Reick and Weber Ask Citizen Help in Opposing Jack Franks’ Megalomania

From State Rep.s. Steve Reick and Tom Weber:

State Reps. Reick and Weber Post Petition Opposing Bill to Create County Executive Government in McHenry County

McHENRY COUNTY— State Representatives Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) and Tom Weber (R-Lake Villa) want McHenry County residents to send a clear message to Springfield politicians who want to significantly alter the power and financial structure of the McHenry County Board.

Weber and Reick, whose districts together cover the majority of McHenry County, have posted a joint petition to gather signatures from those who oppose changing the current structure of the McHenry County Board to a County Executive style of government. Click here to sign the petition.

“In 2012, the voters of McHenry County resoundingly opposed a referendum that would have changed the county’s government structure to a County Executive form of government,” said Reick, whose entire 63rd District would be affected by the bill.

“Despite a rejection of a referendum in 2012 by a 2-1 margin, there are some Springfield politicians who want to disregard that public mandate and make those changes anyway.

“Their bill would significantly increase the powers of the McHenry County Board Chair and greatly reduce the powers currently granted to rank-and-file county board members. It’s a power-grab, pure and simple.”

HB 3317 would completely reorganize McHenry County’s current government structure, and give the County Board Chair broad, new, expansive powers at the expense of the elected members of the County Board. New powers provided through HB 3317 would include:

Jack Franks

  *   Veto power over County Board decisions;
  *   Creation of a separate budget for the Chair’s own legal staff, other staff, and resources;
  *   Authority to set the county budget;
  *   Sole authority over the release of appropriations;
  *   Authority to spend money without full board approval;
  *   Authority to single-handedly create committees/commissions and appoint members;
  *   Authority to replace the current county auditor position with a private firm of the Chair’s choosing.

“As Representative Reick pointed out, McHenry County voters made their feelings quite clear in 2012 when they overwhelmingly rejected the referendum to reorganize the county’s government,” said Weber. Half of his 64th District covers McHenry County from Lakewood and Crystal Lake all the way up to Spring Grove on the Wisconsin border. “Doesn’t that result matter? If the motives behind HB 3317 are about what is in the best interests of taxpayers, then bring the question back to the residents of McHenry County for another vote.”

According to Reick, the initiative was brought forward on behalf of McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks. “Chairman Franks lobbied hard for the passage of the County Executive referendum in 2012,” Reick said. “Voters rejected his plan for consolidated power, and it appears that now he wants to sidestep the county residents’ wishes and create his fiefdom through the Illinois legislature. This bill is an end-around to circumvent the clear will of the people of McHenry County.”

Weber concluded by saying, “If there is a restrictive aspect of state law that prevents local government from operating in the best interests of local taxpayers, then yes, the General Assembly should look at changing the law. That’s not the case here, McHenry County and the voters have the power to change their government structure without the state stepping in to micromanage the process. HB 3317 is simply bad public policy.”

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You can register your opposition here as well.


Reick and Weber Ask Citizen Help in Opposing Jack Franks’ Megalomania — 10 Comments

  1. Do any of the 100 plus counties in Illinois have a “county executive” type of government? If so, which are they and how well, or bad, do they operate. How about also in WISC and Indiana?

  2. But Reick lunches with Franks on at least a periodical basis … and that’s been going on for 3 years!

  3. You can’t say you weren’t warned (for the gazillionth time)!!

  4. Here is the current contents of House Bill 3317 in the 101st General Assembly.

    The bill is awaiting a 2nd reading in the State House.

    The State House is controlled by Michael Madigan, whom Jack Franks voted for 9 times to be Speaker of the House, during Mr. Franks’ 18 years as a State Representative.


    Section 5.

    The Counties Code is amended by adding Section 5-44065 and Division 5-45 as follows:


    55 ILCS 5/5-44065. new.

    Sec. 5-44065. new.

    Moratorium on capital programs, building projects, and land acquisition for a unit facing consolidation.

    A county board may, by resolution, prohibit or limit a unit of local government that it has proposed to consolidate under Section 5-44025 from starting a capital program, building project, or land acquisition for a set period of time, not to exceed 2 years, while the county board pursues possible consolidation.

    The resolution does not prevent the unit of local government from building infrastructure in the event of a disaster or other bona fide emergency.


    Division 5-45. new.

    McHenry County Equitable Standards and Governmental Efficiency Law


    55 ILCS 5/5-45001. new.

    Sec. 5-45001. new.

    Construction; reference to Division.

    (a) This Division applies to McHenry County.

    If there is a conflict between the provisions of this Division and any other provision of law, the provisions of this Division will control.

    (b) This Division may be referred to as the McHenry County Equitable Standards and Governmental Efficiency Law.


    Sec. 5-45005. new.

    Direct election of special district trustees.

    For any special district trustee the county board appoints relating to fire protection or other emergency services, the county board may, by resolution or ordinance, require that the electors of the applicable special district elect those trustees.


    Sec. 5-45010. new.

    Elimination of advisory committees or commissions.

    The county board chairperson may eliminate advisory or ad hoc committees or commissions for any of the following reasons or other adequate cause the chairperson may find:

    (1) infrequency of committee or commission meetings; or

    (2) lack of qualified candidates coming forward for appointment to a committee or commission.


    55 ILCS 5/5-45015. new.

    Sec. 5-45015. new.

    Creation of standing committees by chairman; appointment of members.

    With the advice and consent of a majority of the county board, the county board chairman elected by the voters of the county may:

    (1) create standing committees; and

    (2) appoint members and chairpersons to standing committees.


    55 ILCS 5/5-45020. new.

    Sec. 5-45020. new.

    Meeting agendas.

