Democrats Oppose Jack Franks’ County Executive Referendum

Jack Franks

State Rep. Jack Franks may be the leading Democrat in McHenry County, but his support among other Democratic Party activists isn’t sufficient to get other leading Democrats to support his referendum to switch from a weak Executive to a strong Executive form of county government.

I’m not terribly surprised, given I never saw him at the meetings of the Democratic Party Central Committee I attended.  (That was two years ago.  Maybe he goes now.)

Nick Chirkos

In the County Board debate on whether to put a competing referendum on the ballot that would allow voters to elect the County Board Chairman, as is the case in nearby Kane, DuPage and Winnebago Counties, three prominent Democrats spoke out in opposition to the Franks’ position.

In the Public Comment period on August 17th, District 1 County Board candidate Nick Chirikos.said, “I question Mr. Franks’ timing.

“I think the voters of McHenry County deserve a better opportunity.”

Kathy Bergan Schmidt

He went on to say that there was a “possibility even misrepresentation in the manner in which the petitions were collected.”

When asked later if he opposed the referendum’s passage, he said, “I am opposed to it.”

Later in the meeting, District 3 Democrat Kathy Bergan Schmidt, a former head of the Party Central Committee, lashed into Franks’ proposal:

“I, for one, will be out there urging people to vote against this Trojan Horse referendum that was certified yesterday.”

Paula Yensen

Paula Yensen, wife of the current Party Chairman Mike Bissett, agreed with Schmidt when her time to talk came.

“I’m in concurrence with Kathy Bergan Schmidt’s opposition [to the County Executive form of government].

“It gives unlimited power to that position.

“A countywide race for that position would be very expensive,” she said, pointing out that it cost $100,000 in Kane County.

“I do not support Mr. Franks’ referendum.”


Democrats Oppose Jack Franks’ County Executive Referendum — 6 Comments

  1. The Democratic candidates can say they are opposed now to win votes, but vote for it come November.

    How foolish do they think the voters are?

  2. This referendum isn’t something the candidates vote for, IV.

    In November, the VOTERS will either approve or disapprove the referendum on the County Executive.

    Just try and focus on the ballot. When you come to the question about “County Executive Form of Government” check the “NO” box.

    Like the rest of us are going to do.

  3. “Nick Chirikos says.. This referendum isn’t something the candidates vote for, IV….”

    Looks like you are confused…per your comment above, as well as mine.
    I believe you did comment as to your opposition to the referendum.
    This I believe is deceiving since Franks is a Democrat and you are a Democrat.

    You are attempting to acquire votes for yourself.
    I assume you will be voting in November?

    Don’t forget to display your favorite Democratic signs in your yard.

    FYI: Melissa Bean is not running for any office in 2012, but Obama and Chain Saw Jack are….

  4. Your headline is misleading.

    Not all democrats disapprove of the referendum.

    You are using the fallacious argument of authority and not providing claims for why the County Executive style of government is ‘bad.’

  5. It’s hard to believe a regular reader would not have learned that I think the County Executive form of government is “bad” because it will greatly concentrate power in county government in the hands of one person.

    Now it is much more dispersed.

    Search for Walkup on this blog and you will find more arguments against the referendum

    And, when a Democrat wants to use his or her name as being in favor, I shall certainly post the comment.

  6. The November 6, 2012 referendum to convert McHenry County to a County Executive form of government and have an elected County Executive failed.

    The March 18, 2014 referendum to convert the McHenry County Board Chair to a voter elected position passed.

    As a result of the November 4, 2014 election, all 24 members of the McHenry County Board are Republican.

    On March 15, 2016 Jack Franks was unopposed as Democrat candidate for 63rd District State Representative. There was no Democrat candidate for McHenry County Board Chair.

    On May 15, 2016, Jack Franks announced he was a Democrat candidate for McHenry County Board Chair.

    On July 7, 2016, Jack Franks name first appeared on the Illinois State Board of Elections (SBE) website as a withdrawn candidate for 63rd District State Representative.

    On November 8, 2016, Jack Franks became the first voter elected McHenry County Board Chair.

    As a result of the November 8, 2016 election, 23 of 24 county board members are Republican, and the County Board Chair, who does not vote on county board matters and is not one of the 24 county board members, is a Democrat.

    The Democrat county board member is Paula Yensen, wife of the chair of the McHenry County Democrat party, Michael Bissett.

    She is a board member in District 5.


    Paula Yensen

    2016 – $07,432 – IMRF (Pension)
    2015 – $07,251 – IMRF (Pension)
    2014 – $19,385 – McHenry County
    2013 – $20,962 – McHenry County
    2012 – $21,028 – McHenry County
    2011 – $20,243 – McHenry County
    2010 – $19,798 – McHenry County
    2009 – $19,361 – McHenry County
    2008 – $01,487 – McHenry County
    2001 – $35,154 – Oak Park Township
    2000 – $49,919 – Oak Park Township


    There are currently 6 districts with 4 board members each on the McHenry County Board.

    There is currently an effort underway to convert that to 12 single member districts.

    Thus 12 districts with 1 member each.

    That would double the work of the resulting board members and would result in each board member having more voting power.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.