On County Board Rules Changes Proposed by Jack Franks

The following commentary was written by form McHenry County Board member Ersel Schuster:

Standing Up To Power Is Not Easy

Following up on the last article I posted regarding the McHenry County BOARD Rules, of note is that a new document has now surfaced showing a synopsis of several proposed “County Board Rules” changes.

To this point, several questions come to mind:

Who made these proposed Rules changes?

Where is the actual text of those changes?

What “county board committee” submitted these changes? And,

Who generated the “recap” of the proposed changes?

Shall we say “thin air…” may be the source?

Folks, we currently have a $200-million-dollar (plus) budget for McHenry County.

We elect our county board members as the overseers – watchdogs – and decision-makers for county business. They must understand the process, develop proposals, and provide direction for nearly 30 departments under the county umbrella.

As of 12/20/16, the number of full county board voting meetings was reduced from 2 to 1 meeting a month.

This may not necessarily be a negative until you realize these board members routinely wrestle with agendas including 7-800 pages of supporting documentation as they make final decisions and vote on hundreds of issues.

These documents normally move their way through the checks and balances of a system, via the committee structure.

As of 11/30/16, the committee oversight structure included 12 standing committees.

Up and until that date, most committees met twice a month.

Board Rules, as of 12/20/16, show 12 standing committees, however, those committees have been restructured.

Of special interest is the fact that during these 2 years, each such standing committee met only once a month.

The thumb-nail-sketch of the proposed Rules changes indicates that the committee structure is being reduced from 12 to 6 standing committees.

This is followed by wholesale changes to the parts of county business covered by these committees.

Nowhere in these changes do we see it suggested that the chairman and board members’ salaries will be reduce by 1/2; nor do we see where the expensive “health” insurance benefits will be taken away from these public officials.

Those who make it a practice of watching these-antics fully understand what is going on.

King Franks is well on his way to full control of McHenry County; aided and abetted by the majority of the county board members who hold the position for the “title” only; unashamed and oblivious to their incompetence in understanding they run county government.

Change is most often good.

However, when a majority of the board are unwilling, or unable, to spend the time it takes to learn the job, these proposed changes will continue the planned undermining of your responsibilities.

Make no mistake, these Rules changes have been developed by the chairman.

His MO is to suggest that he has pitched the proposals to several members on a one-on-one basis.

Again, totally inappropriate as he stands in front of the board claiming he has the support of the majority of the members.

These are NOT the chairman’s Rules, he has no authority to re-write them. Do not take the easy way out by succumbing to bullying and intimidation.

When you do the job you applied for… it is exhausting!

Suck it up… fulfill the promises you make to your voters.

You are the guardians of McHenry County Government…. No one else.

Standing up to power is not easy.


On County Board Rules Changes Proposed by Jack Franks — 15 Comments

  1. Oh, Shuster, hang it up. If we had wanted to listen to you expounding to make yourself feel important, you’d have been elected. Quit criticizing the members of the board. They’re not going to give credence to someone like you who shows one face in public and sends hate mail in private. Ethics is not quite a word associated with you.

  2. Who created the new document of “McHenry County Board Rules”? Is there a name or names at the beginning or end of the new document indicating the authors? Who has the authority to change or update the “Rules”? Is there a documented process or procedure for introducing draft or new “Rules” or procedures for anything and everything as pertains to McHenry County Government operations? Does the McHenry County Auditor have the authority to have all new or changed documents on rules or procedures submitted to his or her department for possible audit and review?

  3. Ersel! You make mention of the fact that the voters spoke! Guess what?! They didn’t vote for you!

    I’m hard pressed to say shut up because women are overwhelmingly told to be quiet and that’s wrong.

    But you lost and are grasping for any semblance of power via Cal. How sad and embarrassing!

  4. Wow, now there’s a couple of prose puke’s coup de grace.

    Now you two f’wits should finish her off,with the Tombstone Undertaker Piledriver.

