One commenter, “Occam,” has pointed out that State Rep. Jack Franks has won the fight to get rid of County Board pensions:
There was a comment above that Franks’ goal was to remove the pension benefit.
As a practical matter, I’d say mission accomplished at this point.
No County Trustee in their right mind will (or can) now sign the IMRF affidavit certifying 1,000 hours worked.
The workload just doesn’t exist for 80+ hours/month.
And the County, as the employer, does not have the reporting policies/procedures/mechanisms in place for acquiring and retaining the records for the hours worked by the Trustees, as required by law.
Another, “cautious voter,” weighs in on the workload of a conscientious McHenry County Board member and the public’s interest in the pension issue versus their lack of interest in the money spend on education:
Scenerio: Board member is elected.
Board member has some idea of what Board members do and signs on for IMRF (not necessarily a pension because you are not vested unless you pay in for ten years) realizing that he / she is agreeing to the 1,000 hour per year work load.
Terms are for two or four years.
Board member expects to be assigned to a minimum of three committees and maybe as many as six or seven.
Board member is a known conservative or an unknown and the Board Chair person only assigns him / her to three committees.
Along comes Local 150 and Jack Franks.
Either or both are upset because the Board has approved the Rauner agenda and voted against Prevailing Wage.
Someone takes a look at the number of hours Board members spend in the twice monthly Board meetings, C.O.W. meetings and committee meetings to which they are assigned.
The data is sent to the IMRF Director and Jack Franks asks for a special prosecutor because no one works 1,000 hours based on the incomplete data.
Based on the chart provided, the Board Chair person only ‘worked’ for 56 hours.
This could raise the question, why did Jack Franks start the initiative to have a County Board Chairman elected at large when he / she only ‘works’ 56 hours a year?
Back to the theoretical Board member.
He / she spends about 100 hours in meetings as reported by Local 150.
However, he / she is ‘serving’ his / her constituents by sitting in on other committee meetings and at times participating but that time is not recorded or included in the Local 150 report.
He / she attends ZBA hearings relative to zoning changes in his / her district – not recorded.
He / she reads the entire ‘packet’ for each board / committee meeting and does background work to verify that what Staff is proposing will serve his / her constituents – not recorded.
The Board member receives a complaint from a constituent about noise generated by a horse race track and ends up spending an afternoon observing the activity.
This is followed up by spending many hours researching what if anything can be done for those affected.
Next he / she is called about noise from a four-wheel drive track.
This is followed by a one year project spent researching ordinances in other counties and formulating a plan to have an ordinance passed in McHenry to stop the activity.
After being engaged in many other ‘projects’ relative to ‘noise’, highways, roundabouts, county welfare benefits, Nursing home taxes, grants, homelessness etc. etc. he / she decides too much time is being consumed away from his / her family by these activities and decides after spending six or eight years as a County Board member he / she has done their share of public service and does not run for office again.
IMRF deductions made from his / her pay check are refunded and the County gets back their matching portion.
So, before more people go off further ‘half-cocked’ demanding an end to IMRF participation, demanding a Special Prosecutor (that we pay for), demanding a smaller board etc. think about this:
Do you like the fact that the Constitution guarantees public sector pensions and as posted elsewhere, yet again the Court rules against a change?
If not, convince your State Legislature to put a referendum on the ballot this fall or next year.
Do you like what is happening with property taxes for schools to support EVERYTHING the Teacher unions want because they continually hold children hostage and the school boards are populated with those who side with the union?
If you do not, remember school board elected officials get paid nothing.
The State Legislature continues to pursue a path of spending more than what we the taxpayers can afford.
The County has frozen their property tax levy.
The County has balanced the budget.
The County is reducing its staff to offset pay increases for those who are left.
Before you decide that the compensation package of IMRF participation and health benefits plus a salary is too high, remember School Boards are paid NOTHING.
How is that working out for you?
The County accounts for 9.7 % of your property taxes while school districts account for 67.16 %.