The Hammerand Request – Getting Stranger and Stranger

After the Tuesday, January 6th meeting of the McHenry County Board, Northwest Herald reporter Kevin Craver thought the the refusal of the McHenry County Board to allow District 4 member John Hammerand was the biggest story of the night.

That was the topic of the story that appeared in the paper the next day on pages 3 and 4.

Two paragraphs of that story in particular caught my attention.

It was Ken Koehler’s statement that there was no doctor’s note that Hammerand had to be out of the McHenry County cold and the statement that neither Chairman Joe Gottemoller nor Administrator Peter Austin had received any communication from Hammerand.

So I went FOIA searching to see if the statements were true.

What I received was summarized below in an email from Deputy County Administrator Scott Hartmen:

  1. Email chain beginning on December 24, 2014 at 12:07 p.m. from Scott Hartman to John Hammerand with the subject of “Remote Meeting Attendance” and concluding on January 2, 2015 at 5:01 p.m. from Scott Hartman to John Hammerand with the subject of “RE: Remote Meeting Attendance” consisting of 3 emails.
  2. Email chain beginning on December 24, 2014 at 12:07 p.m. from Scott Hartman to John Hammerand with the subject of “Remote Meeting Attendance” and concluding on December 30, 2014 at 3:13 p.m. from Scott Hartman to Peter Austin with the subject of “RE: Remote Meeting Attendance” consisting of 7 emails.
  3. Email dated January 6, 2015 at 5:23 p.m. from Scott Hartman to John Hammerand with the subject of “Remote County Board Meeting Attendance.”

Let’s take a look at the emails in chronological order.

Hammerand Email 1 from Scott Hartman 12-24

Hammerand Email 2 from John to Scott 12-29Hammerand Email from Scott to Austin 2-41 12-30Hammerand Email from Austin to Scott 12-30Hammerand Email Scott to Austin 3-10 12-30Hammerand Email Austin to Scott 3-11 12-30

Hammerand Email Scott to Austin 3-13 12-30 BHammerand Email 3 from Scott to John 1-2Hammerand Email Soctt to John 1-5

The vote was 10-10. Tie votes fail. Here’s how my source says the members voted:

Wheeler – Yes
Aavang – Yes
Barnes – Yes
Daffkorn – NO (Yelling it loud)
Evertsen – Yes
Gasser – Yes
Heisler – Yes
Hill – No
Jung – Absent
Koehler – No
Kopsell – No
Kurtz – Absent
Martens – No
McCann – Yes
Miller – No
Nowak – No
Provenzano – Yes
Rein – Yes
Schofield – No
Skala – No
Smith – Yes
Chairman Gottemoller – No

The Northwest Herald’s Editorial Board came down on Hammerand’s side on Saturday.

The Saturday “Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down” was headlined:

Our View: Constituents left without representation

John Hammerand

John Hammerand

The ten County Board members who voted against allowing Hammerand to participate were given a “Thumbs Down.”

Excluding Hammerand from the meeting meant

“Hammerand’s constituents had one fewer board member representing their interests. While elected officials should make every effort to attend meetings in person, governmental bodies should err on the side of inclusion when exceptions like this arise.”


The Hammerand Request – Getting Stranger and Stranger — 15 Comments

  1. I would love to know why Tina Hill voted against this.

    She was allowed to attend meetings remotely when she was in alcohol rehabilitation following her dui.

    There was not a vote, she was just allowed.

    Why is she allowed to attend remotely and not Hammerand?

    District 4, who overwhelmingly voted for Hammerand, over any and all candidates on the 2014 ballot are now without their favorite representative.

    This is shameful for our County Board to treat Hammerand this way.

    Sue Draffkorn also needs to explain her vote.

    Why would she vote against a fellow representative of District 4?

    Bob Martens??

    Explain your vote.

  2. My son takes sick days like this all the time.

    Of course his cough clears up almost immediately after he goes back to his bedroom and the Nintendo clicks on.

  3. I wonder if they have rules on how to properly screw in a light bulb.

  4. With that said it seems a simple doctors note would have sufficed.

    Did he not submit the doctor’s note.

    Did he not receive enough warning to submit the doctors note.

    The Northwest Herald article contains information the County Board emails do not.

    It seems the County Board went over board, are they afraid of setting a precedent, unless they think he’s lying or they want to make his life difficult it seems they could have given him a pass while this is being worked out.

    Instead of spending time on this procedural stuff how about some more financial transparency for the McHenry County Conservation District on the McHenry County Conservation District website, ditto any other subsidiary’s of the County.

  5. makes no sense to me…

    why not let John participate…

    we should be happy when folks want to do the work..

    What are folks afraid of???

  6. sorry to see Carolyn in lock step….

    very disappointed in that

  7. Voters, take careful notes until the next election.

    Many of these members need to be voted OUT.

    I agree with Miss Uppity.

    Why did Tina Hill get a pass – and then she voted no?

  8. It is beyond ridiculous that, in the 21st century, we cannot have members meet via speakerphone if a member is sick.

    While I do not agree with many of the HIPAA laws, until they are modified this is the law.

    How is a member of the board going to vote “No,” vote against a member attending the meeting via speakerphone when that member is sick?

    Do board members expect to be given detailed information on the nature of the illness in violation of HIPAA or are they waiting for a “Doctor’s note?”

    I certainly hope it wasn’t a matter of politics, somebody not wanting John Hammerand to be present at a particular vote.

  9. Members have been allowed to phone in while they were sick.

    Just not John Hammerand.

    Our county board is looking like a bunch of fools-especially the ones that voted against Hammerand. Gottemoller is looking like an incompetent dishonest dope!

  10. No where does it say he is sick.

    He could have followed the procedures ANY employer would have required and Submitted a medical exception to the HR department.

    He is snow birding.

    Stop acting like it is something else. I

    live in District 4- when he is out of the market for extended times I AM without representation.

  11. Well, dist 4 is definitely without conservative representation now.

    It is left to the majority with Draffkorn and Martens, who by the way, voted to stop Hammerand from attending.

    I hope you are happy with the tax and spend liberals representing you!!!

  12. Can we talk about what this stunt says about the difficulty of the job?

    If John thinks he can perform his duties with his toes in the sand in Naples, the job of being a county board member isn’t really a job.

    If this task is so easy, why are we giving the bums $20k per year plus full retirement and medical benefits?

  13. Miss Uppity- John Hammerand has been going on vacation in Florida for a decade.

    If he wants to participate on the board- be present.

    This job requires 26 meeting of which he will miss 6 of them.

    Historically this has been a challenge with the committees he has lead because he is not in the area to call a meeting.

    This malarkey of a illness is very timely- but either way he did not comply with the very simple request to supply a doctors note to the appropriate parties.

    Are you to tell me you could show a note to your boss, not provide a copy and be allowed to not attend work?

    It was not made public that he is gone for two months of the year when he ran for office.

    If it is the cold- why was he here in October when it snowed?

    District 4 is without representation because it is sitting in Florida.

  14. I don’t think it was ever meant to be a “job”.

    Has no one ever seen “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington?”

    All of this was set up originally to be volunteer type (like jury duty?) civic minded giving back to your local comrades.

    When it got to be a money-making-power-over-others scheme is when it all fell apart.

    Until humankind gets this, only Jesus will be able to sort it out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.