Franks, Heatedly, and Tryon, More Calmly, Debate County Executive Form of Government

Every seat was not filled, but there was a respectable crowd at the Patriots United forum on the referendum to change McHenry County from a strong Board -weak Chairman form of government to a strong County Executive-do-equal Board form of government.

I haven’t had the opportunity to see State Rep. Jack Franks turn up the heat in a debate for a long time, but tonight he had all four burners turned on high.

Jack Franks attacks cronyism on the McHenry County Board.

The problem was, the man he wanted to debate–McHenry County Board Chairman Ken Koehler–wasn’t on the stage.

His predecessor, who served as County Board Chairman six years, now-State Rep. Mike Tryon was.

And Tryon didn’t take the attacks lobed in Koehler’s direction personally.

The occasion was a debate sponsored by Patriots United on the County Executive form of government put on the ballot by Franks and his supporters. It was held at McHenry County College.

Franks main talking point was that property taxes would be lower under a County Executive form of government.

Mike Tryon got in his licks, pointing out that a County Executive could issue contracts up to $25,000 without Board approval and draw a County Board District map behind closed doors. Jack Franks criticized an illegal secret meeting of County Board members to discuss reapportionment.

He repeated and repeated that pitch, even after Tryon pointed out that about 30% of the reason for our higher taxes are taxes levied because voters approved referendums for

  • Valley Hi (the county nursing home)
  • Veterans Assistance
  • Mental Health
  • Senior Services

“McHenry County has one of the smallest portions of your tax bill,” Tryon added. “Almost every unit of government raises its taxes as much as it can.”

More transparency was another benefit that Franks pitched to the audience.  He repeatedly condemned the illegal secret meeting conducted by County Board members during the reapportionment fight.

Here’s a sample, “Do you really believe it was an accident when they knowingly [met to gerrymander County Board districts in violation of the] Open Meetings Act?”

Then, Franks added:  “They laugh when they take the money to the bank.”

Tryon’s position?

“I don’t see it increasing accountability.  So many decisions will be made by the County Executive that are now decided in open committee meetings.”

In closing, Tryon challenged the transparency of the campaign to obtain passage.

Franks has just pointed out the supporters of the No County Czar campaign were insiders.

Tryon pointed out that that committee has filed a campaign disclosure report and read off the names of the contributors, which included himself.

The “Vote Yes” yard sign whose design is the same used on admitted Jack Franks’ “Vote Yes” flyers.  The name of the group no Republican has heard of is in the lower left hand corner of the sign.  Click to enlarge.

Then he pointed to the “Vote Yes” signs which contain the identification “McHenry County Republicans for Lower Taxes.”

“This has started with no transparency,” Tryon said, pointing out he headed the McHenry County Republican Party and he had no idea who comprised the group.

“But these signs are showing up next to Representative Franks’.”

Two of the questions asked in advance by an audience member that went unanswered might have shed some light on the connection of Franks to the signs, the image of which appear on Franks-sponsored literature distributed at MCC:

This piece of literature, handed out by Jack Franks’ people at MCC is almost identical to the yard sign.  On the back, it says, “Paid for by Supporters of Jack D. Franks.”

“What are your affiliations with the people and special interest groups who are distributing yard signs and literature for ‘Vote Yes’ and ‘Vote No’?

“If Mr. Franks says he has no affiliation with the ‘Vote Yes’ signs, why is the artwork on your leaflet (see Franks’ distributor identification at bottom left of the leaflet image) the same as that on the sign?”

One question that was answered was whether Jack Franks would run for the office, if the referendum passes.

He defanged that issue by declaring,

“I will neither seek nor accept the nomination for this office.”

Tryon, however, did not rule out a candidacy.

“It would be kind of appealing to come back to McHenry County and [run a good government]. I can’t tell you I wouldn’t run. I would have a real concern if the wrong person emerges as a candidate.”

“I’d vote for you, Mike. I think you’d do a good job,” Franks replied.

