Jack Franks Seems to Be Saying that If He Can’t Have a Pension as County Board Chairman, No Countywide Officials Should Get One

Appearing apparently from the head of McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks is a resolution for next Wednesday’s Human Resources Committee that would end pensions for all countywide officials.

McHenry County Board candidate uses the image of a gravy train to symbolize his opposition to County Board members getting pensions and health insurance for the $21,000 part-time positions.

Franks certainly wants citizens to think that he led, whether he did ot not, the effort to kill pensions for County Board members.

He certainly played a determining role whether it was his idea or not.

In return, the County Board made sure that the incoming County Board Chairman–whether Republican or Democrat–would not received a pension.

The motion abolishing County Board pensions included the Chairman to be elected at-large.

GOP candidate Mike Walkup voted for the motion.

So, Franks is the only countywide elected official not eligible for an Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund pension.

IMRF is the best funded public pension fund in the state.

Franks, however, has eighteen years in the General Assembly Retirement System, for which he is, like I am eligible for a generous pension.

GARS is funded at only 13.5%.

In 1998 (Franks took office in January of 1999), the funding percentage was 41.7%.

Franks has not offered to give up the legislative pension to which he is eligible and, while he was in the General Assembly, he apparently was unsuccessful in appropriately funding his and my pension fund.

None of of the countywide elected officials are independently wealthy, as is Franks.

It is a tactic of rich candidates, officials and wannabe candidates to call for, propose or impose cuts in compensation for less well-to-do opponents.

That decreases the pool of potential opponents.

We’ll see if a majority of the County Board go along with his plan to encourage ordinary citizens not to run for office.

I is unknown if any other Illinois county denies its Sheriff, State’s Attorney, Auditor, Clerk, Circuit Clerk, Treasurer and Coroner pensions.

Franks has been chaffing at being told that the office of County Board Chairman is not equal to that of the other officials elected countywide.

He has stated more than once if the others can decide whom to hire, then he should be able to do so as well.

What he, as an attorney, cannot seem to comprehend is that the others are specifically mentioned in the 1970 State Constitution, which his office is not.

Court cases in which county boards have tried to micromanage the offices of “constitutional” elected county officials have led to decisions saying that county boards may decide how much such officials may have to spend, but can’t tell them how to spend it.


Jack Franks Seems to Be Saying that If He Can’t Have a Pension as County Board Chairman, No Countywide Officials Should Get One — 34 Comments

  1. Nobody better to stop a train than Mr. Stieper…tic, tock, tic, tock…

  2. You and your commenters rail against pensions for every person in the state. But now that Jack Franks wants to reduce the pension burden, you are suddenly in favor of pensions?! Your pettiness and hypocrisy knows no bounds, Cal.

  3. Shouldn’t we support getting rid of those pensions?

    I seem to have read that same idea said hear quite often.

    451k type plan wasn’t that the talking point?

  4. Oh no the nob, of course we can’t support that position now if Mr Franks supports it.

    We must disagree with everything he says.

    If the man sneezes, we must call him out!!

  5. The HR Committee needs to take it one step further.

    Make an amendment to end pensions for ALL county employees.

  6. This would be a very opportune time to cut the Chairman’s salary as well.

    It is ridiculous to pay the Chair over $80k per year plus benefits for a part time job, especially when he now has two full time assistants to basically do his job for him.

  7. Gasser got the ball rolling to end imrf pension for County board members.

    MC Republicans, led by Kurtz, lambasted him for it.

    Frank’s picked up the ball and saw to it that across the finish line.

    Democrat, Republican, libertarian, independent, other matters not..

    Frank’s accomplished what no other elected Republican, besides Gasser, was willing to step up and do.

  8. Not of big fan of his game, but….

    Advisory Referendums Killed

    Posted on 01/17/2017 by Cal Skinner

    Two advisory referendums that McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks announced he wanted on the ballot in April were voted down by a vote of 17-7.

    They would ask about
    prohibiting increases in tax levies without a vote of its constituents

  9. McHenry County Meeting Portal

    Human Resources Committee

    Public Meeting

    October 4, 2017 at 8:30AM

    County Board Conference Room

    667 Ware Road, Administration Building, Woodstock, IL

    Agenda Item 6.4

    Resolution 6375

    Resolution amending resolution # R-9802-12-09 to Terminate Countywide Elected Officials’ Participation in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF)

    – The Agenda and Agenda Packet including the Resolution are at the following URL.



    There is also a resolution in the board packet that freezes pay for elected county officials.

    This resolution does not impact his union base.


    Speaking of the union base, the collective bargaining agreements are still being negotiated with AFSCME Council 31 (covering McHenry County Probation & Court Services) and FOP (Unit III – Civilians in Sheriff’s office) are still ongoing?


    The AFSCME Council 31 bargaining unit for McHenry County Probation & Court Services was certified on December 9, 2016.

    So the agreement being negotiated is their initial agreement with the county.


