Wheeler Asks for Board Review of Administrator’s & Lobbyist’s Contracts, Instead of Automatic Extensions

Chuck Wheeler continued with the following in his member comment at the McHenry County Board meeting this past week:

On another matter, I further want to request the following.

Our County Administrator [Peter Austin] has a contact with the County that has an automatic rollover provision in it which automatically renews without the advice and consent of the entire County Board.

To me this lacks transparency and should be debated and negotiated by the board.

I, now, am requesting that administration provide the entire board with the entire contract prior to the next board meeting, prior to any adjustments or added contingencies.

This would include but not limited to all aspects such as the auto allowance for discussion in the next COW [Committee of the Whole[ meeting.

I would also like the Chairman of HR [Human Resources] to place Mr. Austin’s contract as a topic on the agenda for discussion Committee meeting well before the May renewal point as well.

Another one of our famous continual rolls over contract is the one for the Chairman Franks lobbyist.

Please provide the Contract for our lobbyist which we did not approve for continuance in every board member’s email.

In the appearance at our COW meeting it was determined that so far, we have spent at least $90,000 in consulting fees with and I quote, “zero return on our investment!”

But a promise that soon we will see results!

16 months is a long time with zero return on investment.

All matters of concern to this board should be open and transparent to the board and the public if possible.

A clear start and end date should also be stated in the contract.

I request a motion to reconsider this contract.

I am still waiting for it.

= = = = =

More tomorrow.


Wheeler Asks for Board Review of Administrator’s & Lobbyist’s Contracts, Instead of Automatic Extensions — 17 Comments

  1. Peter Austin is a Franks’ tool.

    With a shady past and dozens of complaints he gives board members the high hat and parades around the County Building like an Aztec High Priest, deciding who’ll be sacrificed on his whims.

  2. As a taxpayer, I demand the information.

    And an investigation.

  3. Is this information FOIA-able?

    What stops County Board members from obtaining sufficient information to take informed, meaningful action in their elected positions—which they themselves sought–which is critical to their responsibilities’ to represent taxpayers’ interests?

  4. Automatic extensions are not legal.

    Evergreen clauses are not permitted for local government!

    Is ANYONE reading the law?

  5. Kirk Allen: will you participate in a public meeting of taxpayers to outline our options for litigation to stop illegal taxation practices such as this?

    Is there any relief under civil law available to taxpayers to recover wrongful taxation in past years?

  6. Additionally, under Dillon’s Rule a public body only has the power vested in it by the legislature, and since the Automatic Contract Renewal Act [825 ILCS 601/5) specifically excludes public bodies from automatic contract renewals, they are unauthorized since the public body was never vested with the power to enter into one.

    Had the legislature wanted these types of contracts to be part of local government powers they would have included in the statute.

    “Parties” include individuals and other legal entities, but do not include the federal government, this State or another state, or a unit of local government.

  7. Look where he came from!

    Democratic swamp creature on the lurking prowl!

    He’s Franks’ “Fireman” putting out Franks’ fires.

    But he couldn’t put out the Franks 5 Alarm Blaze in ‘ole Springpatch!

    Well, I take that back —– maybe Peter Austin did help put out the original fire, that would explain how it was ‘quenched’ for so many years —– but like one of those below the surface coal fires, it flared up again after everybody ‘thought’ the fire had been extinguished!

  8. This is so disturbing to hear this it is such an unethical practice not only with the taxpayers money but that the board is not involved …

    Thanks c. Wheeler someone has to start putting the brakes on these people!

    Drain the swamp.

  9. If true and illegal, why isn’t the SA and or the AG investigating this for a possible crime? A

    re we really turning into N/W Crook County?

  10. Sorry Beamer, I don’t serve on the Administrative Services or HR, Committees.

    You should speak with your board committee members on these issues to question why nothing was done prior to this regarding Mr. Austin’s contract.

    All of those matters are discussed in detail during committee meetings.

    When I served on the Finance Committee back in 2016, I was the member that questioned the high balance of Valley Hi ($44M) and got the County to stop taxing for it.

    We eliminated the tax for Valley Hi.for two years afterwards.

    This was BEFORE Franks’ grandstand entrance onto the County Board.

    I now serve on Law n Government and Liquor Committee where the “Franks Lobbyist” was hired against my recommendation to do absolutely nothing for the County for the past two years to the tune of $90K!

    We could have read ‘Capitol Facts’ and gotten the same information, for free from Mr. Austin’s subscription Correction they told us what happened in the Capital, but didn’t bring McHenry County any useful results or contracts.

    In his own words, “zero return on investment!”

    FYI, each district has a board member that serves on each board committee.

    So once you determine who your rep.is from your district is that serves on Administrative Services, or HR, you can ask them, what’s going on?

    On another note I will publish Mr. Austin’s contract shortly.

    I would be interested and appreciate your thoughts as I have my own.

  11. Why isn’t there any communication between board members??!!!

    This is crazy.

  12. Watchdogs have done much to publicize governmental tomfoolery and tyranny.

    Has Mr. Wheeler been asleep for 3 months?

    Why wasn’t this action come soon after the revelations came out?

  13. Criticism of one of a very few Board members smart and brave enough to stand up against malfeasance, like Wheeler has for many years, is counterproductive.

    A better question would be: have taxpayers been asleep for months and years?

    Why aren’t we taxpayers organizing, filing tax objection lawsuits as impediments to this sort of corruption?

    And why aren’t we taxpayers smart enough to have noticed that alleged malfeasance ourselves?

    Thank you Mr. Wheeler for at least trying to help us.

    We sure don’t make it easy for you.

    Maybe you can describe ways we citizens can help you fight systemic corruption in the political industry.

    And EC Watchdogs are amazing, aren’t they?

    Helping us all in spite of our inertia.

  14. Sobieski, they were, you just weren’t listening when this measure passed.

    I and other board members have been shouting about this for the past two years but you as the public have to respond and demand action be taken.

    If you just read the tabloids, you only will hear what the swamp wants you to hear.

    Also, I stand corrected on my figure on the cost of the “Franks Lobbyist”, it now exceeds $270K.

  15. Ok, Mr. Wheeler.

    But what’s wrong with so many of the GOP bd members?

    Are they incompetent?

    That Austin character looks like a real sneering thug… straight out of central casting.

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