Informed listener Ersel Schuster shares her take on the McHenry County Board’s Internal Support and Facilities Committee meeting:
4/12/17 McHenry County’s Internal Support & Facilities (ISF) meeting
While listening to the ISF committee meeting audio it was stated that a State’s Attorney opinion has been released to county board members addressing questions raised at the last Human Resources (HR) Committee meeting.
It was also stated that the response was not available to the public.
This was mentioned because the SA’s opinion, responding to HR Committee, would be important to the ISF Committee.
The requested SA’s opinion was to address questions regarding the relationship between the county board and the county board chairman.
These questions would have a direct impact to the ISF Committee’s deliberations.
Since the questions presented to the SA were discussed in open session, one must question the rationale for secrecy.
When the county board established the referenda question for the chairman elected at large, it was never intended the job of the chairman would be any different from how it had been handled in the past.
The only difference was that the chairman would be elected by the public rather than his/her colleagues.
It should not be difficult to conclude that the chairman would not have the authority to make any demands.
This person was elected knowing what the referenda and the Board Rules said.
You could say that he did fully understand the extent of his authority.
Taking a hard look at everything going on around this issue, you could say that is exactly why, upon being sworn into office, Jack Franks
- immediately cancelled all meetings
- personally re-wrote the Board Rules
- then justified his actions by claiming he had “called board members” and that he had a consensus supporting his action.
All this to avoid the transparency of open discussion and to make those he did not contact believe he had a majority to carry it off.
Should the board ultimately decide to travel down this road, giving the chairman more authority than was intended, it would have the effect of a back-door-implementation of an “executive” chairman.
It would ultimately be considered a “shell game” as the public, having said NO to the “executive” position, would have been completely mislead by their elected officials.