    The county board chairperson, or his or her designee, shall set the agendas for all county board meetings, including committee meetings of the county board.


    55 ILCS 5/5-45025. new.

    Sec. 5-45025. new.

    Office of the county auditor discontinued.

    At the end of the term of the county auditor in office on the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 101st General Assembly, the office of the county auditor is discontinued.

    The county board shall appoint a nationally recognized public accounting firm to perform the duties formerly performed by the office of the county auditor.


    55 ILCS 5/5-45030. new.

    Sec. 5-45030. new.

    County inspector general.

    The county board may appoint an inspector general to investigate waste, fraud, and abuse.

    The inspector general may turn over any findings of waste, fraud, and abuse to the State’s Attorney for prosecution.


    55 ILCS 5/5-45035. new.

    Sec. 5-45035. new.

    Reduction of county board chairperson’s powers.

    A three-fifths vote of the county board is required to reduce the chairperson’s powers set forth in the county board rules.


    55 ILCS 5/5-45040. new.

    Sec. 5-45040. new.

    Veto power of the chairperson.

    (a) The chairperson may reduce or veto any appropriations made by the county board.

    Appropriations not reduced or vetoed are adopted.

    (b) The county board may override the chairperson’s line-item reduction or veto by a three-fifths majority vote of the board.

    If a reduced appropriation is not restored as provided in this subsection, the appropriation shall be adopted in the reduced amount.


    55 ILCS 5/5-45045. new.

    Sec. 5-45045. new.

    Independent legal counsel; parliamentarian.

    The chairperson of the county board may hire an independent legal counsel or parliamentarian or both using county funds to represent the chairperson relating to county matters.

    If the chairperson hires an independent legal counsel or parliamentarian or both, the chairperson must reduce county spending in the amount required for expenditures under this Section.

    The reduction may be made anywhere in the budget at the discretion of the chairperson.


    55 ILCS 5/5-45050. new.

    Sec. 5-45050. new.

    County board chairperson; funding.

    On the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 101st General Assembly, the elected chairperson of the county board is a county office distinct from the county board.

    The county board shall provide adequate funding for the chairperson to have the resources and staff required to fulfill his or her duties.

    The county board may not reclassify employees in the chairperson’s office or transfer employees out of the chairperson’s office without the chairperson’s permission.


    55 ILCS 5/5-45055. new.

    Sec. 5-45055. new.

    County board health insurance.

    Health insurance benefits paid on behalf of county board members are eliminated on the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 101st General Assembly.

    The additional funding granted to the chairperson under Section 5-45050 shall not exceed the health insurance benefits eliminated under this Section.


    (55 ILCS 5/5-45060. new.

    Sec. 5-45060. new.

    Release of appropriated funds.

    The chairperson of the county board shall review each appropriated item.

    No money appropriated by the county board is obligated by the county unless the chairperson releases the money.


    55 ILCS 5/5-45065 new.

    Sec. 5-45065. new.

    Reduction or diversion of funds.

    The county chairperson has authority to reduce or divert moneys from a county fund with assets exceeding 150% of the previous year’s expenditures from that fund.

    Any moneys removed or diverted from a fund shall proportionately be distributed on a ratable basis to taxpayers.


    55 ILCS 5/5-45070. new.

    Sec. 5-45070. new.

    County clerk and county recorder consolidation.

    On the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 101st General Assembly:

    (1) the office of the county recorder shall cease and the county recorder’s term terminated; and

    (2) all duties, personnel of the county recorder, and applicable agreements, including, but not limited to, collective bargaining agreements relating to personnel, are transferred to the county clerk.

  5. HB 3317 provides more power to the County Board Chair.

    HB 3317 does not make McHenry County a County Executive form of government.

    HB 3317 does move McHenry County closer to a County Executive form of government.


    Illinois Association of County Board Members (IACBM)

    Forms of County Government

    – Township form (most counties including McHenry County)

    – Commission form (Alexander, Calhoun, Edwards, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Menard, Monroe, Morgan, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Scott, Union, Wabash, and Williamson).

    – County Executive form: Cook County, Champaign County, Will County (without home rule)



    NoCountyCzar channel

    October 19, 2012

    Republican State Representative Michael Tryon debates Democrat State Representative Jack Franks over whether to change McHenry County from a Township form of County government, to a County Executive form of County government, at a McHenry County College forum on October 17, 2012.


    The referendum question was placed on the ballot via a voter petition drive, as opposed to the County Board voting to place the question on the ballot.

    The referendum was November 6, 2012.

    The question as it appeared on the ballot:

    McHenry County proposition to adopt County Executive form of government

    Shall the County of McHenry adopt the County Executive form of government and elect not to become a home rule unit?

    No – 75,118 votes (64.38%)

    Yes – 41,563 votes (35.62%)

  6. Boil it down – the one man rule’ takes away having to follow county board rules, takes away oversight and takes away county board member representation and with line veto power, can screw with all your other elected offices as well.

    Those folks YOU voted for would be useless.


    We’ll go down to Springfield if we have to!

    This how Franks wants to deliver this county on a silver platter to Madigan.


    Wow Franks really has to wheel and deal and deliver to KingPin Madigan or he’s just a slimy, coughed up, day old, unwanted fur ball to the Fat Cat!

    No wonder Franks is calling and swearing at County Board Members, and hopping around as mad as hell!

    Wonder what deal McSweeney made with Franks to put this Dictator bill up?

    It must’ve been something good for McSweeney because he’s been hopping mad at Reps who are against this bill and those who are letting people know about it.

    See they don’t want you to know…

  7. This was obviously written by Franks.

    What did he promise McSweeney to get him to put this forward?

    No Chairman Moa Franks in Mchenry County!

    And McSweeney has some explaining to do!

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