Jack Franks as State Representative and McHenry County Board Chairman has posed as a strong supporter of consolidation of governments.
Let’s take a look at his record on the subject.
Franks lives in the Marengo area where, probably the only place in Illinois, there are separate fire departments and rescue squads.
When a person was appointed that the Rescue Squad establishment did not like, he sponsored a bill.
Was it to merge the two districts?
It was to allow the members of the Rescue Squad Board to be elected after passage of a referendum to that effect.
That same year–2016–he passed a bill prohibiting creation of new tax districts for four years.
His signature accomplishment in the government consolidation game was a law allowing townships to take over their township cemetery districts.
In McHenry County, both Nunda and Richmond Townships have such districts.
The two districts levied about $45,000 the year the bill passed.
The Richmond Cemetery District Trustees don’t even get paid.
The total tax bill in McHenry County was $797,394,337.99.
Did Jack Franks take further action to eliminate these two insignificant tax districts?
(Bob Anderson did, though.)
That same Bob Anderson and his fellow Republican McHenry Township Trustees put a referendum on the ballot to abolish the McHenry Township Road District as a separate tax district.
Did Jack Franks offer congratulations?
Nothing but crickets.
But Jack Franks did use his bully pulpit to promote a similar referendum to abolish the Algonquin Township Road District by referendum?
Franks’ House Organ, the Northwest Herald, featured his Call to Action.
He sent a letter to Algonquin Township Board members urging passage of the referendum resolution proposed by Trustee Rachael Lawrence
It denigrated political foe Andrew Gasser (one of few Republicans willing to go toe-to-toe with Franks).
There was no hint in the letter that Gasser predecessor Bob Miller, whose fundraisers Franks attended, did anything that might have been prevented had his Road District been under the supervisor of the Township Board.
The missive was jointly signed by State Rep. Allen Skillicorn, who asked that the negative language about Gasser be removed.
Franks did not do so and was called out by Illinois Leaks.