Ersel Schuster Gets an Interesting Anonymous Phone Call

From former McHenry County Board member Ersel Schuster:

Ersel Schuster

Ersel Schuster

I received an interesting phone call the other evening.

It was from a “private number.”

The man verified that he was talking to me… then launched into his somewhat prepared remarks by stating that he was a longtime supporter of mine.

He had watched me over the years and agreed with me but that he was now questioning my recent comments on current county board issues and was wondering why I was not making suggestions rather than ripping on the new chairman.

I asked who I was talking to.

His response was that he was a Woodstock businessman and that he didn’t want his business drawn into politics…

To that I told him that I would love to have this discussion… but that I was uncomfortable talking to someone who would not identify himself and actually sounded a great deal like Mr. Franks or someone calling on his behalf.

At that point he had hung up.

So, with that, I will again address the intent of the callers’ questions, many of the articles and related comments about the hassle over the pecking order of the newly elected county board chairman and that of the county board.

In the current board rules, the elected chairman’s duties, and reach, are limited… but very clear.

Simply put, the elected chairman’s duties are

  • to assemble the county board agendas;
  • conduct the board meetings;
  • carries out the county board’s decisions as directed;
  • is the ‘face’ of the board;
  • calls special meetings when deemed necessary (as defined in the rules); and
  • in the event of a specific tie vote is able to vote to break that tie

Otherwise, the chairman does not have a vote on issues.

Nor does the chairman lobby, browbeat, or push the board into submission on his/her personal agenda during a meeting.

In this chairman’s haste to make his mark, he is literally assuming control of county government.

He has flipped the established board rules out the window and began rewriting them to give himself control.

He has gathered the bevy of “yes men and women” who are eager to please and kiss his ring.

The roadmap is clear; his stated goal is to see McHenry County government operate in the image of the State of Illinois.

Everyone needs to take a step back.

Take a good look at what is about to be taken away from the people who put you in office.

We do not need a dictatorship.

We do not need McHenry County taken to its knees because of one persons’ ego and lust for power.

This has been a county at the top of the list of well run, financially responsible counties in the state.

Do not let that record be ruined.

Message to the 24 county board members, take a deep breath.

Call a halt to the direction you are being led.

Stick to your rules.

Re-assemble the Committee on Committees and follow the rules as intended.

Once the board is operating and the connection between the two entities is solidified, take on the board rules as intended and carefully make logical corrections; only, where necessary because they are well thought out and tested rules.

Think long and hard about making wholesale changes to your committee structure.

Every committee has its moments where there is more work than a lot of elected officials like to deal with but then there are slow times.

Do not confuse the two.

You were elected to know what every department in this government is doing; to oversee the budgets; and to be accountable to the public whose tax dollars you are spending.


Ersel Schuster Gets an Interesting Anonymous Phone Call — 39 Comments

  1. I usually like Ersel but this is ridiculous.

    -Wouldn’t talk to someone who wouldn’t identify themself.

    Read the federalist and anti-federalist papers; they did not identify themselves.

    Mixing politics and business is generally a bad idea; that was a legitimate concern from the caller.

    If you care about peoples’ economic well being like you say you do then you would respect this gentleman’s privacy and continue your conversation with him.

    -Complaining that the Chairman shouldn’t be pushing the board in any particular direction and comparing him to a “dictator.”

    If you don’t like the rules change don’t vote for it.

    You guys are bickering about committees on committees and meanwhile the board raises taxes in a lame duck session.

    Give me a break.

  2. Joe… you may not like the idea that I believe people have a personal responsibility to be forthcoming in identifying themselves in cases like this.

    That is too bad.

    It is unfortunate that caution is necessary.

    As to the rules issue; I dare say you do not understand the rationale behind the current rules.

    The goal has been to protect the public from public officials who feel the need to gather “power” and to control actions by the board.

    To undermine this protective process is to suggest that one does not care that those they elect to office will have their way… at our expense.