= = = = =
Other takes on the meeting:

First Electric Newspaper
Northwest Herald


Franks, Heatedly, and Tryon, More Calmly, Debate County Executive Form of Government — 19 Comments

  1. Having practised real estate taxation law for more than 45 years, I can assure EVERY taxpayer that the form of government has absolutely nothing, nada, zilch to do with the taxes paid by ANY taxpayer in McHenry or Will County. The amount of dollars levied (requested by the unit of government) is the sole function of the individual taxing body. The City of McHenry did not increase its levy last year, most other municipalities did, therefore the tax rates went up significantly. I will vote NO on the question.

  2. Franks is no longer psychologically stable.

    He has lost it and I believe it’s because he’s a narcissitic egomaniac.

    He is a bad state rep. He is only “liked” because he raped the state of money when times were good with “membership initiatives”.

    He is a disgrace.

    Proof that he is a political LOON is that he is supported by the likes of BOTH Jack Roeser AND Personal PAC.

  3. He also lied about Home Rule… It doesn’t lower taxes… I will be making a Fallacy Video on the debate sometime this weekend. Stay tuned.

  4. Tryon said he would only run if the wrong person was running for the position… Caught it on video too…

  5. For all his blustering, Jack Franks ought to sink his deep pockets into a personal windfarm.

    He’d make a bigger fortune making those windmills spin round and round, What a blowhard!

  6. Screamin’ Chainsaw Jack should start his own comedy show ’cause he’s a bundle of laughs. Who, in their right mind, could vote for this clown for anything, including dog catcher?

    …….and Tryon………Who is the “Right Candidate,” Mike? You?

    I think not.

    We would have to pick someone without ties to Jourdan and the good ‘ole boys.

  7. Why don’t they put an option to vote for the County Board Chairman on the ballot?

    I think a lot of people would go for that vs. the County Executive or the current system.

    Just another example of pretending to give the voters an option when in fact the best solution is not presented.

  8. @ Jim:

    It would then become a “Beauty Contest” and the tax payers would get the


  9. Jim hit the nail on the head.

    The Board has had numerous opportunies to do the right thing themselves.

    Only the Board can initiate a referendum to elect a Chair.

    They have no one to blame but themselves for the position we’re in.

  10. They had the opportunity to put a referendum to elect the chairman at large and voted against it saying it would be confusing to the voters.

    Couldn’t they have used the same funds to educate voters as to the difference that they are fighting the county executive?

    Look beyond Will County- there are numerous examples of county executive style governments.

    In fact, Scott Walker served as County Executive of Milwaukee COunty for 8 years.

  11. From what I heard last night, Franks’ arguments had more to do with him disagreeing with the county board on specific decisions and NOTHING that would support changing the form of government.

    If he was really concerned about the votes that elected representatives were making, he’d be supporting candidates that have said they would work to reduce County taxes?



    His solution is to ‘return the power to the citizens’ by giving them an additional layer of government that could overrule the county board, a layer of government that they also elect????

    After hearing all of the wrongs that an elected county executive could right, I’m left to wonder, if this referendum passes and we do elect a county executive, what happens if we elect the wrong guy?

    Then what?

    One has to wonder who is pulling Rep. Franks strings.

  12. Mike,

    If “someone is pulling Franks’ strings” the strings really need to be reinforced ropes as Jack has gained significant weight. Whew, that man needs a diet.

    Jack ego alone is obese.

    No, Jack just has undue influence on the local Republican leaders and now he’s pushing his agenda. He’s losing his mind, really.

  13. CLM, Jack Roeser does not support Jack Franks.

    A simple check of State Board of Elections will show the largest contribution to stop the County Czar came from none other than Jack Roeser, $5,000.

    Jack is fighting against Personal PAC in more than a dozen races throughout the state.

    David McSweeney’s fight against Personal Pac is just one example.

    Roeser’s $120,000 donation to offset Personal PAC’s support of Dee Liberal!!

  14. Franks needs to go down the drain with his Drano Bill….

    Franks needs to get chopped down like his ComEd Killer Chainsaw Bill…

    Franks is a true lying Democrat…

  15. Property taxes have gone up while values decreased something is very wrong with this formula and something must be done about it.

    My feeling is if you have to be scrutenized you may think differently.

    I vote yes.

  16. I am a republican but this has been an outrage!

    We may as well have liberals running things the way costs have gone up.

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