Close readers already know that McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks wants to centralize power in his hands.
He has proposed getting rid of the Auditor’s Office, the Regional Superintendent of Schools and the Coroner.
Would anyone be surprised to learn that Franks himself wants to control all three offices?
Indeed with the Auditor’s Office, Franks made it quite clear that he preferred an “Inspector General” that would report to him…indirectly, but through the compliant County Administrator Peter Austin.
Now in the Northwest Herald, Franks tries to re-write history by writing that the Office of County Auditor was created in order to provide a job for former McHenry County Republican Party Chairman Al Jourdan.
Most Illinois counties don’t have elected auditors. Our office was created in 1964 for the purpose of giving the McHenry County Republican Party chairman, a meat cutter by trade, a government patronage job.
There are three things incorrect in the second sentence of that paragraph.
Franks, who is licensed to practice law, apparently isn’t up to figuring out that County Auditors are created in any county which has a population of 75,000 or more people.
So, most counties don’t have county auditors because they don’t have enough people.
McHenry County passed that level in the 1960 census, reaching 84,210 people, hence, the creation of the Auditor as an elected official.
So, that’s one thing wrong with Franks’ statement.
The first election was in 1964.
That was fifty-five years ago.
Was Franks even born when candidates filed for office for the 1964 election?
I was and my father was one of the two candidates who ran in the 1964 GOP Primary Election.
The Chairman of the County Board, Harley Mackeben, also the Grafton Township Supervisor, was the GOP favorite.
My father thought him unqualified and ran a weekend campaign for the nomination, telling people it certainly was not a full-time job.
Cal Skinner, Sr., almost beat him, losing by about 300 votes.
So, the Auditor’s office was not created for the purpose of giving Al Jourdan a job.
That’s the second wrong part of Franks’ statement.
In fact, Jourdan was not even Chairman of the County Republican Party in 1964. (I’m not sure he even lived in McHenry County at the time.)
Jake LeVesque of McCullom Lake headed the local GOP.
In 1966, he was followed by Ted Wickham, who lived on Ridge Road south of Wonder Lake and Route 120 now just north of the Bull Valley Village line.
In 1968, Jourdan was elected GOP Chairman, the same year that Jack Schaffer beat Mackeben in the Republican Primary Election for County Auditor.
It was not until 1972 when Schaffer ran for the State Senate that Jourdan ran for County Auditor.
The third thing wrong with Franks’ statement is that the Auditor is a patronage jub.
The only way that could be correct would be if the office Franks also holds is a patronage office.
Indeed, the argument could be made that since Franks worked so hard to create his current office that he himself holds “a government patronage job,” to put it in the words he uses to make a false accusation about Al Jourdan.