One of Jack Franks’ Political Patronage Hires Quits County Government

Oliver Serafini, the most expensive of McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks two patronage employees has resigned as “Utility Coordinator” for the County’s Department of Transportation.

= = = = =
So, I’m told and now remember that the photo posted was not of Serafini. Sorry.
= = = = =

Evidence of Oliver Serafini’s resignation from the McHenry County Department of Transportation. His position is listed as ‘Utility Coordinator.”

So, immediately, speculation sprang up as to why the departure.

The rumor has been around for a while that Franks plans to run for Secretary of State.

The position of “Utility Coordinator” was listed as empty in this June, 2017, McDOT organization chart.

Last year, long-time incumbent Jesse White announced that he was not running for re-election, but more recently announced that he would tell his intentions at the August 17th brunch of Democratic Party Chairman on Democrat Day during the Illinois State Fair.

Because Herb Franks and his son annually fishes in Canada with White and other Chicago Democratic biggies, some have suggested that Franks, the younger, may have been tipped off early.

In any event, Serafini is out of the McHenry County government picture before the Human Resources Committee got an opportunity to end his employment.

Maybe one of the well-funded gubernatorial campaign hired him.

JB Pritzker is Franks’ favorite candidate. Franks has deployed young people to distribute his literature, as well that of his own.


Comments

One of Jack Franks’ Political Patronage Hires Quits County Government — 48 Comments

  1. Wow! And it is not even Thursday!

    The “round mound” must be having problems achieving a 10 % property tax cut so he had to get rid of one of his patronage hires!

    BTW a hire that was being partially paid by the MCDOT but was never there!

  2. Anyone else curious as to why his Linkedin profile makes no mention of the job he has supposedly held for seven months?

    “Content Production Specialist
    Company Name Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Illinois Chapter
    Dates Employed Jun 2016 – Present Employment Duration 1 yr 3 mos
    Location Greater Chicago Area”

    Serafini lists himself as a co-founder of Men4Choice – tells me everything I need to know.

  3. I will take the no show no work actuarially bankrupt full pension position.

  4. The Board needs to terminate the position once and for all.

    It obviously is not needed.

    Cut it from the budget.

  5. I’m starting to see a pattern…

    This blog is no longer about news, it’s about being a thorn in the side of Franks.
    I reiterate my claim from before: Cal is slowly deteriorating. His attacks becoming ever more sophomoric a-political:

    -Aesthetic Critiques on Logos
    -Micromanaging Routine Campaign Reimbursements
    -Doxing Personal Information on a Mother
    -Falsly Asserting Franks Interrupted a Constituent in a Public Forum
    -(Updated 8/4) A ‘hit piece’ with typos that was distributed nowhere
    -(Updated 8/5) Updates on an employee

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Notice that Cal does not give attention to the successes of Jack Franks. He is just a petty mudslinger.
    Watching Cal is like watching the slow decay of a once honorable man – his sense of self and identity gradually transitioning into a state of both loathing and coveting Franks’ success. His continued antagonistic posts serve to further delegitimize what few, honest critiques on policy he does make, leading to the side show this blog has become. Whereas the Northwest Herald once saw Cal as a threat and sued him, they now probably view him as a joke.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Mark likes to constantly chime, “If the blog was not having an impact, Moderate would not be here.” Mark might be surprised to learn that he is right. This blog impacts 40 people! In my analysis of his readership, Cal has less than 40 unique hits per page.

    This is a fact.

    If Cal were a newspaper, he would be out of business. Cal’s presence on social media was so disastrous, he removed the ability for people to “share” directly from the blog. Did Cal remove the feature because it demonstrated how few people read the blog? Was it detrimental to his sponsorships?

    So, who are the 40 people that read Cal’s blog? Clearly not the voting public or silent majority. It’s local Tea Partiers!! Cal’s blog is beneficial to Democrats in that he acts as the water cooler for local Republicans, posting sensitive GOP party information constantly. So yes, Cal is beneficial, but to a very narrow subset whose breadth and depth is electorally negligible at best. Look at all the info Democrats WOULDN’T have if Cal didn’t post it!! Typos be damned, Cal posts the GOP playbook. He is a spy who divulges all the secrets to the enemy. He bad for the local GOP.

    Don’t believe me? Let’s set the record straight.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    HEY CAL, how many UNIQUE visitors per month do you have?

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    My goal is to continue to point out that Cal is a beacon of nonsense. I’m seeing more and more that Cal’s influence is diminishing. His content is stale. Cal’s pattern to post about Jack on cyclically, no matter how trivial, is obvious. That’s not the pattern of a news org, that’s the pattern of vendetta to smear Franks.

  6. Looking at the documents in the blog post.

    The date of the org chart, June 16, 2017, is cropped in the blog post, but the full org chart including the date is found here:

    http://www.co.mchenry.il.us/home/showdocument?id=21906

    That org chart list the “Field/Utility Coordinator” position as “Open.”

