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.