McHenry County Has No Rules for Hiring Employees

Here is McHenry County’s reply to a Freedom of Information request from Woodstock’s Susan Handelsman.

Her question was

Please supply the written rules and protocol for hiring practices as they relate to publicly posting job openings and conducting applicant interviews.
Please cite the Statutory Authority and County Resolution for establishment of these rules and protocol.

She writes in a comment,

“I FOIAed the County protocol on posting open positions and hiring interview practices from the dept of Human Services.”

Below is the reply she received:

McHenry County does not have written rules for hiring practices as they relate to publicly posting job openings and conducting applicant interviews. [Emphasis added.]

McHenry County’s protocol is when an appointed department head is ready to fill a vacant budgeted position they notify Human Resources and Human Resources posts the position on our website and various other websites.

Human Resources then collects the applications electronically and forwards those applications to the departments.

The departments review the applications, interview candidates, and offer a position.

Human Resources then conducts background checks and schedules physicals if needed.

The department notifies Human Resources who they are going to hire and when.

We do encourage Elected Officials to follow the same process as the appointed department heads but they are not required to do so.

Since McHenry County does not have written rules for hiring practices, is unaware of any statutory authority, and does not have a County Resolution regarding hiring practices this response is a partial denial of your request.

You have a right to have the denial of your request reviewed by the Public Access Counselor (PAC) at the Office of the Illinois Attorney General. 5 ILCS 140/9.5(a).

You can file your Request for Review with the PAC by writing to:

Public Access Counselor Sarah Pratt
Office of the Attorney General
500 South 2nd Street, Springfield, Illinois 62706
Phone: 1-877-299-3642 Fax: 217-782-1396

You also have the right to seek judicial review of your denial by filing a lawsuit in the State circuit court. 5 ILCS 140/11. If you choose to file a Request for Review with the PAC, you must do so within 60 calendar days of the date of this denial letter. 5 ILCS 140/9.5(a). Please note that you must include a copy of your original FOIA request and this denial letter when filing a Request for Review with the PAC.

Holly Eddy | Human Resource Analyst
McHenry County | 2200 N Seminary Avenue, Woodstock, IL 60098
Phone: (815) 334-4219 | Fax: (815) 334-4648

Handelsman observes:

Looks like easy remedy, if County Board Member so desired: pass a resolution to create a protocol.

That would at least protect taxpayers from discrimination lawsuits.


McHenry County Has No Rules for Hiring Employees — 9 Comments

  1. I’ve now FOIA’d McHenry County Admin, as that seems to be the department which did the hiring without posting open jobs and conducting applicant interviews.

    It seems to me patronage hiring is allowed under the ‘no formal protocols’ policy.

    The question then is, whether the 25 members of County Board want to maintain that unrestricted access to hire personally selected individuals.

    The question of risk should be addressed:

    when open job positions are not posted for public applicants, how can the County defend that EEOC policy compliance?

    Are the patronage hirings of ethnic diversity reflective of the County population’s ethnic diversity?

  2. Susan, If you are looking for knowledge and schooling you wont find it here.

  3. I believe there are exceptions for politically appointed jobs of a new administration but there is no way these two positions fall into this.

    I smell another expensive lawsuit.

    Don’t worry though, it’s just taxpayer money.

  4. McHenry County has a “Salary Administration” policy.

    It is included in the Budget.

    The budget is approved in November (the fiscal year is December 1 through November 30).

    The budget includes a transmittal letter sent from the from county administrator and the county administrator finance to the county board chair and board members.

    The Transmittal Letter is send the 3rd Tuesday in November, with the exception of 2011, when it was sent the 3rd Tuesday of October.

    The Transmittal Letter was not sent in 2016, and still has not be sent.

    The Fiscal Year 2017 (December 1, 2016 – November 30, 2017) still has not been approved.

    Or if either has been done, where are the approved final documents?


    The FY 2016 Budget containing the Salary Administration policy is found here:

  5. A “Salary Administration Policy” and “Job Classification System” / “Understanding the Costs of Personnel Services” is included in the FINAL McHenry County Budgets for Fiscal Years 2014, 2015, & 2016.

    The FINAL Budget for Fiscal Year 2017 is NOT posted on the County website.

    The DRAFT Budget for Fiscal Year 2017 is posted on the County website.

    One can submit a FOIA request for the FINAL Budget for Fiscal Year 2017 to determine if the Salary Administration Policy is included in that budget.


    Fiscal Year 2014 FINAL Budget – 295 page pdf.

    Fiscal Year 2015 FINAL Budget – 374 page pdf.

    Fiscal Year 2016 FINAL Budget – 353 page pdf.


    The Salary Administration Policy begins on the following pages of the following budgets:

    Fiscal Year 2014 FINAL Budget – page 49 of 295.

    Fiscal Year 2015 FINAL Budget – page 65 of 374.

    Fiscal Year 2016 FINAL Budget – page 60 of 353.


    In addition reference the following pages of the FINAL budgets:

    Fiscal Year 2014 FINAL Budget – page 255 of 295 of pdf (Job Classification System)

    Fiscal Year 2015 FINAL Budget – page 311 of 374 of pdf (Job Classification System)

    Fiscal Year 2016 FINAL Budget – page 290 of 253 of pdf (Understanding the Costs of Personnel Services).


    Here is pertinent verbiage of the “Job Classification System” / “Understanding the Costs of Personnel Services” on those pages:

    In April of 2007, the County Board of McHenry County, Illinois approved resolution R-200704-09-074 which authorized the Chairman of the Board to enter into a contractual agreement with RSM McGladrey (now Verisight) for the purpose of providing professional services for the implementation of a comprehensive job evaluation / classification system and corresponding compensation for participating, non-union employees.

    This system is still in place and is used in measuring the grade and wage of all new positions, reclassifications, and promotions.

    The County Board has committed to reviewing the floor and ceiling of each grade classification each year and adjusting them as the job market dictates.

    All requested new positions or changes to current positions must be evaluated by the Human Resources Director, and upon review, requires the approval of the department’s Liaison Committee, the Human
    Resources Committee, the Finance and Audit Committee and the full County Board prior to being established
    as a position.

    Positions created under grant agreements are valid as long as grant funding is in place.

    If funding should cease for the grant program, the position is eliminated.”


    The County Budgets are located at this URL:

  6. The following sentence appears in the FY 2014, FY 2015, & FY 2016 FINAL Budgets.

    “If budget savings from an unfilled position occurs and is used in any other manner, the unfilled position will cease to exist and will need to be re-established as a new position in the next budget process (R-200305-12-113).

    New Positions and reclassification request submitted during the budget process must be position specific to be considered for funding.

    If funding is approved during the budget process and the department wishes to use the funding for positions other than the approved position, a resolution authorizing the change will be required by the County Board prior to the change taking place.

    Please refer to the Salary Administration Policy in appendix A for more detailed instructions on Employee Wages & Compensation System.

    To eliminate confusion in the calculation of merit dollars for departments, the County Board is issuing a moratorium on all reclassifications and salary adjustments requested outside of the budget process for the months of November and December.

    This change was effective starting with November of 2006.”


    The FINAL Budget for FY 2017 (December 1, 2017 – November 30, 2017) is not yet posted by the county.


    More information regarding “salary administration policy” and “job classification system” / “Understanding the Costs of Personnel Services” is in the following post:

    McHenry County Blog

    Bill of Particulars re Jack Franks

    March 7, 2017

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