    On your “break…” take a look at the official rules and ask some serious question if you do not understand them.

  3. People don’t care about inside baseball of rules changes and committees on committees.

    And why is it that I always hear people talking about rules changes being so detrimental and then they never explain what’s so bad about them?

    People don’t care about this stuff, and they especially don’t care when you tell them to go read your county board’s rules of jargon themselves.

    Lower our taxes.

  4. I admire the way Ersel schools those who need schooling.
    It always makes my day.

  5. Not everybody is thumbing over Agenda Packets, Abe.

    Think about how you look to the common person instead of just talking to regular viewers of this blog and living in an echo chamber of local politics dorks.

    Donald Trump won speaking with common sense and with a fourth grade vocabulary.

    All people see from Republicans is a bunch of blah blah blah bickering about committees on committees and hyperbole about how the most popular politician in the county is a “dictator.”

    You’ve failed us.

    That’s why the board approved of a worthless but costly route 23 interchange, that’s why only 28 counties in the entire country have higher property taxes than us.

    Lower the taxes.

  6. Democraps are scumbags.

    Look what they have done to the nation.

    Ersel is one smart cookie.

    “They” don’t like that.

  7. There was no need for Chairman Franks to form his own committee to restructure the committees.

    We already had a Management Services committee scheduled to meet on Dec. 12th.

    That meeting was cancelled.

    That committee could have easily done this task, which was contemplated after the Chairman at Large was elected and we no longer had to have so many committees to give out as rewards from a Chairman elected by the Board.

    This was a publicity stunt, pure and simple. Do something that was going to be done anyway and claim credit.

    I hope this is the last of such government by grandstand but I fear it is just the beginning.

  8. Well, Cindy, if you want to defend the boondoggles and tax increases passed by the Republican county board, you can.

    I know the real conservatives like Andrew Gasser, John Hammerand, and Diane Evertsen aren’t afraid to call out people within their own party.

    Franks is able to win because he’s a better conservative than most Republicans.

    And the predominantly Republican McHenry County voters felt the same way.

    That’s why people like Tirio and and Kenneally were able to win with roughly 60 percent, 11/12 board members elected were Republican, yet Franks was able to beat Walkup with roughly 60 percent of the vote.

  9. Walkup, You couldn’t win against Franks because your not half the man he is and so now your going to sit there and criticize?

    All of you, there is no proof this was Franks and Get Real.

    Walkup you are a Looser and that is all you will ever be!
    An A$$ Bound sniffing Looser!

    Go crawl back in that hole you came out of Michael because You and your minions offer Nothing!

  10. Wow, Ersel.

    I think we might have just solved the mystery.

    Look above this.

    You might have your guy.

  11. According to Tuesday’s County Board agenda, it looks like Franks wants to hire two of his cronies to do his job to the tune of over $150,000 additional cost to taxpayers.

    Saving us taxpayer money now by not doing the job he was eleceted to do?

    What’s wrong with utilizing existing staff at a lower cost?

    Oh yeah….they’re not trained to do the chairmans job.

  12. I agree with Ersel most of the time, and this is another one of those times.

    Thank you, Ersel for bringing this to our attention and warning the county board members that they are putting the county in peril if they give Franks their power.

    The rules were carefully put forth to prevent ANY one person from Dictating.

    Only weak, misguided minions would fall for this.

    We’ll see which county board members emerge as leaders we thought we voted for.

  13. IMHO, Franks and his Father, Herbie “Daddy Warbucks” Franks have ambitious, but grandiose, designs of running the scion for Atty Gen. down the line, whenever Mickey “the Tax-Pig” Madigan smells blood in the water and the time is ‘right’ to for his Medussa-like daughter aka ‘Princess Lisa’, to run for Governoress of the SS. Titanic-Illinois.

