Will County Board Concluded It Could NOT Take Away Countywide Elected Officials’ Pensions, as Jack Franks Is Proposing

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Jack Franks after incorrectly claiming that County Bard members were breaking the Open Meetings Act.

In another attempt to grab headlines, McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks has proposed a resolution to prevent current countywide elected officials from participating in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund pension program

According to the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office, a County Board does not have that power.

Already two such officials, Sheriff Bill Prim and Recorder of Deeds Joe Tirio are non-participants.

I remember another, Coroner Dr. Anne Majewski, telling me she didn’t want to be in IMRF, but, perhaps the way some County Board members joined without realizing they had, she apparently signed some paperwork at the beginning of her service that she didn’t realize authorized her participation and now can’t get out.  (She told me she would rather manage her own retirement money.)

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Anne Majewski post correcting comment, which you can read below:

Cal, you are uninformed and Joe Tirio abd Bill Prim have not signed papers to opt out of IMRF.

There are no papers to opt out only to opt in.

All their W 2s show they,are pension eligible.

I inquired in Jan 2013 discussing with County Admin Sarbaugh and,assistant and witH IRMF,and was told I cannot opt out because of resolution signed by Chairman Tryon.

You misrepresented me.

I never,signed the wrong firm I also do not take County,Health insurance,as I do not believe government should fund or control that for electeds.

Get the facts straight.
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It seems to me that by not signing up, the Sheriff and Recorder opted out, as did County Board member Andrew Gasser. See “Andrew Gasser Fulfills Two Campaign Promises” in which are posted his waivers of health insurance and IMRF pension participation, the later of which is posted below:

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Here’s the law:

Sec. 7-137. Participating and covered employees.

(a) The persons described in this paragraph (a) shall be included within and be subject to this Article and eligible to benefits from this fund, beginning upon the dates hereinafter specified:

1. Except as to the employees specifically excluded under the provisions of this Article, all persons who are employees of any municipality (or instrumentality thereof) or participating instrumentality on the effective date of participation of the municipality or participating instrumentality beginning upon such effective date.
2. Except as to the employees specifically excluded under the provisions of this Article, all persons, who became employees of any participating municipality (or instrumentality thereof) or participating instrumentality after the effective date of participation of such municipality or participating instrumentality, beginning upon the date such person becomes an employee.
3. All persons who file notice with the board as provided in paragraph (b) 2 and 3 of this Section, beginning upon the date of filing such notice.

(b) The following described persons shall not be considered participating employees eligible for benefits from this fund, but shall be included within and be subject to this Article (each of the descriptions is not exclusive but is cumulative):

1. Any person who occupies an office or is employed in a position normally requiring performance of duty during less than 600 hours a year for a municipality (including all instrumentalities thereof) or a participating instrumentality. If a school treasurer performs services for more than one school district, the total number of hours of service normally required for the several school districts shall be considered to determine whether he qualifies under this paragraph;
2. Except as provided in items 2.5, 2.6, and 2.7, any person who holds elective office, unless he or she has elected while in that office in a written notice on file with the board to become a participating employee;

Another county, Will County, tried to do what Franks is proposing in the Human Resources Committee tomorrow at 8:30.  (Listen to it here. One has to wait until 8:30 for the audio to start.)

The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office gave its opinion on a similar proposal.

You can hear the Assistant State’s Attorney in the following YouTube recording (which, one can notice is not only audio, as is the case in McHenry County, but video.)

If you don’t want to listen to the recording, the relevant opinion from the Will County Assistant State’s Attorney is below:

“Whether you act of not, there is no way you could in any way affect the ability to receive a pension…[for countrywide elected officials].

After hearing the opinion, the County Board removed that item from its agenda.

Given the likelihood that the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office would come to the same conclusion, it is difficult to characterize Jack Franks’ efforts to take pensions away from those countywide mentioned in the 1970 Illinois State Constitution as anything other than a publicity stunt.

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

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I remember being given the option of participating in IMRF when I took office as McHenry County Treasurer in December, 1966.

At age 24, I declined.

A year or so later, I changed my mind.

After  buying in the time I had missed, those four years of credit were added to my legislative pension  credits (which were augmented by four years working for the Illinois Department of Central Management Services) to provide me with twenty-four years of pension credit leading to the generous pension for which I thank you.


Comments

Will County Board Concluded It Could NOT Take Away Countywide Elected Officials’ Pensions, as Jack Franks Is Proposing — 26 Comments

  1. If elected officials view eliminating public sector pensions a joke, they should not be elected officials!

  2. His nickname isn’t Lying Jack Franks for no reason!

    https://www.lyingjackfranks.com/single-post/2017/09/24/Lying-Jack-Franks-Dubbed-The-Most-Evil-Kind-of-Political-Servant

    “As a former legislator, you are a perfect example of why this state is in the mess it’s in.

    More often than not, you pass a law as a means of political grandstanding and when in a position to act upon the very law you voted in favor of, you ignore it.