    ———-

    Next, look at the “HR Payroll Advice” document containing the resignation.

    It is signed July 31, 2017 and lists the “Job Title” as “Utility Coordinator” and the “Department” as “Division of Transportation.”

    ++++++++++

    Oliver Serafini was employed as a Utility Coordinator in the Division of Transportation during the period in which the Org Chart listed the position as “Open.”

  7. Anybody know what is the Job Description (function, responsibilities, authorities) for the job position of Utility Coordinator?

  8. Who is the “Department Head” that signed it?

    Maybe they could explain time sheets/work hours and validation for his paycheck. Investigation, accountability, reimbursement would be a nice start.

  9. Bred Winner:

    PRIMARY PURPOSE OF JOB:
    Responsible for overall support to the McHenry County Division of Transportation
    (MCDOT) functions of design, construction, and permitting. Works with staff to
    monitor, physically locate and clear all JULIE tickets for underground assets via field
    inspection and/or other means within the State JULIE timeframe of 48 hours or 2 hours
    for an emergency. This position is required to be on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,
    365 days per year. Other duties include reviewing and approving permits for utility
    companies needing permission to locate facilities within County-owned right-of- way,
    assisting design and construction staff with various field work including inspection of
    work being performed by contractors working for the County, as well as field work such
    as surveying, site condition review, and other inspections of County owned assets as
    needed. Works with contractors, engineers, consultants, townships, municipalities, state
    and federal agencies and other professional staff.
    ESSENTIAL DUTIES
    1. Monitor JULIE tickets via e-mail daily. Print , clear by phone call or field
    inspection and file daily.
    2. Physically locate MCDOT facilities in the field using underground technologies,
    that might be in conflict with extent of ticket locate. File these daily. These must
    be located within State JULIE timeframe of 48 hours.
    3. Monitor changes of key facilities in the MCDOT rights-of- way by daily
    communication with engineering and construction sections.
    4. Monitor emergency JULIE locates via e-mail when on call and locate those
    affecting DOT facilities within JULIE timeframe of 2 hours.
    OTHER DUTIES
    1. Review and approve permits for utility companies desiring to place facilities in
    the County’s right-of- way.
    2. Assist design and construction staff with various field work including inspection
    of work being performed by contractors working for the County.
    3. Perform field work such as surveying, site condition review, and other inspections
    of County owned assets as needed.

    SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES
    None.
    REQUIRED EXPERIENCE
    Previous locating experience or ability to obtain certification from an accredited
    locating institution within six months of beginning employment. 2 years related
    field experience in working with utility companies, construction layout and
    construction inspection.
    REQUIRED EDUCATION
    High school/GED.
    REQUIRED LICENSES
    Valid Illinois Drivers License.
    ABILITIES
    1. Good oral and written communication and presentation skills.
    2. Manage multiple tasks located in different areas of the County at the same time.
    3. Ability to stand, walk and/or otherwise work in inclement weather for extended
    periods of time.
    4. Time management.
    SKILLS
    1. Physically operating hand held equipment in both hands while being mentally
    alert to your surroundings is required on every locate to locate the asset and
    document the locates that were performed. Can be multiple times per day or
    night.
    2. Proficient in entering data or taking field notes when construction activities are
    being performed.
    3. Proficient with Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook.
    WORKING CONDITIONS
    Combination of office work and site construction work areas, including working
    near heavy motorist traffic and heavy construction equipment.
    SAFETY HAZARDS
    Construction zones.
    High speed traffic.
    Steeply graded earth embankments.
    Working near and around electrical equipment.

    This job description does not list all the duties of the job. You may be asked by
    supervisors or managers to perform other instructions and duties. You will be evaluated
    in part based upon your performance on the tasks listed in this job description.
    Management has the right to revise this job description at any time. The job description
    is not a contract for employment, and either you or the employer may terminate
    employment at any time, for any reason.

  10. Y’all gotta give Ol’ Cal credit for allowing commenters to ravage this site, disparage his character and post ridiculous accusations, all in the name of FREEDOM OF SPEECH!

    Was it Patrick Henry that said “I may not agree what you have to say…but I will defend to death your RIGHT to say it.”

    I use to write LTE to the NW Herald until they castrated them by editing so bad it was a futile effort to get my points across to their readership. Not so here, THANKS CAL!

  11. reality – Thanks for posting the job description.

    Would seem that applicants for this open position will have to provide a resume’ with references, be vetted and have perhaps an hour long interview by the manager/supervisor overseeing this function.

  12. And BTW…Why don’t some of those who do not know Cal help him mop the floors at the food pantry this afternoon at the Nunda Twnsp. food pantry, after walking about a mile moving boxes of food for the less fortunate.

    Volunteering is a GREAT way to get to know someone.