    I always liked Schuster, too, because she actually possessed a functional spine, unlike quite a few County Board airheads over the many years I’ve seen McHenry County declien …. particularly when another rotten Democrat in sheep’s clothing ran the County ….. the Johnsburg Sausage-Maker and Quondom Richard Daley ward-heeler, aka Big Al.

    Here’s what McHenry County will look like if Franks gets his way:

  14. First, Can anyone verify that this call even took place?

    Second, Cindy, a Democrap president, as you so artfully call them, and Republican Congress actually have presided over the longest period of job growth in the country’s history – That’s a verifiable fact – while your beloved party has bequeathed to you a machine driven county that taxes everything but your earwax to pay their cousins to sleep at their desks and the Dems alone have hollowed Illinois out.

    Unknowingly, you have made the argument for the value of bipartisan tension in a democratic system.

    Third, Mr. Walkup, for someone who posts every Hillary Clinton conspiracy theory on Facebook, you sure as hell sing a similar tune now that you are on the same end of an election.

    At least she won the popular vote.

    You just plain got your hind quarters kicked.

    Reflect on why rather than lashing out about how the system you wanted to protect was so dandy.

    Fourth, Cal, shame on you for allowing so much thinkly veiled anti-semitism on your website.

    Disagree and dislike Jack all you want, but a lot of this is just cheap dog whistle blowing.

  15. Dear Lord in Heaven!

    I find it difficult to understand how/why Democrats always sink to the lowest common denominator…

    Please, there has been no “anti-Semitism” until you brought it up and yes, there was a phone call.

  16. Ersel, first, nice false assumption: I am not a Democrat; I just do not believe in these idiotic Republican tropes that all Democrats are evil, corrupt pigs like you.

    Calling someone a Democrat should not be an insult; neither should calling someone a Republican.

    I referenced Cal’s moderation, not your post, because of the reference to daddy warbucks, a character frequently associated with Jewish landlords.

    I don’t make assertions without evidence, so if I do, you can make the assumption that there’s meat on the bone.

    Look before you leap.

  17. LookB4?

    Somebody is reading the mainstream bullcarp.

    Nothing you said is actually factual.

    HIllary is a killer.

    A criminal of the highest order.

    When you actually realize (Come to grips with) what she has done in her lifetime, you will be sick to your stomach.

    Every single problem that is being exposed now has ties directly back to Hitlery.

    She is evil incarnate. (And a very nasty person to boot.)

    I had no idea Daddy Warbucks was a Jew.

    Someone is very very stupid and vehemently protsting too much.

    Check out Shakespeare for that idiom.

    Someone must have given you your screen name because you long ago took that leap into the cesspool of lies you are spouting.

  18. Thanks for posting about the call.


    Jack Franks far outspent Mike Walkup in the election.

    Mike Walkup won 31 or so precincts, although Jack Franks won far more.

    Jack Franks – 80,076 votes, 57.6%.

    Mike Walkup – 58,905 votes, 42.4%

    Total – 138,981 votes.

    Difference – 21,171 votes, 15.2%.


    A focal point of Jack Franks campaign was that he would deliver a plan on his first day in office to cut property taxes 10% in every property taxing district in the County.

    He failed to deliver.

    He has yet to deliver.

    Every mayor of a McHenry County municipality County endorsed Jack Franks.

    Not one of them has produced a plan to cut property taxes 10%.

    Most of the municipalities in McHenry County have underfunded pensions (taxpayer IOU to the pension fund) for either municipal workers, fire, police, or, in the case of Crystal Lake, all of the above.

  19. Cindy, I never mentioned Hillary Clinton and Daddy Warbucks wasn’t Jewish, but white-nationalist websites frequently use him as a nickname for Jews, so I think I know we know where you get your information (and where you learned how to spell).

    Actually, I was making the argument that divided governments work best because compromise is a given reality, but way to run with it wayyyyyyyy past where I went, especially since I voted for Gary Johnson!!

    When you’re ready to come out from under the tin foil, the water will be safe to drink, (unless you live in Flint or Corpus Christ (states both run by Republicans, btw)), the sun will be warm and everyone will be happy to see you.

