Beginning in December 2016, a series of AD HOC Committees have been called.
The highly questionable interpretation of that simple RULES statement is being deliberately bastardized by one person, allowing wholesale changes to the county board’s business, purpose, and members responsibilities to the public.
Thus far, a few changes to board “Rules,” “Policies,” and manner of doing business… have been exposed to the public and include:
- Without board direction or knowledge, the chairman began “closed-door meetings” with county
employees. Board members and department heads were excluded from the meetings;
- County board voting meetings have been reduced to 1 per month;
- County board standing committees were reduced from 12 to 8;
- Standing committee meetings were reduced from 2 meetings monthly to 1;
- Issuing “legal opinion” from the podium;
- Initiated via the AD HOC committee process, without voter knowledge or vote, the number of
county board members is being reduced from 24 to 18 members;
- Beginning 12/11/18, members’ workload is consolidated into 6 committees that meet once a
- Members are openly threatened with lawsuits when they challenge or question the process.
The message, and the unintended consequences to taxpayers’ is that such actions are methodically
being ratcheted up.
The intended plan is consolidation of control, by one person, over the operation.
Today, the move is from 24 to 18 county board members; reducing the standing committees from 12 to 6; and, reducing all meetings to once a month.
Listening to the 12/4/18 AD HOC Committee meeting it is disappointing to realize that the majority of those people never questioned how one committee meeting a month could possibly provide the insight necessary for them to have a clue what is actually going on inside county government.
Far too many of these same elected officials get snarky if a meeting happens to exceed an hour of their time.
Another insult to taxpayers is that not one person, during the meeting suggested that… all salaries
should be cut in half to match the newly approved structure.
Nor did anyone suggest elimination of the expensive health insurance we are expected to subsidize for them.
While all this may seem benign to some, the unfortunate part is that a next step/goal is to reduce the
size of the county board to 6, single member districts.
A six-member board is much easier for one power-hungry person to control the entire operation.
If we think that annual salaries of $20,000+ and health insurance that can amount to nearly $30,000 [and more] is expensive, wait until fewer members [down to 18 in 2022] whine about putting in more time so they need salaries and benefits in the 6-digit range.
- concocts his plans in the backrooms;
- calls for an AD HOC Committee meeting;
- chooses those committee members who will deliver the desired changes;
- brings those results to the full board famously claiming: I am so proud of the members as I have talked to most and they are in agreement with the proposal.
The pattern of events playing out since Dec. 2016 is the issue.
Like the steady drip of a leaky faucet, following the administrative, structural and Rules changes over this period provides a clear picture of the consolidation of control over McHenry County government.