After acting like Jack Franks’ punching bag since the organization meeting (see “Board Votes 14-9 to Replace Paula Yensen as Chairman of Public Health with Chuck Wheeler” and “County Board Rules Passed with Addition of Human Resources Committee” the McHenry County Board hit back at last month’s Board meeting.
They has a personal stake in the fight about salaries and health benefits, but, still, it was refreshing to see push back against the Democratic Party’s McHenry County Board Chairman after so many months of acquiescence to seemingly his every wish.
At the meeting, Franks began his offensive to cut County Board and countywide elected officials salaries (in 2022) and require time cards for those receiving health benefits during his opening statement.
He pointed out that local countywide officials were paid more than those in other collar counties, that County Board salaries on a per capita basis were the “highest by far” and that he “gets paid twenty thousand less” than any other collar county board chairman (ignoring the fact that Franks has County Administrator Peter Austin to do his heavy lifting, while, Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen, for instance, actually does what Austin does, plus what part-time Franks does).
In an attempt to shame the County Board members into voting to lower their compensation, Franks mentioned county furloughs, without pointing out there were only fifteen such affected employees.
With the county facing a “$20 million” deficit, Franks argued, “Our salaries are low hanging fruit.”
He did not point out how minuscule (0.05% of county budget) the reduction of County Board salaries would be, but a bi-partisan group of Board members did in an op-ed piece published by the Northwest Herald before the meeting.