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Democratic Party Jack Franks has a great sense of timing.
And, as I have told many folks, timing is pretty much everything in politics.
Franks pushed for an elected County Executive and ended up with an elected County Board Chairman.
Less power–not even a vote on the Board or veto power–but elected at-large.
Franks advocates for a smaller County Board and the Republicans on the County Board put such an advisory referendum on the ballot this fall, even though every County Board member knows it will pass.
Franks called the County Board out for taking pensions for their part-time jobs.
He asked the McHenry County State’s Attorney to appoint a Special Prosecutor to see if County Board members had criminally violated the law which says members must work 1000 hours a year to qualify for their pensions.
Lou Bianchi made a move to do so, then backtracked.
Franks convinced the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund to probe the situation and it is.
On May 3rd, Republican County Board Chairman nominee Mike Walkup called for abolishing those IMRF pensions starting next term, but the Northwest Herald ignored that.
When Franks caught State Senator Pam Althoff’s bill (Senate Bill 2701) to require time sheets to be kept to document the 1000 hours, the NWH ran an article.
This past week, Franks snagged another article by amending the bill to abolish such pensions.
It does mention the Walkup call for abolition, but Franks got top billing.
Of course, “Franks rejected the idea that he amended Althoff’s bill as part of an election campaign,” he told the Northwest Herald.
The amendment is in the House Rules Committee and awaits judgment from House Speaker Mike Madigan before it can be considered further.
(A Sangamon County Board member, Tony DelGiorno, got caught in the Jack Franks trap. The Springfield attorney is running for State Representative as a Democrat against an appointed Republican woman, Sara Wojcicki Jimenez. Will the legislation help or hurt Madigan’s candidate?)
The McHenry County Board could have preempted that legislation by expeditiously following Mike Walkup’s advice.
But it did not.
And that is the problem with the County Board.
It is not nimble.
Perhaps that is a consequence of its being a relative large legislative body.
Whatever the reason, Jack is nimble.
Jack is quick.
When he sees an opening he jumps, not over a candlestick, but over his opponents’ possible response.
The County Board is not.
That may cost Republicans seats in November, not to mention the County Board Chairmanship.