.” 5 ILCS 140/ 1 (West 2014).

In Ill. Att’y Gen. Pub. Acc. Op. No. 16- 006, issued August 9, 2016, the Attorney General issued a binding opinion which concluded that e-mails pertaining to the transaction of public business that were sent or received on the personal e-mail accounts of Chicago Police Department (CPD) employees are subject to the requirements of FOIA.

CPD contended that the e- mails were not public records because they were prepared and possessed by individual officers but were not received and used by CPD. Ill. Att’ y Gen. Pub. Acc. Op. No. 16- 006, at 7.

This office rejected that argument as “erroneously focus[ing] not on the content of a communication but on the method by which it is transmitted.” III. Att’y Gen. Pub. Acc. Op. No. 16- 006, at 7.

The Attorney General went on to conclude that:

Interpreting the definition of “public records” in FOIA to exclude communications pertaining to the transaction of public business which were sent from or received on personal e-mail accounts of public officials and public employees would be contrary to the General Assembly’s intent of ensuring full and complete information regarding the affairs of government.

Such an interpretation would yield an absurd result by enabling public officials to sidestep their public duties simply by communicating via personal electronic devices. Ill. Att’ y Gen. Pub. Acc. Op. No. 16- 006, at 7.

This reasoning is equally applicable to the record at issue in this matter.

If records pertaining to public business created by individual elected officials on personal computers and maintained outside of their public body’s offices were beyond the reach of FOIA, elected officials could conceal records documenting how they conducted their public duties by simply electing not to use their public bodies’ electronic devices and recordkeeping systems.

FOIA cannot reasonably be construed as giving elected officials the option to operate in secrecy in that manner.

The Board’ s response to this office acknowledged that the chairman used the notes to assist him in making remarks as the newly elected Chairman * * * at the first meeting of the new county board. (FN 3)

 

Such records used by the head of a public body during a meeting of the public body “unequivocally  pertain to the transaction of public business.” 5 ILCS 140/ 2( c) West 2014); see also Walloon Lake Water Sys., Inc. v. Melrose Twp., 163 Mich. App. 726, 729- 30 415 N.W.2d 292, 294- 95) ( 1987)  (letter read aloud during a township board which the board considered in deciding that the subject of the letter did not require township action was subject to the requirements of the Michigan FOIA  (MJC. L. § 15. 231 et seq. ( West 1984)) because it was used … in the performance of an official function. (FN 4).

= = = = =

FN 3 Letter from Sarah P. Zurek, Assistant State’ s Attorney, Office of the State’ s Attorney, McHenry County, to Marie Hollister, Assistant Attorney General, Illinois Attorney General’ s Office  (December 29, 2016), at 1

FN 4 The Michigan FOIA defined a ” public record” as “[ a] writing prepared, owned, used, in the possession of, or retained by a public body in the performance of an official function, from the time it is created.” M. C. L. § 15. 232( c) ( West 1984).

= = = = =

Because the notes at issue were used by the chairman to conduct public business in his capacity as the head of the County Board, this office concludes that they are ” public records” under section 2( c) of FOIA regardless of whether they were prepared and maintained on County or privately -owned equipment.

Section 7(1)( d)

All public records in the possession or custody of a public body are “presumed to be open to inspection or copying.” 5 ILCS 140/ 1. 2 ( West 2014); see also Southern Illinoisan v. Illinois Dept. ofPublic Health, 218111. 2d 390, 415 ( 2006).

A public body “has the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence” that a record is exempt from disclosure. 5 ILCS 140/ 1. 2 ( West 2014).

The exemptions from disclosure are to be narrowly construed. Lieber v. Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois Univ., 176 111. 2d 401, 408 ( 1997).

Bare conclusions without a detailed rationale do not satisfy a public body’s burden of explaining how exemptions are applicable.

See Rockford Police Benevolent and Protective Ass’ n. Unit No. 6 v. Morrissey, et al., 398 Ill. App. 3d 145, 151 ( 2d Dist. 2010) ( citing Illinois Education Ass’ n v. Illinois State Board ofEducation., 204111. 2d 456, 464 ( 2003)).