  5. bred: Previously the Management Services Committee drafted Rules for the County Board subject to ratification by the full Board after every new Board was sworne in.

    After Franks was elected Chairman, that committee was merged with the Building Committee as there were no active building expansion plans going on and the new committee was called the Internal Support and Building Committee. Otherwise nothing was changed.

    When the new committee attempted to take up Rules changes as per tradition, it was thwarted by the Chairman who directed the Administrator to refuse to place that discussion on the agenda for that committee, which he did on multiple occasions.

    He also claimed that there was no committee to do rules changes as the previous MS Committee was “abolished”.

    A State’s Attorney Opinion was obtained which clarified that under existing Rules and Ordinances, the Board Chairman had no authority to interfere with the committee agenda creation, which was the province of the Committee Chairman and the Committee Members, and that the new IS Committee had inherited that function from the previous MS Committee.

    Nevertheless, the interference continued.

    The Committee could have had a meeting to draft new rules which it could have done by having 4 committee members petition for a Special Meeting of the committee, and following that up with a Special Meeting of the full Board petitioned by at least 8 Board Members.

    However, attempts to obtain signatures of at least 13 Board Members to support such a move failed, and without 13 members indicating support for such a meeting, it was hopeless to continue the effort.

    (You will recall that a Special Meeting that was called failed to attract a quorum, with Gott and Reinert hanging around outside the building to see if they needed to show up).

    Now there are only 3 to maybe 6 Board Members (Wheeler, Thorsen, Barnes and maybe a couple of others) who might have the backbone to oppose Franks so the situation is completely hopeless.

    Even those people who ran with support of the “coalition” (Wilbeck, Christensen, Bates) have capitulated.

    It will be interesting to see if Althoff finds the fortitude to do something to create an opposition block to support her should she try to challenge Franks for Chairman in 2020. If she doesn’t do that, she will have no credibility as an opponent.

    Good luck all!

    You were warned…….

  6. Looking at the County Meeting calendar for December 2016, Franks 1st County Board meeting on 12/5/16:
    “Under the rules it is the Chairman’s prerogative to do an Ad Hoc Committee. He put a Temporary Rules Committee together because we wish to change the structure.” (from the County Board meeting minutes adjourned at 1013am)

    The following meeting is updated and on the calendar 12/5/16 at 1054am: 6 minutes to spare for Open Meeting compliance

    Public Meeting County Board Conference Room 11:00 AM 667 Ware Rd, Administration Building, Woodstock, IL 60098
    McHenry County Page 1 Updated 12/5/2016 10:54 AM
    1. Review and consideration of proposed modifications to the McHenry County Board Rules

    AND THERE YOU HAVE IT. Thanks Ersel.

  7. From today’s “Ad Hoc Committee on Rules” agenda:

    New Business

    Review and consideration of proposed modifications to the McHenry County Board Rules (Not in Packet)

    The audio of the meeting does not play.

    So we are in the dark as to what those rules changes are.

    The Committee on Committees met only one half hour later, again with no packet being provided.

    The Open Meetings Act does not require that actual materials to be considered be posted, only the subject matter.

    Verrrrryyyy Innnterresssting…….

    You were warned…

  8. Unfortunately standing up to power is not easy.

    Revenge and the use of dirty tricks, the cost of litigation to defeat opposition is all to common and it is known as obstruction of justice and a violation of our citizen’s Constitutional Rights.

    It is my personal experience during the last 60 years, that there have been many honest, respected , intelligent and fair minded citizens longing to and supporting the County Board.

    However, unfortunately, there has been some County Board Members that have appeared to be hypocritical in their actions.

    Although allegedly, these members may not be known to be corrupt it is alleged that they may from time to time may be involved in corrupt acts to support special interest groups.

    It is my experience that special interest groups have influenced other members, agencies, and the judiciary in violating the statues and laws of Illinois against the best interest of one or more citizens.

    The County Board Members must realize they represent “all” the citizens of McHenry County.