    [Lying Jack Franks} You have no business being in charge of any unit of government.

    Your history of intimidation through threats of criminal prosecution is all The People need to know.

    You sir, are the most evil kind of political servant I’ve ever experienced.

    One of self-promotion through misrepresentation of our laws and intimidation to the titles you hold.

    We ask that you be charged for the alleged crimes referenced earlier and immediately resign from public office.”

  3. The board members should vote on the issue.

    If the resolution passes (which it BETTER), board members will get good press (so will Franks).

    If it comes back that the pensions cannot be taken away, Franks looks the fool.

  4. The State’s Attorney’s Office probably shouldn’t even offer an opinion on that question, since the State’s Attorney is directly affected by it.

  5. Every taxpayer in the County needs to ask the “round mound” when he is going to work to eliminate Prevailing Wage law.

  6. Maybe one of the conservatives down in Springfield could propose changing that law.

  7. I agree. Pensions are evil; unless it goes to our paparazzi freeloader sunshine blogger…tic, tock, tic, tock…

  8. It is truly amazing that someone who:

    (1) accused County Board Members who signed up for pensions that they were told they qualified for committed crimes and tried to have them prosecuted;

    (2) accused a County Board Member who had the right to attend an executive session of a Board appointed by the County Board that he had committed a crime;

    (3) tried to have County Board Members who were in the process of leaving a properly called meeting charged with a crime;

    (4) continues to hold up committee agendas and refuses to put on items requested by the committee when the States Attorney has opined that he does not have the authority to do so;

    then commits a crime himself by not disclosing his state government income on his economic disclosure forms;

    and now is trying to get the Board to pass an illegal resolution.

    Wow!

  9. For an attorney he is a poor excuse of being one Swampbuggy!

    Any advice he gives I would do the opposite.

    Remember his motto, Do as I say, NOT as I do!

    He’s also a miserable excuse for a Board Chairman not a leader, but the “Intimidator in Chief!”

    Sad but True

  10. The real and most pressing issue in Illinois is the multi-billion dollars worth of unfunded pension liabilities for government workers including teachers.

    Thee number one priority in this State is a revision of the Illinois Constitution that would allow the rescinding of the annual COLA for all government workers’ and government retirees’ from their pensions and pension plans.

    We desperately need a Constitution Convention to fix this matter.

  11. Leaders have to lead by example – hold elected officials accountable!!!!

  12. It still amazes me the number of things that our local conservatives say they stand for, then suddenly flip to the other side when these very things are proposed by Jack Franks.

    Is it just partisanship over good policy?
    Or, perhaps, they never really stood for those things to begin with?

  13. Federal: If the County Board lacks the legal authority to eliminate pensions for constitutional officers, they lack the legal authority.

    What then is the point of passing a resolution that has no legal effect?

  14. The local R’s were already railing against Jack’s efforts toward this before the legality of it ever even came into question.

    Just as they did with imrf for County board members.

    Besides, my understanding from what I remember reading, is that what you are referring to is only one interpretation/one legal opinion.

    If that’s the case, why not let this play out and see where the chips fall?

  15. The “one interpretation” happens to come from the Will County State’s Attorney.

    I am sure that our State’s Attorney will be asked for an opinion.

    So far, Franks has not been happy with the SA opinions he has been getting and consults instead with the Lawyer In the Mirror.

    However, the State’s Attorney is THE attorney for the County and the County Board is obligated to take that advice.

    To ignore THEIR opinions is to court lawsuits, attorneys’ fees, and expense to the taxpayers.

    The chips, when they fall, do not fall for free.

  16. Unless of course, Jack’s argument holds water and prevails. Then the savings would be exponentially greater then the legal costs.

    Nothing is gained without risk. Just have to consider the risk versus the reward and determine if it’s worth it. But we can’t just run away because there is a potential cost.

  17. As I understand it currently, there is no credible argument that this can be done.

    It does not appear to be even arguable.

    If there is such an argument, let’s hear it.

    Moderate?

  18. Cal, you are uninformed and Joe Tirio abd Bill Prim have not signed papers to opt out of IMRF.

    There are no papers to opt out only to opt in.

    All their W 2s show they,are pension eligible.

    I inquired in Jan 2013 discussing with County Admin Sarbaugh and,assistant and witH IRMF,and was told I cannot opt out because of resolution signed by Chairman Tryon.

    You misrepresented me.

    I never,signed the wrong firm I also do not take County,Health insurance,as I do not believe government should fund or control that for electeds.

    Get the facts straight.

  19. Sorry for the misrepresentation. I shall post your comment in the text of the article.

  20. Sorry for the misspellings in my post.

    After working a 14 plus hour day, attending the dysfunctional HR Committee meeting and finally getting home to type on an early generation cell phone to correct the misinformation, I was more than tired.

    The voters need to educate themselves by reading meeting minutes, attending meetings, questioning the electeds and seeing through the jaded posts and misinformation out there.

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