Section 7(1)( f) exempts from inspection and copying “[p] reliminary drafts, notes, recommendations, memoranda and other records in which opinions are expressed, or policies or actions are formulated, except that a specific record or relevant portion of a record shall not be exempt when the record is publicly cited and identified by the head of the public body.”

The section 7(1)( f) exemption applies to ” inter- and intra -agency predecisional and deliberative material.” Harwood v. McDonough, 344 Ill. App. 3d 242, 247 ( 1st Dist. 2003).

The section 7(1)( f) exemption is “intended to protect the communications process and encourage frank and open discussion among agency employees before a final decision is made.” Harwood, 344 III. App. 3d at 248. see also Kalven v City of Chicago, 2014 IL App ( 1st) 121846, ¶ 24, 7 N.E. 3d 741 748 ( 2014), quoting Public Citizen, Inc. v. Office ofManagement & Budget, 598 F. 3d 865, 876 ( D. C. Cir. 2010) (“[ o]nly those portions of a predecisional document that reflect the give and take of the deliberative process may be withheld.”).

The speech that Jack Franks read at his first meeting as McHenry County Board Chairman.

The County’ s response to this office asserted that the Chairman never publicly cited or referenced the document in question, and that it was only used as a preliminary draft and notes for remarks that were delivered during a County Board meeting.

The response asserted that the final version of this document is the recording of the speech that is available on the County’ s website.

The ability of this office to conduct a full review of whether or not the notes are exempt from disclosure pursuant to section 7(1)( f) is limited by the County’ s failure to provide a copy of the notes for this office’s confidential review as expressly required by section 9. 5(c) of FOIA ( 5 ILCS 140/ 9. 5(c) ( West 2014)).  (FN 5)

In particular, this office is unable to compare how consistent the notes are with the recording ofthe comments that the chairman made at the County Board meeting.

= = = = =

FN 6 Section 9. 5( c) of FOIA provides: “Within 7 business days after receipt of the request for review, the public body shall provide copies of records requested and shall otherwise fully cooperate with the Public Access Counselor.”

= = = = =

Further, neither the County’ s response to the FOIA request nor its response to this office provides a detailed factual basis from which this office could conclude that the notes fall within the scope of the section 7(1)( f) exemption.

Unlike a rough draft used in the process of preparing for a speech, it is unclear how a document used to deliver the final, public version of a speech constitutes a preliminary draft or predecisional and deliberative material.

Because it cannot be determined from the information furnished by the County whether the document constitutes a preliminary draft or notes in which opinions are expressed or policies or actions are formulated, this office concludes that the County has not sustained its burden of demonstrating by clear and convincing evidence that the document is exempt from disclosure pursuant to section 7(1)( f) of FOIA.

In accordance with the determinations expressed in this letter, we request that the County disclose the document to Mr. Skinner.

The Public Access Counselor has determined that resolution of this matter does not require the issuance of a binding opinion.

This letter serves to close this matter.

If you have any questions, please contact me at ( 312) 793- 0865 or the Chicago address on the first page of this letter.

Very truly yours,

MARIE HOLLISTER
Assistant Attorney General
Public Access Bureau

45451 f 2c improper 71f improper county


Comments

Text of the Overturning of Jack Franks’ FOIA Denial of His Inaugural Speech — 40 Comments

  1. Think of all the tax dollars that could have been ‘saved’ if the County staff had simply complied with the FOIA request!

    Any tax reduction claimed by the “round mound” needs to be reduced by the amount the “round mound” has already cost the taxpayers!!

  2. Thank you sunshine blogger for saving taxpayers thousands of dollars. I see you live up to your mission. Tic tock, tic tock…

  3. I am not as worried about tax dollars as I am about a soulless liar leading our board around by the nose.

  4. There is a conspiracy wherein the Chairman is conspiring with the County Administrator and more than 50 FOIA officers to control and deny every Cal Skinner FOIA and none of them, including members of the GOP are raising so much as a peep!!!!

  5. Every second of the speech was already posted online
    Cal Skinner is just wasting taxpayer dollars.

  6. “For the reasons that follow, the Public Access Bureau concludes that the response by McHenry County (County) to Mr. Cal Skinner’s FOIA request VIOLATED FOIA.”

