Debate on House Bill 171, the Bill That Will Give Jack Franks More Power Over the McHenry County Board Than Mike Madigan Has Over the Illinois House

Steve Reick

McHenry Times, the publication overseen by Dan Proft, wrote an interesting story by Angela Underwood about the floor debate on Jack Franks’ bill to give him more power over McHenry County Board members than Mike Madigan has over Illinois State Representatives.

Before citing some of it, let me point out that Madigan can appoint chairmen and put Democrats on whatever committee he wants.

Republicans, on the other hand, are given committee assignments by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin.

House Bill 171 would allow Chairman Franks to assign both the one Democrat and all twenty-three Republicans to whatever committee he desired.

The article recounts the defense that State Reps. Barb Wheeler and Steve Reick put up.

They must have done a good job because only one Republican, retiring Steve Andersson, voted with the Democrats to give Jack Franks more power.

Reick recounted the overwhelming defeat of Jack Franks-initiated referendum to create a strong County Executive form of govenment.

Barbara Wheeler

Wheeler added, “I was a McHenry County Board member for 10 years and each year we were able to adopt our own rules.”

“I have heard from many county board members, unlike what the sponsor said, they are not all in favor of this.”

Reick argued that any change in the committee appointment process should come from McHenry County voters.

He characterized the Franks’ bill as “a second bite of the apple.”

You can watch his speech here.

If you would like to advise the Governor of your position, you can do so here:

Or, if it is more convenient, call 217-782-0244.


Debate on House Bill 171, the Bill That Will Give Jack Franks More Power Over the McHenry County Board Than Mike Madigan Has Over the Illinois House — 22 Comments

  1. RINO Wheeler … what a loser!

    She threatens Franks and the Democratic junta with limp spaghetti strands.

    I’m so glad she and her Edgar Bergen (Pammy ‘The Wheeze” Althoff) are done masquerading as Republicans in the madhouse that was once the statehouse.

  2. “Angela Underwood” lists on her LinkedIn Page that she works for Interactive Content Services. Interactive Content Services has a review on indeed that says, “I love writing for ICS. You write it and get a byline with your name on it worth showing off. It’s a great place to write for. It’s a remote position if you’re looking to work in your jammies.”

    Interactive Content Services website is a made-to-order content creator.

    They boast to be Your “New” Newsroom where you can order “news” to be produced by “seasoned writers.”

    The “news” is then edited by staff and then “published.”

    Is Dan Proft farming out content creating to a third party business?

  3. Chairman Franks went personally to Springfield to lobby for this bill.

    Will he be charging the county for his expenses for that trip?

    Since he is now asking the Board to place an advisory referendum on the ballot to ask the voters if they want school districts to reduce their levies by ten percent next year, why not have a referendum as well asking the voters if they want the directly elected County Board Chairman to appoint all County Board committees or if they want the County Board to continue to do so?

  4. Mike “Swampbuggy” Walkup, that’s an interesting question. Maybe you should check with the AG about that too.

  5. The only people who can request an opinion from the States Attorney are the County Board Chairman or the chairman of a committee or the County Administrator.

  6. I have a problem with the numbers 23 republicans and 1 democrat….

    who’s kidding who…

    how many of those so called republicans are really Demos in disguise?

    I could name a few…..

    I am so Glad the Steve Reick is on the job and will not back down

  7. Well said Bill Matteson, If Jack Frank’s takes another bite of the apple, he will get worms.

    Trouble will follow.

  8. @Swampbuggy said:

    The only people who can request an opinion from the States Attorney are the County Board Chairman or the chairman of a committee or the County Administrator.

    If that’s true (and for the sake of argument let’s say that it is) there is NOTHING to prevent a board member of any stripe (or anyone else for that matter) from looking at a questionable practice and filing a complaint with the state’s attorney thus forcing his hand and making him take a look at it.

    Opinions, generally, are sought in regard to contemplated actions.

    When the issue is a fait accompli, it’s a complaint.

    The board members need to grow a set and use them.

    This BS of of “I was just going along to get along” doesn’t cut it.

    If Jocko pulls crap and you don’t stand up for us and do what’s right, what you promised to do, what you took an oath to do, you are toast.

  9. The point I was trying to make Bye Bye is that it is the job of the Chairman, BEFORE he jumps on someone or puts out a press release, to vet what it is he is alleging or trying to do.

