Watching Chairman Jack Franks Disrespecting County Board Members

The following was written by former member and, now, candidate for the McHenry County Board:

Again, County Board Rules… be Damned!


That is the nicest word that can be used to define one more spectacle witnessed during the 9/14/17
McHenry County Board Meeting.

It is curious how a person with nearly 2 decades of political experience in Springfield, and a law degree to boot, could be so incompetent in conducting a meeting.

Once again, you need to go to the county board website to personally hear how your “chairman”
handles a meeting while some board members sat there like zombies letting him drone on.

For someone who has been part of the county’s political process since the mid 1980’s, I can say with
absolute conviction, I have never witnessed anything like the show put on that day.

Democratic Pary candidate for Secretary of State Jesse White speaking to the McHenry County Board.

The actual meeting began with the chairman giving a gushing introduction of a “candidate” running for state-wide “political” office. Although enlightening, nearly an hour was spent on this “presentation” and it had nothing to do with county board business.

Getting on with the boards’ business, the chairman, from the podium, donned his “legal” hat and
launched into a barrage of personal slurs, bullying, innuendo, and threats aimed at those members who have, since January, been trying to follow board rules in doing the public’s business.

This “legal” dressing down of those members was completely out of line and the most disgusting display I have witnessed at any McHenry County Board meeting.

It was a political attack accusing others of being political.

Hats off… and huge KUDOS to Wilcox, Kurtz, Wheeler, Thorsen, Rein, Barnes, and Walkup; those who made the case supporting the resolution that caused the chairman’s panic.

Over the last 8+ months, the county chairman and administrator have made it impossible for the
Internal Services and Facilities Committee (ISF) to address and resolve the case of the chairman’s hiring of 2 patronage employees (the chairman’s former campaign workers).

As stated many times over, there was no budget to fund these positions, no job descriptions noted, no
right for personal staff, and a deliberate bypassing of the normal practice of posting for the open

More importantly, the county board rules do not allow for the chairman’s action.

The chairman, as has been the case, is provided a beautiful office, an unrealistic high salary plus
benefits, and secretarial staff to act on those directions of the county board.

Further, when the “second” referendum, asking the public if they should elect the county board
chairman was rammed through the county board, it was never the intent that this elected chairman
would have any greater authority than past chairmen.

A clear difference from the first referendum that voters resoundingly rejected.

Back to the business in question. The resolution was ultimately passed despite the fact it was amended to say the exact opposite of its’ original intent.

This chairman is completely under the misguided opinion that he is an “executive.”

Everything he has done thus far is pushing the envelope further and further in that direction. VOTERS, nearly 2 to 1, said NO to that form of county government.

The real problem is that the following elected, “so-called- law & order… Republican” county board members, willfully and deliberately choose to ignore their own board rules in approving the “amended” resolution supporting the illegal hires:

  1. Michele Aavang
  2. Kay Bates
  3. Chris Christensen
  4. Joe Gottemoller
  5. John Jung
  6. Don Kopsell
  7. Mary McCan
  8. John Reinert
  9. Mike Skala
  10. Larry Smith
  11. Chris Spoer
  12. Tom Wilbeck.

Watch for them to come back at the October meeting with re-written board rules allowing more
uncontrolled actions from this chairman.

Whether Washington, Springfield, Chicago, or now, McHenry County, we are rapidly losing our country because of people who are so eager to gain elected office they are willing to lie to us as they represent themselves.

The public be damned!


Watching Chairman Jack Franks Disrespecting County Board Members — 17 Comments

  1. Franks is a waste of time.

    Why wouldn’t the time he allots to his personal agenda be anything but a waste of time?

    And now these Dirty Dozen county board members have to be replaced with better people who will answer to the taxpayers (not an overgrown school yard bully who fancies himself King!)

  2. Bummer.

    I can’t play anything on youtube these days.

    Would have loved to have been able to see that one.

  3. “Nauseating”. It was very disrespectful from this person to use this type of vocable to describe this glorious sunshine blog, beacon of the free press and pride of the entire McHenry county citizenry. Sunshine blogger, this person must be reprimanded…tic, tock, tic, tock…

  4. MC GOPAC solicited contributions and campaigned for more than half of this “dirty dozen”.

    Several of them were incumbents with pretty established “track records” of behavior and on issues.

    We were told these folks were the “good conservatives” that we could count on to help lower our taxes..

    So, our GOP took our contribution money and told us they were “Republican strong”…

    And this entirely separate entity called GOPAC took our contribution money and touted them as good conservatives…

    Now we are told that these people are the problem?

    That our money was spent to promote and elect the “bad guys”?

    That the ones we paid and worked to elect are now the ones that we must pay and work to unelect?

    That we must now give more contributions and campaign again for people to run against these individuals?

    Geez, who are we to believe?

    I think I’ll just keep my money this election season and campaign for no one, rather than wasting my money, time and energy on organizations promoting bad candidates and making bad endorsements

    It is clear these organizations stand for nothing.

  5. Maybe some of these lapdogs are in line to profit from the Valley Hi shenanigans.

  6. When I was on the county board, I served on the Management Services Committee of which Ms. Schuster was chair.

    We spent lots of time on rules revision and it is many rules dating from that time that are being changed now.

    She speaks as more than a current candidate for county board, she speaks as one who is personally invested in maintaining the rules as they were.

    But the election of the County Board Chairman changes how things work and, try as they might, a number of county board members need to update their thinking.

    And board rules are reviewed and revised every 2 years after a new board is elected.

    Nothing sinister about that, just doing things as they always have been done.

  7. Have you noticed all those home for sale signs?

    The more things change, the more they stay the same – SSDD.

  8. It infuriates me as a taxpayer that the county board is allowing employment of a person dedicated to promoting the Chairman at taxpayer expense.

    He should be paying for that from his personal election funds.

  9. Jack is a catamite for Madigan.

    Jack was sold into this relationship by his own father.

    Jack has never, nor will ever, have power which is not given by others.

    This said, Jack has absolutely no reason to show any respect for the County Board nor the voters who have elected him.

    Jack Franks can do as he wishes in this county and get elected by a wide margin.

    This is proven fact.

    Until Jack has serious opposition with serious funding stop whining and just accept he will do his Master’s bidding and steamroll each one of you at will.

  10. If we continue to ACCEPT these things… we really are doomed.

    What is right is right and no pontificating can change that.

    Ms. Bergan-Schmidt, you know only too well the board rules were not changed to give the chairman more authority than any prior chair.

    The real problem is when this man took office, he assumed the rules were his to play-with… as he wished.

    Not enough board members understand the reason for rules much less are willing to fight for them.

  11. Kathy: The Rules are NOT “being changed now”.

    Chairman Franks has prevented the Internal Support Committee, which is the successor to Management Services, from considering rules changes by instructing Peter Austin not to post that discussion on the agendas despite both the Chairman of that committee and the majority of that committee having requested it on multiple occasions.

    This is despite an SA opinion stating that the Board Chairman has no authority over committee agendas.

  12. Intelligence deprived members on the County Board re-newed the Administrator’s contract for five years “to protect him from Jack”.

    Now those same ‘intelligence deprived’ board members are watching that Administrator ‘fall on his sword’ to protect Jack, the “round mound” “supreme commander who is not much different than the one in NK.

  13. I would guess that they have been promised a slice of the Valley Hi pie that Jack is getting ready to carve up.

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