    The document is not posted online.

    The speech is posted online.

    McHenry County wasted taxpayer money by fighting the FOIA.

  7. What public service is Cal doing by posting the transcript of an already available speech to an audience of less than 300 people?

  8. Read the transcript, listen to the audio. It’s the same thing!
    This was a waste of taxpayer dollars.

  9. The FOIA request was for the notes, not the transcript or audio.

    When will the County disclose the document to Mr. Skinner, as requested by the Assistant Attorney General in the Public Access Bureau of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

    When will the County stop wasting taxpayers time with silly FOIA denials?

    The government and elected officials work for the taxpayers.

    The document from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office to Scott Hartman, Deputy County Administrator in McHenry County Administration is dated March 23, 2017.

    Scott Hartman is the person who was manning the McHenry County booth with Oliver Serafini at the McHenry County Booth at the McHenry Chamber of Commerce expo on February 25, 2017, in which County Board member Chuck Wheeler photographed Mr. Serafini wearing Jack Franks political campaign logo stickers on his shirt.

    At that booth Mr. Wheeler also photographed nail files imprinted with:

    – the Jack Franks political campaign logo, and

    – “Jack Franks McHenry County Board Chairman.”

    http://www.mchenrycountyblog.com/2017/02/26/jack-franks-patronage-worker-caught-wearing-campaign-stickers-at-mchenry-expo-booth-for-mchenry-county-government

    ++++++++

    First is Scott Hartman and Oliver Serafini (Jack Franks patronage hire) working the County booth on February 25, 2017 at which Jack Franks political items were present.

    Next is Scott Hartman refusing to fulfill a FOIA request asking for a copy of Jack Franks notes used at the December 5, 2017 McHenry County Regular Board meeting.

    So the FOIA request submitted an appeal to the Illinois Attorney General’s office.

    And the Illinois Attorney General’s office sided with the FOIA requester, and has requested that the County (Mr. Hartman) disclose the document (notes) to the FOIA requester (Mr. Skinner).

  10. Why do you bother explaining to Rosa K? She is too stupid to understand much of anything.

  11. Cal Skinner is wasting taxpayer dollars with frivolous FOIA requests.

    He has weaponized FOIA and it does not do a public good see as less than .01% of McHenry County read this blog.

    What public good is done by FOIA notes?

    This blog is not news.

    Real news would have covered the substance of the speech.

    Cal simply is a mosquito buzzing in the eye of Franks.

    He is a bloodsucker, living off of the taxpayer.

  12. The FOIA request from Mr. Skinner to McHenry County was for the notes Jack Franks used while delivering his speech at the Regular County Board meeting held on December 5, 2016.

    The text of that speech is not in the agenda packet or minutes of that meeting.

    Here is the portion of the meeting minutes which covers the speech:

    “9. Chairman’s Remarks

    Chairman Franks gave his remarks and welcomed so many residents who came to the meeting today and board members both new and returning.

    He reminded the Board that they are all on the same team and he looks forward to working with them all.

    He said his leadership will be about what is best for McHenry County and not politics.

    His goals are the same as board members: honest, accountable, TRANSPARENT government, high quality services for our residents, better roads, lower taxes and a growing economy.

    He asked members to set aside party labels and focus on working together to meet our goals as we work together to put the good of the people first.

    Full comments can be heard on McHenry County’s website audio of the meeting beginning at 23:44 of the recording.”

    https://mchenrycountyil.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_Meeting.aspx?ID=3578

  13. Mark,
    You have no life, right? How come you didn’t just transcribe the whole thing for Cal instead of wasting taxpayer dollars?

  14. It is not known if the speech as delivered orally is verbatim from the notes.

    Did it appear Jack Franks was reading the speech word for word from the notes as he delivered the speech?

    ++++++++++

    Jack Franks in his inaugural speech as McHenry County Board Chair during the Regular Open Board Meeting on December 5, 2016 said one of his goals is to be TRANSPARENT.

    His definition of being transparent did not include providing a copy of his speech notes in response to the FOIA request.

    It seems very likely the County Administration would have provided a copy of the speech notes, if Jack Franks had ok’d them doing so.

    The county administration seems very accommodating to Jack Franks.