    Case in point, after the lawfully constituted Special Meeting, someone from the Edgar County Watchdogs spontaneously got up and started trying to address the Board Members who were still in the room gathering up their belongings.

    Chairman Franks, who had been in the process of leaving, re-entered and stomped to the back of the room to say to State’s Attorney Norm Vinton, “I want them charged”, referring to the Board Members who were collecting their things and preparing to leave.

    No reading of the Open Meetings Act would say that was as violation.

    Then, he continues to remove items from the agendas of committees even though the State’s Attorney has said that he has no authority to do so. When questioned about this sort of thing he says “I can find six lawyers to say something else”.

    Here is the thing. When someone is a lawyer in private practice he can do that But when he is Chairman of the County Board, or even just a Board Member, he has to follow the SA’s opinion whether he disagrees with or not, unless and until he can persuade them to change that opinion.

    The Chairman is not a law unto himself.

  10. Swampbuggy said:

    The point I was trying to make Bye Bye is that it is the job of the Chairman, BEFORE he jumps on someone or puts out a press release, to vet what it is he is alleging or trying to do.

    I completely understand what you were saying Swampbuggy, but you know and I know that that is NOT going to happen.

    Jocko is going to do whatever he damn well pleases until somebody stands up to him.

    If he’s appointing his stooges to chair the committees, or if the chair of those committees do not have the integrity to honor their oaths, then the lesser folks, if they have any integrity, have to force the issue by filing a complaint with the state’s attorney.

    Maybe, and this obviously is remote possibility, if Jocko gets slapped down enough, he will be embarrassed and start looking before he leaps.

    Actually, let me rephrase that, perhaps he will stop doing things which he knows are improper, hoping that no one will challenge him.

    Just my opinion and I didn’t get it from the state’s attorney! 😉

  11. Thank you Barbie. To bring this back to the original topic, we are going to have to wait and see what the Gov does with this bill.

    If it is signed, it is going to change the playing field substantially.

    I hope people have sharpened their pencils and gotten petitions circulated.

    The first day to file is MONDAY!

  12. I get tired of hearing the diatribe of such a few disgruntled know nothings!

  13. Hey, Franks is not perfect, but has cut more taxes than 90% of the McHenry County “Republicans”.

    I don’t like 1 person having too much power, regardless of who, and am more concerned with who is the next Chairman vs. Franks.

    This is coming from an American first and a true Republican.

    With that the best person up is the way I vote with all these wolves in sheep’s clothing now adays.

  14. Oh the gnashing and wailing of teeth.

    But you can’t say you weren’t warned.

  15. No he hasn’t Jim.

    You fell for that ruse!!

    You don’t realize that that “tax cut” is not a cut at all, It’s just an abatement?

    Taxes go right back up next year.

    Smoke and mirrors and a whole lotta lies!

  16. That is correct Casey. Most of the tax was just abated so it doesn’t limit the county under the tax cap for future increases.

    Furthermore, about 90% of that was “windfall”, ie, money that was coming off anyway because the county was no longer paying off a bond (5 to 6 Million per year), was able to take the Valley Hi levy off the books for one year without losing the levy authority (over 2 Million), and savings at the Mental Health Board (500K) due to past reform efforts and new appointments to the MHB by previous County Boards.

    Other savings occurred because of long running efforts by elected officials and department heads to take advantage of technology or otherwise clean house from their predecessors (250K Sheriff, 150K Clerk of Court, 100K I.T. Dept., plus new Recorder and savings by Coroner).

    Virtually none of the 11.2% property tax reduction was due to efforts of the current Board or Chairman.

    However, the county is now looking at having to spend another 5 Million per year over 5 years for work on the courthouse complex so that will go right back on unless other funding sources and/or savings can be found.

    That and the Valley Hi levy will have to be taken again as it can only be skipped in alternate years. So you are looking at a 7.5 Million increase for next year.

    Kick the can anyone?

  17. @ Swampbuggy

    Assuming for the moment you are correct, this means the general election where his ‘Lordship’ LJF will be running for re-election will have seen one of the largest tax increase in the history of the County.

    A well informed electorate will strike back.

    A well advised Republican party would be planning for this inevitable set of circumstances.

    Come April such planning may well commence.

  18. Franks will not be up for re-election to this position for another 3 years.

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