    Ersel, you know the old saying about the company you keep?

  20. Oh, geez, Mark.

    “he failed to deliver”

    How long has he been the Chairman? 2 weeks?

    I find it funny how people who say the Chairman has no power (but is apparently trying to become a dictator) also complain when something doesn’t get done.

    Just like how Republicans talk about Obama.

    He’s a dictator, but he’s also politically impotent.

    No criticism of the County Board though, made up of 24 members–23 of whom are Republican.

    Keep the jokes coming.

  21. LookB4?

    I am puzzled by the dig on spelling.

    Don’t know where you are going with that snarky remark.

    The water is definitely NOT safe to drink.

    They are poisoning everybody!

    Keep drinking the neurotxic fluoride and hold hands and sing Kumbaya with Tryon.

    I don’t care who you mentioned.

    The two choices were the diabolical Hitlery and D.J. Trump.

    Who the Hell is Gary Johnson?

    You must not realize that we are in a fight for our very lives if you’ve wasted a vote on some third party idiot that could have resulted in a hillbilly Clinton moment like we got with Ross Perot.

    The rest of your post makes no sense whatsoever.

    (Hint: Your screen name is indicative of a progressive bent; hence the animosity you may be feeling from other posters.)

  22. Jack Franks made it crystal clear on his website that he would deliver the Cut 10 plan on the first day in office.

    He didn’t say maybe.

    +++++++++ website which redirected to, which was taken down after the election.

    “I’m running for McHenry County Board Chairman to cut property taxes levy by 10% across the board.

    This means a 10% property tax levy reduction from EVERY government body in our County.

    We can finally give relief to local property taxpayers if we eliminate government waste and fraud and more efficiently manage our tax dollars.

    Join me in sending a message to McHenry County leaders in support of this 10% cut.

    And know that I will introduce this plan on my first day as your new McHenry County Board Chairman.

    – Jack Franks.”

  23. Mark?

    Please learn to talk like a human – not a machine.

    Once again, you are way off topic.

  24. Quote: Ersel:

    “We do not need McHenry County taken to its knees because of one persons’ ego and lust for power.”

    On knees, lusting for power?

    Where do you come up with the metaphors?

  25. Watching?

    Where did you learn English? Nothing there is a metaphor!

    Maybe, go back to grade school and figure out what you trying to say?

  26. “Once elected, Jack will move to reduce the county’s share of the property tax levy by 10% — a bold move to get McHenry County moving back in the right direction.”

    Mark is wrong again.

    Jack’s website clearly says he wants “to reduce the county’s share of the property tax levy by 10%.”

    Anybody barking about how he can’t cut 10% of the *total bill* is creating a straw man argument and ignoring Jack’s actual position.

  27. Watching… so you want to reduce this to “a fake call?”

    You are right on target with your side of the political crowd.

    Do you want to trace the “private number?”

    You are more than welcome to check that out.

    Let me know how you wish to handle this.

    Really would love people like you to do something other than play silly games when we have such important issues to address.

  28. Jack Franks had two websites.


    2. which redirected to which redirects to has been taken down. remains up.

    The two websites had conflicting information, as one can see from reading the quote above, and quote above.

    Many people remember the claim by Jack Franks during the campaign that he was running to cut property taxes 10% in every property taxing district in the county.

    There are many blog articles about the subject.


    That’s responding to the comment above.

  29. Regarding the comment at 2:26pm that Jack Franks’ campaign pitch to become county board chair included that he would cut the county portion of the property tax levy by 10%, and not every other property taxing district in McHenry County.

    ++++++ (Jack Franks campaign website)

    “Back Franks’ Cut10 Plan

    Posted on July 28, 2016 by Jack Franks

    Northwest Herald

    To the Editor:

    I love it when a politician comes to the campaign with a plan, and Jack Franks has done this with his CUt10 campaign, a very simple idea that asks every taxing body in McHenry County to cut its levy 10 percent.