    After all, in December 2016 the County Administration found a way to hire two of Jack Franks’ patronage workers for county positions that did not yet exist and therefore were not posted.

    On Friday January 20, 2017, blogger Cal Skinner was labeled a FOIA frequent requester in an email from Scott Hartman.

  15. The problem is taxpayers are paying Ollie to write speeches for lyingjackfranks.com

    I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my taxpayer money going toward pontificating the ideals of the Chicago political machine to McHenry County.

  16. Who other than Moderate believes tax dollars fund the blogs of private citizens.

    +++++++++

    When will the County send the speech notes to the blogger?

    That being the speech notes used by Jack Franks on December 5, 2016 at the Regular County Board meeting, which an Assistant Attorney General in the Illinois Attorney General’s office requested the County to disclose to Mr. Skinner.

    +++++++++

    Tax dollars are funding:

    – 2 no competition hires requested by Jack Franks for positions that didn’t exist, were not posted, and were not budgeted, and

    – legal fees to a lawyer working for a Cook County law firm that contributed $1,000 to the political action committee (PAC) of Jack Franks days prior to the November 8, 2016 election in which Jack Franks was a candidate for McHenry County Board Chair.

  17. Moderate only blogs as Moderate when Franks is scrambling.

    People like Jack hate any kind of transparency.

    That is obvious and is only amplified by Moderate.

    I hope they never leave the blog, God bless them.

  18. CP,
    I’ve cut back the time I spend here because I realized it’s not a good use of my life.

    Cal has a tiny readership. He peaks at around 20,000 views per month; that is less than 645 views per day. The most frequent commenters probably are responsible for half those views. So, it’s less than 300 people who read his crap and that may be generous. That’s statistically insignificant insignificant barring local GOP primary elections which is why I think it’s great that Cal blogs. He literally posts the playbook of the local GOP, pictures of GOP functions I would never in my wildest dreams consider attending, and you can see point blank who is in who’s court.

    In the meantime, I think it’s hilarious that he spends so much time twiddling his thumbs on this blog asking for entirely pointless FOIAs instead of consulting. Just shows how much confidence he has in his own experience. At the very least, he would be better utilized in front of constituents, pressing palms, organizing, going door to door etc. ultimatly, this blog could be used as a rallying point for activism but more closely resembles a sewing circle with the same few people complaining, but never actualizing on their complaints with activism barring maybe Susan and Kelly, which is to theor credit despite being wildly unqualified for the positions they ran for.

    In sum, cheers. 🍻

  19. Wonder how soon Scott Hartman, Deputy County Administrator in McHenry County Administration, will comply with the determination made by the Assistant Attorney General in the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, to disclose a copy of the requested document to Mr. Skinner.

    The requested document is the written speech notes used by County Board Chair Jack Franks to deliver his speech at the December 5, 2016 County Board Meeting.

    Jack Franks took his oath of office as McHenry County Board Chair at that meeting.

  20. A poll recently went out and 9/10 constituents don’t care about what the notes from Franks’ speech said. 6/10 overwhelmingly said that property taxes were their number one concern. 8/10 constituents said they had heard of FOIA and 10/10 said they have never filed a FOIA request. When asked how much Franks’ failing to turn over the speech would affect their favorability of Franks, 7/10 indicated it would not change their favorability with 2/10 indicating it would moderately affect their favorability.
    Source: I just asked ten people on the street on my lunch break.

    Verdict: John Q voter cares more about what condiment to put on their hot dog than if Franks complies with you frivolous FOIA request.

  21. An Assistant Attorney General in the The Illinois Attorney General’s office ruled that McHenry County (Scott Hartman) violated FOIA state law by not disclosing the written speech notes used by County Board Chair Jack Franks to deliver his speech at the December 5, 2016 County Board Meeting.

    Scott Hartman was involved in another Jack Franks controversy.

    Scott Hartman was spotted by County Board Member Chuck Wheeler with Jack Franks patronage hire Oliver Serafini working the county booth at the McHenry Chamber of Commerce expo on February 25, 2017.

    On display at the booth were Jack Franks POLITICAL items with the Jack Franks POLITICAL LOGO “JF.”