  10. Has Jack Franks called for ending pensions for future rank and file and union employees?


    Has Jack Franks publicly called for salary freezes to collective bargaining agreements?


    He cuts around his base.

  11. IL Bill 6630

    Amends the Property Tax Code.

    Provides that, beginning with the 2016 levy year, the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law applies to all taxing districts, including home rule units. Provides that, beginning with the 2016 levy year, the extension limitation under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law is 0% or the rate of increase approved by the voters. Preempts home rule. Amends the State Mandates Act to require implementation without reimbursement. Effective immediately.

  12. “He cuts around his base” just like “Republicans” cut around their base.

    The longer I am in “this game” the more I realize this is not a democrat or republican problem but a political class versus the rest of us problem.

    Republicans complain about having a problem finding people to run as republicans – why?

    When you have a republican super majority on the McHenry County Board that Michael Madigan would be jealous of and you cannot pass a tax cut you cut around your base.

    We as Republicans have no one to blame but ourselves.

    We had the high ground.

    We had the initiative… and we threw it away over personality contests.

    We could have put this issue to bed three years ago when I called and emailed, on a government email, begging John Jung to hold an HR meeting to kill the pensions.

    I got my butt handed to me for speaking out against it.

    We screwed ourselves.

    People are complaining I’m not doing enough – well what are you doing to build the party?

    Build your own army.

    Since the new thing to do is talk about how I’m not doing enough I shall step up my game- just for you.

    I don’t need a title to shift the political sphere.

    So many of you have been absolutely silent during the off year elections when we could have impact, gone door to door, and find candidates, but you didn’t.

    Just like so many of you were silent on pensions, your silence is consent.

    I hope Jack does end the pensions.

    I said it.

    I hope Republicans get a clue and join him.

    I would.

    Instead of complaining about how Jack is simply talking,how about we do something?

    Take the initiative and make it yours.

    Your move “Republicans”.

  13. You would have to be a complete idiot to propose eliminating a pension for a full time employee be it an elected county official or not and giving them nothing in return.

  14. Thank you Andrew Gasser for trying to lead by example, making meaningful efforts to produce positive changes for the public.

    Thank you Andrew for saying the things that need to be said.

    Our local Republican Party is a mess because more people want to host a party and feel public office is a personal spotlight and personal privilege rather than actually do the work to get good people elected and support them achieve results when in office.

  15. Jack Franks was elected McHenry County Board Chair on November 8, 2016.

    IL Bill 6630 was introduced November 30, 2016.

    There were 6632 bills introduced in that 99th General Assembly.

    Jack Franks took the oath of office as McHenry County Board Chair on December 5, 2016.

    Jack Franks became a co-sponsor of HB 6630 on January 10, 2017.

    HB 6630 passed the House 76-24-6 on January 10, 2017.

    It was never called to vote in the Senate.

    The 100th General Assembly took their oath of office on January 11th, 2017.

    Thus Jack Franks’ last day as a State Representative was January 11, 2017.

    He was a co-sponsor of HB 6630 for about 24 hours.

  16. Nowhere does hypocrisy more abound, than among MC so-called republicans.

    If Jack didn’t throw his hat in the ring for Chairman at large, no R would have even suggested that it not receive a pension! And to suggest a pension should have been stripped from one of them would have brought the wrath of the party. Just as they did to Gasser!

    MC Republican public speak: “public sector pensions are bad policy”

    MC Republican Private speak: “For those who are loyal to us, pensions just “come with the job””.

    But, if I may be facetious for just a moment, I think we can all agree…. the work of the recorder of deeds, for example, is much more noble, and much more deserving of a public sector pension, than the mere Chairman of our entire County Board.

    The office that even Joe Tirio himself says isn’t necessary and should, by all rights be erased, and yet no Republican even balks that he receives a public pension along with a six figure salary.

    But, I guess Republicans really did need to take that office, in the name of better government, upholding good conservative values and lower taxes in MC!


    Hey “Honest Abe”, “WWDVD” and the other 14 screen names of Karen Tirio. – Try spending sometime pulling the many logs from your own eyes and actually accomplishing something tangible rather than just meaningless “tax-fighter” schemes – and spend less time fabricating and making false allegations/accusations/inuendo toward those who are actually doing some good around here and are NOT looking for a payday or to pad their retirement accounts!

    And anytime you and yours would like to discuss ALL before the public, Count me in!

  17. Wow!

    The “round mound” gets a pension.

    Gasser gets a pension.

    Federal Farmer I am told gets monthly disability checks.

    All three benefit from the largesse of the taxpayers (no argument that they all ‘earned’ them).

    Cal Skinner too gets pension.

    Llavona is guaranteed a public sector pension when he retires.

    Those who have spent their entire working lives in the private sector get social security which is based on THEIR contributions.

    BTW many people buy into the notion that teachers pay into their retirement fund. BS Every penny that goes into teacher pensions is a taxpayer provided penny.

    The “round mound” could not give a damn about IMRF for County Board members or any other elected official.

