Fight Over McHenry County Board Rules Fight Continues

First, what Ersel Schuster found in the audio recording of the last Internal Support & Facilities Committee meeting.

The saga continues over the McHenry County Board’s Rules

How much more honest it would have been had the new chairman entered office with the intent and spirit of cooperation with the 24 board members.

The time wasted over his “power” struggle is relatively minor when compared to the disruption of the board’s duties and responsibilities; not to mention that it is inexcusable.

Included in this mix is a disagreement over who controls committee meeting agendas.

Both issues surfaced during the 3/8/176 Internal Support & Facilities Committee (ISF) meeting.

Michael Rein

Member Michael Rein took the lead in addressing the issues and requesting the Rules discussion/action be placed on the next ISF agenda.

Peter Austin

County Administrator Peter Austin was asked for assurance that the issue would be on the committee’s 3/22/17 agenda.

He refused to confirm this request stating he could not say that the board had clear jurisdiction over the Board Rules.

After listening to this committee’s meeting audio… it is clear the County Administrator and staff have some serious, personal decisions to make.

Simply put, these employees, under the management and leadership of the County Board’s Administrator, answer to, and carry out directions of the County Board.

They have no right to sabotage board members’ duties.

The same holds true for the board chairman.

The two issues at point are vitally important as they strike at the core of order and civility.

It was noted in open session, at a county board meeting, that the chairman, together with staff are meddling and undermining board members.

Committee directed agenda items have been removed and/or changed and meetings have gone unscheduled or cancelled.

This prevents board members from doing the job they were elected to perform.

Donna Kurtz

To this, Member Donna Kurtz asked:

“What is the limit of authority that the ad hoc committees can have?”

This is actually a third issue needing serious consideration by the board members since the chair is quick to call together one ad hoc committee meeting after another to slam through “new rules.”

These ad hoc committees are carefully stacked with members who will deliver the chairman’s message.

As defined in the Board Rules, the purpose of an ad hoc committee is to address issues that do not fall under one of the standing committee structures.

It is currently being used as a way around the county board as the chairman institutes those Rules changes he needs to systematically remove county board members from the day to day business of running the county.

Kay Bates

As the discussion continued, it was learned that all, except Member Kay Bates, is of the opinion that control over the County Board Rules is under the jurisdiction of the ISF Committee.

This is a great example of what happens when people are elected to an office without fully understanding the role they take on.

Too often it is easier to listen to a perceived power broker than to research and make the simplest of independent and objective decisions.

Note to the ISF Committee members: you are on the right track… however, please remember, once you start amending the Rules, the most-simple of changes can create huge problems for your taxpayers if not done right.

This is where politicians and public servant part ways.

= = = = =
The following email provide background to the fight over the control of Rules between McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks and the non-compliant Republicans on the County Board:


Fight Over McHenry County Board Rules Fight Continues — 25 Comments

  1. Dishonorable.

    A rules violation in order to appoint two patronage employees at taxpayer expense.

    People we respected, who put themselves at risk when demanding others do so, did it for a worthy cause.

    This dishonorable rules violation is simply to force two patronage hires for personal (not publicly relevant) service to a single politician… of zero benefit to overburdened taxpayers forced to pay the bill.


  2. So there’s a power struggle between certain board members and the chair regarding the role of the Internal Support & Facilities Committee being able to discuss and recommend board rule rules.

    Jack Franks pretty much says he doesn’t care about history and precedent, he’s going to interpret the Board Rules to his advantage, not taking into account history and precedent, unless one wonders if it would be to his advantage to do so.

    Has the board had these types of problems in the past?



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

    Immediately he attempted to make unilateral changes and depending on the change making little to no attempt to involve some or all of the county board.


    Sometime in December 2016 the committees were restructured, which was initiated by Jack Franks.

    What is now the Internal Support & Facilities Committee, was previously two committees:

    – Facilities Committee

    – Management Services Committee


    We have a power hungry elected board chair who wants to control rules.

    Sound familiar.

    Michael Madigan and the House Rules Committee.

    Jack Franks was a State Representative for 18 years and during that entire time Michael Madigan was the House Speaker (number one person in the State House of Representatives).

    Jack Franks voted for Michael Madigan to be House Speaker in each of his 9 terms as State Representative.

    Both are Democrats.

    Michael Madigan and his control of the House Rules Committee have created a virtual dictatorship of Michael Madigan over Illinois.

    Watch the Michael Madigan movie on YouTube.

    Madigan: Power. Privilege. Politics.

  3. I don’t know who I dislike more, Kurtz or Tirio’s O’L Lady

  4. Bates is in over her head for sure.

    She should go back to her booze filled Chamber lunches and stop peddling for Jacko.