    The items were:

    – Stickers

    – nail files.

    Both had the “JF” logo.

    Is the “JF” logo a county logo?

    No.

    Is the “JF” logo used by Jack Franks in his political campaigns?

    Yes.

    Was the booth funded by taxpayers?

    Yes.

    Were the stickers and nail files funded by taxpayers?

    We don’t know (where’s the invoice).

    Irregardless of who funded the stickers and nail files, it was not appropriate to be passing out POLITICAL items at a county government booth at the McHenry Chamber of Commerce expo.

  22. Copy paste

    A poll recently went out and 9/10 constituents don’t care about what the notes from Franks’ speech said. 6/10 overwhelmingly said that property taxes were their number one concern. 8/10 constituents said they had heard of FOIA and 10/10 said they have never filed a FOIA request. When asked how much Franks’ failing to turn over the speech would affect their favorability of Franks, 7/10 indicated it would not change their favorability with 2/10 indicating it would moderately affect their favorability.
    Source: I just asked ten people on the street on my lunch break.

    Verdict: John Q voter cares more about what condiment to put on their hot dog than if Franks complies with you frivolous FOIA request.

  23. Moderate is spending time on the blog and topic he alleges is insignificant.

    Moderate is the biggest supporter on the blog of Jack Franks, who ran on a platform that included transparency, and said he would be transparent day 1 on the job.

    Included in the December 5, 2016 County Board Meeting Minutes:

    “His [Jack Franks] goals are the same as board members: honest, accountable, TRANSPARENT government, high quality services, for our residents, better roads, lower taxes, and a growing economy.”

    That’s what Jack Franks said.

    It seems likely given the Oliver Serafini and Bridget Geenen patronage hires, that the County would have sent the December 5, 2016 Jack Franks speech notes to Mr. Skinner, if that was Jack Franks’ desire.

    But the County did not.

    So Mr. Skinner appealed to the Public Access Counselor in the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

    An Assistant Attorney General in that office determined that McHenry County violated FOIA law in not disclosing a copy of the requested notes to Mr. Skinner.

    Moderate sure is posting a lot about an article in which he claims no one is interested.

    Moderate seems to be interested.

  24. Mark,
    Great job proving that you are 25% of this blog’s traffic.

    Moderate on 03/27/2017 at 5:56 am said:
    CP,
    I’ve cut back the time I spend here because I realized it’s not a good use of my life.

    Cal has a tiny readership. He peaks at around 20,000 views per month; that is less than 645 views per day. The most frequent commenters probably are responsible for half those views. So, it’s less than 300 people who read his crap and that may be generous. That’s statistically insignificant insignificant barring local GOP primary elections which is why I think it’s great that Cal blogs. He literally posts the playbook of the local GOP, pictures of GOP functions I would never in my wildest dreams consider attending, and you can see point blank who is in who’s court.

    In the meantime, I think it’s hilarious that he spends so much time twiddling his thumbs on this blog asking for entirely pointless FOIAs instead of consulting. Just shows how much confidence he has in his own experience. At the very least, he would be better utilized in front of constituents, pressing palms, organizing, going door to door etc. ultimatly, this blog could be used as a rallying point for activism but more closely resembles a sewing circle with the same few people complaining, but never actualizing on their complaints with activism barring maybe Susan and Kelly, which is to theor credit despite being wildly unqualified for the positions they ran for.

    In sum, a poll recently went out and 9/10 constituents don’t care about what the notes from Franks’ speech said. 6/10 overwhelmingly said that property taxes were their number one concern. 8/10 constituents said they had heard of FOIA and 10/10 said they have never filed a FOIA request. When asked how much Franks’ failing to turn over the speech would affect their favorability of Franks, 7/10 indicated it would not change their favorability with 2/10 indicating it would moderately affect their favorability.
    Source: I just asked ten people on the street on my lunch break.

    Verdict: John Q voter cares more about what condiment to put on their hot dog than if Franks complies with you frivolous FOIA request.

  25. Moderate ensures the focus is kept on the determination by the Assistant Attorney General in the Illinois Attorney General’s office that the County should send a copy of Jack Franks’ speech notes from the December 5, 2016 Regular County Board meeting to Mr. Skinner.