    It is both sad and unconscionable that some members, while not being incompetent, are incapable of handling the position for which they are being paid.

    I have written letters to all 24 Board members and only received one response.

    Allegedly, the special interest groups are controlling the business of the entire County.

    Money, politics , influence, clout and the ability to render revenge controls everyone’s life, and may be a present day form of slavery.The County Board Members should be strong, understanding and intelligent citizen’s not subject to the politics schemes, and the infamous actions of the Irish gangsters of old.

    Hopefully the Department of Justice together with the FBI and IRS will convene task force to restore justice.

  9. Ersel, some think, because you weren’t elected, that you have no right to voice your opinion.


    If I’m not an elected elitist, I have no right to free speech?

    One said that, if you weren’t a woman, they would tell you to shut up (“because women are overwhelmingly told to be quiet and that’s wrong”).

    I’m unaware of that tendency, overwhelming or otherwise.

    I don’t recall the Left telling Madona to shut up when she said she wanted to blow up the White House (by implication, suggesting she wanted to kill the president).

    Maybe, it’s that there are some women today saying so much stupid stuff many of us wish they would shut up.

    But that doesn’t refer to all women, merely those who run in the same herd as ‘Bred Winner.’

    I suspect, what the objections to you posting come down to is that those objecting are thrilled that King Franks has such are power and are eager for him to continue to abuse it.

  10. Are there some specific rules changes being discussed at the moment that Ersel is worried about?

    I’m trying to figure out what I’m supposed to be angry at.

  11. Richard Rostrom at 5:17 PM stated:

    “Maybe, it’s that there are some women today saying so much stupid stuff many of us wish they would shut up. But that doesn’t refer to all women, merely those who run in the same herd as ‘Bred Winner.’”

    What is the herd? Who are the women? Name them.

  12. Bred – Don’t mind Richard. He’s a dullard that thinks county board members are elitists! lol

  13. Hopefully Cal will publish something here on what these “rules changes” are and what further changes are being proposed by the rump committee which has no lawful business doing this.

    One of the changes that Franks blocked in the previous term would have clarified that the Ad Hoc committee formation would be restricted to matters that were not already under the pervue of one of the standing committees.

    This was something that was understood to be the case and therefore not clearly stated as such, but the Board was too naïve to suppose that anyone would actually do what Franks is doing.

    No Chairman elected by the Board Members would be allowed to get away with it or he/she would lose support and not be re-elected.

    A directly elected Chairman, however, is not answerable to the Board and, if he is sitting on $500K in campaign cash and can raise more, is not worried about what the Board thinks of him.

    That is the flaw in the directly elected position.

    In the wrong hands it can be turned into a dictatorship, unless there are 13 Board Members with the guts to oppose it.

    We don’t have that.

    Given what is going on in Washington, we are not likely to get that 2 years from now either as any GOP candidate will have their work cut out for them going against an even bigger Blue Wave than we had in a mid term election cycle.

    It may sound odd to say this, but the only hope of recapturing the local County Board and getting better opponents to Franks on is to dump Trump before the next election. If he is the candidate, the whole party is going down, all the way down the ballot. If he is not impeached he needs to be denied the nomination. Otherwise the GOP is doomed, doomed, doomed.

  14. That’s right Ersel was not elected instead A Bully and Harassment supporter was.

    Someone who has never helped the people of Marengo even when they reached out to her repeatedly.


    Someone who hangs with the trash.

    If people really put the time in to elect the right people then Illinois and McHenry County would not be losing citizens every day now would they.

    So to celebrate those that WERE elected just shows why Illinois is the mess it is.

    We have a Statewide broken GOP.

    The personal attack comments here show the lack of understanding of the issues and the terrible consequences coming.

    These are the people who need to be blamed for Illinois going down the drain.

    This is a terrible abuse of power to change these rules and hide them like this.

    Wake up.

    Your ignorance is hurting all of us.

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