Saving his presentation until almost last, Master of Ceremonies Dr. Michael Rein spoke after Republican candidate for County Board Chairman Mike Buehler.
“It’s a collaborative effort,” Buehler told the audience.
Both 6th congressional district candidate Jeanne Ives and 14th District candidate Jim Oberweis are cooperating with the campaigns of local Republicans.
Ives has the larger sign campaign and one can see Buehler next to her signs at most locations.
Rein said people could be convinced to vote for Buehler, “once you given them the facts.”
Rein then concentrated on his own campaign.”Jack Franks spend $30-$40,000 to get me off the Board.”
The hit pieces put out against Rein were fabricated at best since Rein was himself on a high deductible plan and received less than $30 for mileage over his 4 yr term.
“I stood up to Jack Franks from Day 1.
“I’ll never forget Jack Franks saying, ‘Well, it’s low risk and high reward.’
“No,” Rein replied, “It’s about what’s right and wrong.”
Rein also was one of those who called Franks out on his two patronage workers.
Turning to the money his efforts saved County government, Rein pointed to the Board’s following his suggestion to drop down one level on the self-insured Blue Cross medical coverage.
The result was a savings of $1.4 million a year.
All new employees were put on a high deductible, a change from the “Ferrari” kind of a policy with only a $250 deductible for individuals and $500 per family when he first got on the board.
Incentives for getting healthier were also instituted.”Since 2016, the county has saved over $10 million just in health care,” Rein continued.
“I still think they have a fair policy.”
Employees receive a stipend to put into their HSA accounts yearly to help offset those high deductibles.
Moving onto a over than $4 million remodeling proposal from Franks, the man who used to work with his father in construction convinced the Board to cut the cost to $2.8 million.
“He wanted to add certain things that were just nonsense.”
Franks wanted small conference rooms that did not serve any purpose and he wanted to remodel and move all departments.
Other major contributors were Jim Kearns and Mary McCann.
When Dr. Anne Majewski decided to retire, Rein said she asked him if he would be willing to run.
“The County Coroner is not a sexy position by any means but a vital one” but Rein thought about it for awhile because he would have to give up his practice of 18 yrs.
He continued, urging people to vote “No'” on the referendum
“You are voting to get rid of your vote and hand it over to a politician.
“The power is in your (citizens) hands why would you want to give that away?
“Twenty years from now, you could have someone worse than Jack Franks.”
Rein pointed out that the Coroner is not in the “Who done it scenario.”
The Coroner determines the cause and manner of death.
“Autopsies are hired out.
“Since there are only 500 medical examiners in the nation to have a medical examiner in each county is impossible.
“If the post is appointed, whoever is County Chairman, County Administrator or even County Board members could have undue influence.”
Rein pointed to the high profile AJ case with a Board Member (Carlos Acosta) being involved in the case from working with DCFS.
Rein said that he wanted to use the office as a platform to educate the public, citing the 38% of kids who are either overweight or obese.
He stated kids along with adults need to become more active.
Other votes that Rein had, when board members were asked to vote on term limits he voted on an amendment to retroactively start board members time instead of starting in 2020 or 2022.
Rein voted to give back almost $600,000 when a bond expired to the taxpayers instead of it going into the general fund.
He also voted to reduce the county board from 24-18.
The final speaker was the new McHenry County Republican Party Chairman Tyler Wilke.
He stressed that people should apply for a mailed ballot, pointing out we have no idea what might happen on Election Day.
One could keep the ballot until then, turn it in at the polls and vote in person or place it in one of the County Clerk’s secure boxes.