If HB 171 Signed, Jack Franks Would Have More Power of the County Board Than Mike Madigan Has In the Illinois House

Jack Franks stamping out of the County Board room after his unsuccessful demand that Norm Vinton, First Assistnat State’s Attorney’s file Open Meeting Act violation.  The photo used in several Northwest Herald stories shows Franks walking away from Vinton after issuing his Open Meetings Act request (demand).

I’ve been thinking about the bill that McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks prevailed upon the Democrats in the legislature (and too many Republicans in the Senate) to give him total power over committee appointments.

In the Illinois House, Mike Madigan, as Speaker elected by Democrats, has the power to slot whomever he wishes in committee chairmanships and to assign members to whatever committees he wants.

Republican House members are assigned by the House Republican Leader, Jim Durkin.

House Bill 171 would give Democrat Jack Franks the power to pick which Republicans he wanted to chair which committees and to assign Republicans to whatever committee he wishes.

Republican Vice Chairman Jeff Thorsen would have no role in the assignment process.

The County Board’s Committee on Committees would have no say.

That strikes me as unfair in the extreme.

That would mean that committees could be stacked with compliant Republicans and the one Democrat, who would get the Public Health Chairmanship that Franks nominated her for, but which was overridden by the County Board GOP majority.

In a rare display of independence, Franks’s choice, Democrat Paula Yensen was turned down in favor of McHenry’s Chuck Wheeler.

If you would like to encourage Governor Bruce Rauner to veto HB 171, here is a email address


Here is the bills language: :

(55 ILCS 5/2-1003.5 new)

Sec. 2-1003.5. Creation of standing committees by chairman; appointment of members. With the advice and consent of a majority of the county board, a county board chairman elected by the voters of the county shall:

(1) create standing committees; and

(2) appoint members and chairpersons to standing committees.

This Section applies to counties having a population between 300,000 and 900,000.

McHenry County had 307,000 people as of 2015, the Census Bureau says.


If HB 171 Signed, Jack Franks Would Have More Power of the County Board Than Mike Madigan Has In the Illinois House — 11 Comments

  1. Jack Franks has made changing board rules a priority, and has done so in various ways.

    Jack Franks took his oath of office on December 5, 2016.

    The following blog article notes that the very next day, December 6, 2016, Jack Franks proposed changes to the Board Rules.


    McHenry County Blog

    Jack Franks Suggested County Board Rules

    December 6, 2016



    Jack Franks has not explained clearly to the average taxpayer how he has changed the rules.

    There is no easy to read document explaining how and why the board rules were changed, nor is there a before and after picture (focusing on changed and new rules):

    – Board Rules before Jack Franks took office (just the rules that were changed)

    – Board Rule after Jack Franks took office

    – a. Changes made at the County level of government.

    – b. State legislation that is awaiting Governor’s signature that would effect County Board Rules.


    This latter point is an attempt to use the Democrat majority General Assembly (State House & Senate) to thwart the will of the locally elected Republican majority county board members.

  2. Even if this monstrosity of a bill passes, the Republican Board Members would still have the power to stop Chief Many Chin’s committee assignments if they refuse to give consent.

    The problem is that far too many of the Board Members are spineless weasels who will go along with anything fatso asks for.

  3. Very bad idea to pass this bill.

    That being said what happened to Franks promise to bully other taxing bodies to freeze or lower their levies?

    D155 is planning to finalize a huge levy increase and he has done nothing.

    Will you be at the school board meeting on the 17th Mr. Franks?

    I doubt it.

  4. So Billy Bob,

    What happens if the Board doesn’t give consent to Jack’s choices?

    The new law doesn’t say.

    Just like Jack wanted, I’m sure.

  5. The more the County moves to an executive model, the less democratic it is.

    Our votes mean less and less.

  6. Xout42,

    They would eventually have to hammer out some sort of compromise, and until then the committee assignments would probably stay the same until the next Board is seated.

    I’m not holding my breath that this RINO infested Board could muster that sort of cohesion, though.

    If they were willing or able to, they could roll over Franks completely and render him irrelevant.

  7. Soon the non-voters and Dems will have the Big Government and high taxes they deserve, while the smart ones continue to move out.

    McHenry County on pace to lose a record number of producers while Nero oversees his kingdom.

  8. From Brtittany Hunter at Intellectual Takeout

    …”Be wary of any politician who is eager for the masses to give up their power, and when faced with such a decision, remember the creed so commonly associated with the great Ludwig von Mises, “Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito,” do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it….”

  9. More time spent squabbling and scheming by this Democrat, is exhausting to the few elected, actually interested in Public Service.

    What has this consummate weasel ever done in all the years he’s been an elected official?

    And you people re elected him like seven different times now?


  10. If the bill is signed by Rauner then the McHenry County Board “majority” could still NOT give consent to what Mr Franks wants to do.

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