    The speech notes as they were used are a public document under FOIA law.

    The County violated FOIA law by not providing a copy of the speech notes to Mr. Skinner.

    Under Jack Franks as County Board Chair, there have been a number of transparency failures.

  26. Mark,
    You have no life, right? How come you didn’t just transcribe the whole thing for Cal instead of wasting taxpayer dollars?

    Cal Skinner is wasting taxpayer dollars with frivolous FOIA requests.

    He has weaponized FOIA and it does not do a public good see as less than .01% of McHenry County read this blog.

    What public good is done by FOIA notes?

    This blog is not news.

    Real news would have covered the substance of the speech.

    Cal simply is a mosquito buzzing in the eye of Franks.

    He is a bloodsucker, living off of the taxpayer.

  27. We can’t transcribe what we don’t have.

    Mr. Skinner is waiting for the notes.

    Maybe Mr. Franks will ask the FOIA request be expedited to put an end to the mystery.

    The purpose of FOIA is that government documents are the peoples documents.

    The people have right to inspect government documents.

  28. For those wishing to educate themselves about how to properly use the FOIA law to obtain public documents, the Illinois Attorney General website contains “Binding Opinions” aka “Binding PAC Opinions”, free “Electronic FOIA Training” aka “Electronic Training” available to the public, and “How to File a FOIA Request.”

    http://foia.ilattorneygeneral.net

  29. Mark, you are so boring! For those wishing to get a life, go to church, spend time with your family and children – or be like Mark who has no life and none of the three.

  30. Mark,
    Great job proving that you are 25% of this blog’s traffic. Also, quit lying – the entire audio of the speech was online. Why didn’t you just post a transcription of the audio for your Daddy, Cal, instead of wasting taxpayer dollars? You have no life or family, so plenty of time to post!

    I’ve cut back the time I spend here because I realized it’s not a good use of my life.

    Cal has a tiny readership. He peaks at around 20,000 views per month; that is less than 645 views per day. The most frequent commenters probably are responsible for half those views – like Mark, who has no life. So, it’s less than 300 people who read his crap and that may be generous. That’s statistically insignificant insignificant barring local GOP primary elections which is why I think it’s great that Cal blogs. He literally posts the playbook of the local GOP, pictures of GOP functions I would never in my wildest dreams consider attending, and you can see point blank who is in who’s court.

    In the meantime, I think it’s hilarious that he spends so much time twiddling his thumbs on this blog asking for entirely pointless FOIAs instead of consulting. Just shows how much confidence he has in his own experience. At the very least, he would be better utilized in front of constituents, pressing palms, organizing, going door to door etc. ultimatly, this blog could be used as a rallying point for activism but more closely resembles a sewing circle with the same few people complaining, but never actualizing on their complaints with activism barring maybe Susan and Kelly, which is to theor credit despite being wildly unqualified for the positions they ran for.

    In sum, a poll recently went out and 9/10 constituents don’t care about what the notes from Franks’ speech said. 6/10 overwhelmingly said that property taxes were their number one concern. 8/10 constituents said they had heard of FOIA and 10/10 said they have never filed a FOIA request. When asked how much Franks’ failing to turn over the speech would affect their favorability of Franks, 7/10 indicated it would not change their favorability with 2/10 indicating it would moderately affect their favorability.

    Source: I just asked ten people on the street on my lunch break.

    Verdict: John Q voter cares more about what condiment to put on their hot dog than if Franks complies with frivolous FOIA requests from Creepy Cal Skinner.

  31. It is hard work, and a slow process, to change status quo which is so lucrative for a few in power.

    When advocating willful ignorance is the tactic employed, it indicates to me that progress is occurring.

  32. The “determination letter” from an Assistant Attorney General in the Illinois Attorney General’s office dated March 23, 2017 states that McHenry County “violated FOIA” law by not providing, “…a copy of the written document from which County Board Chairman Jack Franks read certain comments to the County Board and the public at a December 5, 2016 county board meeting.”

    “In accordance with the determinations expressed in this letter, we request that the County disclose the document to Mr. Skinner.”

    +++++++++++

    So when will the county disclose the document to Mr. Skinner?

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