County Considering Cutting Number of Board Members by One-Third, Running in Single-Member Districts

8:30 Tuesday morning, the McHenry County Board’s Legislative Committee will consider a resolution for an advisory referendum to cut the size of the Board by one-third.

There are now twenty-four members elected from six districts.

These are the twenty-four people currently on the McHenry County Board.

These are the twenty-four people currently on the McHenry County Board.

The advisory referendum intends the remaining sixteen members to be elected from sixteen single member districts.

This is a proposal of Democratic Party State Rep. Jack Franks (D-Marengo).

This is leaf from Governor Pat Quinn’s activist days in 1982 when he spearheaded the Cutback Amendment that cut the size of the Illinois House by one-third.

In counties with smaller county boards, there are higher salaries.  (Salaries of county board members in the suburban metropolitan area can be found here.)

As I remember, Franks passed this legislation about a decade ago.

There are two triggering mechanisms.

One is by citizen petition.

Franks did not care enough about the issue to take that route.

The other is by County Board resolution.

Franks has asked the McHenry County Board to put the advisory referendum on the ballot.

If the Board members do so, Franks will be saved the effort of passing a petition.

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Putting on the hat I wore when I taught State and Local Government at Harper and Rockford Colleges, I would observe that members of the minority party have a better chance at getting elected in single-member districts than in multi-member districts.


County Considering Cutting Number of Board Members by One-Third, Running in Single-Member Districts — 10 Comments

  1. I would prefer they eliminate the benefits package for them instead and leave the size alone

  2. What if they cut the members to 3 per district, eliminating 1/4 of the members.

  3. How about 3 per district and eliminate the benefits package?

    Is this a part time job with less than 30 hours per week (hours politicking should not count in the calculation, it doesn’t in the private sector)?

    Is this a service to our community or a career?

    Can we have boards, city, township, county, state, and fed look at what they are doing versus what is there legal responsibility to do?

    Can we actually measure the results of their services to determine if government should provide services or should they be provided by the private and/or non-profit organizations?

    People in these positions work very hard.

    I do not deny this.

    But arranging deck chairs as we sink is not a good thing.

    Unless a “clear the decks” initiative is done 1st to confirm what is necessary to be done, good work may not get done, and the results may not hit the objective of less expensive, more efficient, and a trustworthy government.

    Please do not do Ready, Fire, Aim.

  4. Start with Paula Yenson.. In my opinion, she does not serve the best interests of the county.

  5. I love how Cal Skinner tries to have it both ways.

    When Franks ran in 2012 and did not have an opponent, Skinner whined about how Franks was using his time to circulate a referendum.

    His words were, “Jack Franks doesn’t have to worry about Republican Tea Party-inspired Tonya Franklin nipping at his heels this fall, so what’s he doing? He using his energies to pass [a referendum].”

    BUT when Franks has a legit opponent the tune changes.

    All of a sudden Skinner screeches that Franks doesn’t CARE enough about cutting the size of the board.

    Franks doesn’t want to put forth the EFFORT to pass petitions.

    Cal Skinner seems to want it both ways.

    Yet, when we look at history, it was Franks who pressured the board with the County Executive referendum in 2012 that led to the Board finally giving the voters a chance to choose their Chairman in the coming years.

    It is Franks who spearheaded the issue of cutting the board.

    And I HOPE to GOD after the County Board is Cut in size that the members have the AUDACITY to ask Taxpayers for MORE MONEY!

    I DARE the board members to ask for greater salaries.

    I PRAY that the taxpayers see them ask for more when property values are declining and homeowners are hurting.

    And it will be all because Franks took little steps, while Cal Skinner arm chair quarterbacked and whined while trying to have it both ways in the end.

  6. There are some Board members who are there for the right reasons and others who have milked their districts for themselves and their families.

    But what we fail to do over and over again is hold these people accountable for their actions.

    Which of them voted yes for the building of the Mental Health building?

    Our building and zoning division is awful. Who is in charge from the board. We need to hold them out to dry.

    Tina Hill has not even been to 1/2 the meetings I am told.

    One member is getting over 400K ( In my opinion) between her and her two kids and she is really awful.

    A terrible example for a county Board member.

    Lets start that petition now with committeemen.

  7. The size of the McHenry County Board can be curtailed and not affect it’s efficiency or operation negatively.

    Three member districts would reduce the size of the board and make things more manageable while still allowing residents adequate representation.

    But make no mistake this will not save the tax payer large sums of money.

    We need to concentrate or the “BIG ISSUES” like the $5 Million salt storage facility being touted by staff and some board members that are loose with our tax dollars.

    Why not look into combining resources with another municipality and share space?

    Why not rent space?

    Why purchase space like the MHB did with it’s facility acquisition?

    A lesson should be learned by the City of McHenry and Spring Grove that combined their resources to handle “traffic death investigations” which doesn’t happen often but requires costly and specific resources and manpower.

    Also, when staff member tells a board member when they ask where the potential site for the salt storage facility is located that “if we tell you the cost make the cost go up;” it is time for an Executive Session to discuss “The Hiring and Firing” of employees.

    Our job is to be a steward of the taxpayer and ‘not pass it and find out later’!

  8. Bold words from Candidate Wheeler saying that cutting the board size would not save taxpayer dollars.

    So should I be led to believe board members are paid in cocaine and unicorns for your public service?

  9. Not what I said, fair play read what is written.

    It will save money and I think it makes sense it just won’t make a big difference in your taxes.

  10. What you said is you would rather focus on road salt than cutting big government.

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