    He is described as playing chess while everyone else plays checkers and in the case of the County Board that is true.

    Just remember one thing: The “round mound” worked hard to become a delegate for this person: https://www.youtube.com/embed/BdNHf1g4ivA

    Watch the short video and you will know what you are dealing with when you support the “round mound”.

    Those who write anything in support of anything that comes from the “round mound” is contributing to HIS chess game.

    Personally I have always stated that no elected official should get any benefit – pension or healthcare or anything.

    Holding elected office was intended to a ‘temporary’ job in our Republic, not a career to be pursued for eighteen years.

  18. Is it true that to get a payout from IMRF you must be enrolled for TEN years?

    Would term limits fix the problem?

    Two terms max for four year offices; four for two year offices; one for six year offices.

  19. Tier 1 is 8 years, Tier 2 is 10 years.

    No six year terms in IL, but if you mean the US Senate, 2 terms and no pension would work.

    Law should be 12 years and 451k, no pension.

  20. When a tax reduction is available and you pass on it for political reasons, you are a partisan hack or self serving hack.

    Self serving and partisan politics is killing this country.

  21. Many years ago McHenry County made it so that any elected official can buy 50 months of IMRF credit.

    This made all elected officials at that time able to buy a pension.

    I don’t know if it is still that way or is relevant now but the date was interesting – November 2001.

    Was your attention elsewhere at that time?

  22. According to IMRF, McHenry County, or any unit of government, as a unit of government, cannot withdraw from IMRF, per state statute.

    A unit of government can opt to no longer IMRF benefits for some elected officials.


    Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF)

    Is Your Unit of Government Thinking About Joining IMRF?

    January 2017

    “May a unit of government withdraw from IMRF?

    No, once a unit of government joins IMRF, either voluntarily or because it is mandated by law, it cannot withdraw.

    The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that a governmental unit, after having properly joined IMRF, does not have a right to terminate participation.

    After a unit of government joins IMRF, it will continue to participate even if it no longer has any employees eligible to participate.

    IMRF participation ends only when a unit of government dissolves.

    However, if any unfunded pension obligation remains after the dissolution, the governmental unit(s) that succeeds to the function of the dissolved unit assumes the unfunded pension obligation.”



  23. From the same document.

    Can elected officials participate?

    Elected officials whose positions meet the hourly standard have the option to participate if they are compensated.

    If an elected official chooses to participate, the election must be in writing and is irrevocable.

    Also, the governing body of the unit of government must adopt a resolution finding that the elected position meets the annual hourly standard for participation.

    In order to qualify for the 1000-hour standard, an employee must work, on average, 20 hours per week.

    To qualify for the 600-hour standard, an employer must work, on average, 12 hours per week.

    On-call time does not count, only hours of actual work performed.

    Absent unusual circumstances, governing body members will not work enough hours to qualify for participation in IMRF.

    According to the Internal Revenue Service, an elected official who holds a qualifying position but chooses not to participate is still considered to be an eligible participant in an employer sponsored pension plan for federal tax purposes.

    Therefor, eligibility to make tax-deferred contributions to an IRA may be reduced or eliminated.”

  24. Correcting my previous comment, I was informed that Joe Tirio, in fact, waived participation in the IMRF pension plan for his role as recorder.

    My apologies to Joe for that.

    That said, the recorder, as with other county positions, ARE entitled to participate in the IMRF pension plan.

    Should they be?

    To “CONNECT THE DOTS” I am not saying they should or should not be eligible, I am questioning why they should be eligible and the County Board chair should not be?

    Should it not be all one way or the other?

  25. CBS 2 Chicago WBBM 780AM / 105.9PM Radio

    McHenry Co. Chair Wants Some Officials Off State Retirement Fund

    September 29, 2017

    Chicago (CBS) –

    “The head of the McHenry County Board says he and some reformers are pushing hard to end pensions for some top county officials.

    McHenry County Board Chair Jack Franks says there’s some strong opposition but a growing number of board members are backing his call to remove county wide elected officials form the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.”



    Jack Franks has never called for state legislators pensions to end.

    State legislator jobs are part time jobs.

    Jack Franks opted to participate in the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) pension system as a state legislator.

    Thus Jack Franks will receive a state legislator pension for his 18 years as a state legislator.

    GARS has more lucrative benefits than IMRF.


    Now Jack Franks is McHenry County Board Chair.


    County Board pensions have been eliminated statewide for new county board members.

    That legislation was Senate Bill 2701 (SB 2701), signed into law as Public Act 99-0900 (PA 99-0900) by Governor Bruce Rauner on August 26, 2016.

    A county board member is a part time job.


    The McHenry County Board voted on June 21, 2016 (Resolution R-9802-12-29) at its Regular Board Meeting to end participation in the IMRF pensions system for current and future County Board members and the County-wide Elected Chairman of the County Board.

  26. Are the County Sheriff, State’s Attorney, Auditor, Clerk Circuit Clerk, Treasurer and Coroner all full time jobs?

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