  5. The Chair takes direction from the Board; not vice versa.

    Maybe Jack and Pete Austin need a poster size copy of the Organizational Chart in their offices as a reminder.

  6. In reality the current ‘Chair’ aka ’round mound’ – takes direction from no one who lives in this County with the exception of maybe mommy and daddy.

    We do not have adequate taxpayer representatives on the County Board to stop his insane antics (my opinion).

  7. Here goes Mary and Eddie again. Stand4truth. Remember when Mary runs for clerk again

  8. What is the truth in this matter ?
    Why isn’t there any legal action ?

  9. Joe asks, “Why isn’t there any legal actions?” Because County Board precedent does not supercede law and the law does not explicitly give the IS committee authority over evaluating rules. Please note, Walkup does nothing to refute this in Franks’ email, rather reasserting precedent as reason behind the IS committee to overseeing rules. He does correctly assert the board will ultimately have the final say on rules.

  10. So if as stated : “These ad hoc committees are carefully stacked with members who will deliver the chairman’s message.”

    Where is the reporting on the names of these members?

    Primary time is coming and it’s draining the swamp time in McHenry County.

    Time to call them out by Name and District! Let the System work.

  11. Wizard is right, primary time is coming and voters have a choice.

    But, for now, the voter choice was Franks.

    And Franks’s appointments to the ad hoc committee are highly subjective and legal, just like the previous interpretation of the IS’s responsibilities was entirely legal, just like Franks’ interpretation the IS’s responsibilities are entirely legal, just like the Chairman being able to set the agenda is legal, just like Walkup saying the board will have the last say in approving the rules is legal.

  12. This is what they do addon addon addon more programs more costs, it never stops with these people learned from the great maddykahn rob peter to pay paul if need be but just keep the layers rolling on and on.. spend spend spend… that is all they know… and they will never change this is why They Need to be Out of any kind of taxpayers pocket/ office…. when will people wake up!… when? ….

  13. I believe County Code describes remedies for breaking resolutions and County Code.

    The heads of Human Resources and Transportation department broke County Code and failed to enforce County Code in this matter of improper patronage hirings.

    Who is enforcement officer of Code violations? County Exec or Chairman?

  14. We have our own shadow government right here.

    Until you root out all the behind the scenes patrtisan hacks you will have chaos.

  15. Wizard:
    From the HR & IS committee meetings you can tell these people are not representing taxpayers but Jacko:
    D3- Kopsell (up for re-election 2018)
    D4- Bates
    D5- Jung (up for re-election 2018)
    D6- McCann
    D6- Aavang (up for re-election 2018)

    Keep your eye on:
    D2-Heisler (up for re-election 2018)

    We shall see when a full county board vote comes up which snakes are lying in the grass, perhaps:
    D1-Nowak (up for re-election 2018)
    D3-Gottemoller (up for re-election 2018)
    D6-Smith (up for re-election 2018)

  16. Anyone check out the Resolution attachment on the Human Resource Committee agenda for the States Attorneys office?


    $175,000 of taxpayer dollars for raises for a small group of people?

    Some in excess of $21,000?

    Am I the only one that thinks this is an outrageous use of taxpayer dollars?

    These are government employees.

    If they want to make that kind of money go to the private sector.

    Can’t this gluttony be stopped?

    If the money was in the budget due to eliminated positions shouldn’t that money go back to the taxpayers?

    Further, if the positions were eliminated why is the money still in the budget?

    Is this what we voted for?

    What’s wrong with these elected officials that they think we’re an unlimited supply of money for their use?

  17. It is outrageous Susan.

    Mr. Kenneally justified the largest raise amount (Chief Investigator) because they are going to crack down on white collar crimes. I don’t recall him listing any of the recent white collar crimes as an example of what are tax dollars will pay for. Did the taxpayers ask for this?

  18. I hope they straighten up some of the messes on the Board really soon.

    The Board is going to lose at least one and possibly as many as three members, and Jacko gets to appoint their replacements.

  19. Billy Bob – appointments are made by the political party of who leaves.

    Not the chairman.

    If a republican holds the office only a republican can replace that person.

  20. Only a Republican can replace a Republican, but the Chairman makes the appointment.

    We all know that all Republicans are not created equal.

  21. The party can recommend, but the Chairman makes the appointment.

    It does have to be approved by the whole County Board.

  22. Cal, would any person who pulled a Republican ballot in the last primary that they voted in be considered a Republican? (Assuming that they don’t hold any office as a Democrat)

    I have a bad feeling about these upcoming vacancy(s).

    At the very least, I expect Jacko to appoint unacceptable candidate(s) and keep the position(s) vacant for as long as he can, and he might be able to sneak in a RINO ally or two.

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