From former McHenry County Board member 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.