    As a rule of thumb, taxing bodies should not have more than eight months operating expenses in reserve.

    If the Northwest Herald did a Freedom of Information Act request on all taxing bodies, it would be very informative for taxpayers to see the dollar amount each taxing body has in reserves and how far that amount exceeds or is less than the recommendation of eight months operating expenses.

    Great plan, Jack.

    I haven’t heard any concrete proposals from other political candidates on reducing property taxes.

    Ron Erdmann

    Spring Grove

    This entry was posted in Issues and tagged property taxes, Taxes.

    Bookmark the permalink.”


    Dr. Ronald S Erdman retired as Superintendent of Spring Grove Elementary District 11 & Richmond Burton High School District 157 with 33 years of service effective July 1, 2000.

    33 years of service is typically less than 33 years worked in the TRS pension system.

    Also effective July 1, 2000, Spring Grove Elementary District 11 and Richmond Elementary District 13 combined to form Nippersink Elementary District 2.

    Dr. Erdmann then proceed to be employed as Executive Director of Transportation by Crystal Lake Elementary School District, while drawing a TRS Pension.

    He was able to do that since the position was covered by the IMRF pension system, as opposed to the TRS pension system.

    Upon retirement from Crystal Lake CCSD 47, Dr. Erdmann began drawing two pensions, TRS and IMRF.


    TRS Pension Recent History

    – 33 years of service at Richmond High School District 157 & Spring Grove Elementary District 11.

    – Retired July 1, 2000.

    2016 – $144,431
    2015 – $140,224
    2014 – $136,140
    2013 – $132,174
    2012 – $128,325


    IMRF Pension Recent History

    – 9 years of service at Crystal Lake Elementary District 47 as Executive Director of Transportation.

    – Retired September 1, 2008.

    2015 – $9,918

    2014 – $9,668

    2013 – $9,418

    2012 – $9,168


    Crystal Lake Elementary District 47 Salary

    2008 – $40,226

    2007 – $60,558

    2006 – $56,566

    2005 – $57,146

    2004 – $57,319

    2003 – $53,288

    2002 – $51,250

    2001 – $54,545

    2000 – $20,455


    Dr. Erdman has been a member of Jack Franks Host Committee for Jack Franks fundraisers.

  30. Again responding to the December 18th comment at 2:26pm.

    Jack Franks Town Hall Meetings contained signs and stickers.

    Here is an example:

    McHenry County Blog

    Jack Franks’ Big Bait & Switch

    August 30, 2016


    Moving from the Cut 10 signs and stickers at the campaign event to the campaign website.

    As has been repeated many time on this blog, here is what the website said:

    “I’m running for McHenry County Board Chairman to cut property taxes levy by 10% across the board.

    This means a 10% property tax levy reduction from EVERY government body in our County.

    We can finally give relief to local property taxpayers if we eliminate government waste and fraud and more efficiently manage tax dollars.

    Join me in sending a message to McHenry County leaders in support of this 10% cut.

    And know that I will introduce this plan on my first day as your new McHenry County Board Chairman.

    – Jack Franks”

  31. Again responding to the December 18 2:26 comment that Jack Franks campaigned to only reduce the county property taxing district by 10%, and not other property taxing districts.

    This from the Jack Franks campaign website.

    “Before Jack ran for County Board Chairman and promised to make reducing local property taxes by 10 percent the top priority of his administration, local politicians would talk about lowering property taxes while allowing our bills to skyrocket.”


    That seems to be enough evidence to determine what Jack Franks meant by Cut 10.


    The election was November 8, 2016.

    Jack Franks took the oath of office December 5, 2016.

    Jack Franks website, which redirected to, said he would deliver his plan to cut property taxes in every property taxing district in the county, on his first day in office.

    Yesterday was December 18, 2016.

    Fourteen days into office, Jack Franks still has not delivered his plan to voters and taxpayers.

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