    We live in a ‘Paradise’ here compared to most anywhere on Earth.

    God bless America!

  13. Have to agree with Gary.

    Cal provides an incredible amount of information and details about issues in McHenry County that the main newspaper does not cover.

    That newspaper could be more useful if they spent more time on what Cal goes after rather than irrelevant items such as a college selected by a high school student who wants to play soccer.

    When trying to read that newspaper sports section, I sometimes think I am reading the pages of the newspaper of the high school I attended years ago.

  14. Agree that Cal absorbs a lot of ridicule from sour grapes type guys and gals who are likely left wing Democrats.

    He practices freedom of speech here in Illinois in the US on his blog and probably does not have to do so.

    Do not believe that the First Amendment to our US Constitution guarantees free speech on a blog.

  15. Compassionate conservatives need to make up their mind. One morning they wake up and McHenry county is approaching its apocalypse. The following day we are a paradise, being the Northwest Herald our only big problem. Tic, tock, tic, tock

  16. Mod:

    This was by no means a “trivial” news story.

    The Board has been trying for nearly 8 months to get rid of this guy.

    Now the question is will Franks attempt to fill the postion with someone else who, in true Chicago tradition, is a no show for his official job.

    The swamp is draining?

    Talking about draining, speculation about Franks’ future plans are also very apropo at this time.

    Here is his dilemma:

    If he goes for Sec of State, which is the surest route to eventual Governor, he will be cutting and running from his county job.

    If he doesn’t, his path is probably cut off.

    If, however, Pritzger wins for Gov., there could be a nice appointment in it for Jack.

    By that time the Board will have voted on a new budget which will contain a 10% cut in the COUNTY portion of the “county taxes” or 1% of the total property tax bill (about $52 for the average property taxpayer), and he can declare victory and walk away. (Never mind those helicopters being pushed off the deck).

    To do so now, however, would be problematic, so he probably won’t run if Jesse announces he will step down on the 17th.

    The other possibility is that White will say he is running again, and then pull a Lou and announce the Friday after Thanksgiving that he needs to step down for “family reasons”.

    He will then put his minions at the disposal of Franks to get the signatures over the weekend. That again allows Franks to claim victory and pull out of the county.

    I don’t think he can get away with doing anything before the budget is passed.

    If he does resign any time before the end of his 4 year term, that also raises an interesting situation.

    There is no vacancy in the office until he actually resigns.

    Once he does so, he loses the power to make an appointment of a successor.

    This would then fall to the Vice Chairman.

    Normally the Vice Chairman would have to pick a Democrat, the only one on the Board now being Yensen.

    However, there is no requirement that a successor be appointed.

    State law only says that the position is to be filled within 60 days.

    There are no provisions for what happens if it is not.

    By waiting out the 60 days, the position would just remain empty and the Vice Chairman could remain as Chairman, althought probably not at the Chairman’s salary.

    Tic tock indeed.

  17. Apparently you all failed civics.

    The First Ammendment gauruntees your right to free speech from GOVERNMENT infridgement.

    Last I checked, Cal is not a member of government. What’s more, he deletes comments all the time. Our compassionate sunshine blogger is just as much a snowflake.

  18. Here we go again; “I believe in the Constitution…unless I do not feel like it.” Compassionate conservatives, we know them too well…tic, tock, tic, tock…

  19. Looking at the HR Payroll Advice form posted in the blog article.

    Peter Austin, the County Administrator in the County Administration Department, signed the HR Payroll Advice form in the “Department Head” slot.

    Cheryl Chukwu is the HR Director that signed in the “Human Resources Director” slot.

    Apparently the County Administrator is considered the Department Head of the HR Dept?

    When Mr. Serafini was hired, Peter Austin signed the HR Payroll Advice form in the “Human Resources Director” slot, and no one signed in the “Department Head” slot, as seen in the 6th document in the following post:

    ————-

    McHenry County Blog

    Employment Papers for Jack Franks’ Democratic Party Patronage Hires

    January 14, 2017

    http://www.mchenrycountyblog.com/2017/01/14/employment-papers-for-jack-franks-democratic-party-patronage-hires

  20. Moderate and Angel, thank goodness Pandora’s Box was opened, now the people see what has been brewing, it is only a matter of time, and everyone will know you two. Tic Tock.

  21. Compassionate conservative brothers and sisters: please remember this when crying about “liberal and communist” colleges “denying” free speech to conservative speakers. 2018, please do not delay…tic, tock, tic, tock…

  22. Effingham Radio – WCRA – AM 1090 – 99.5 FM – 96.3 FM

    July 31, 2017

    by Benjamin Yount

    “Democratic leaders last week announced that they will not have a formal rally at the Illinois State Fair for Democrat Day.”

    “Democrat leaders say they will still have a chairman’s breakfast earlier in the day at a Springfield hotel, that will be where the speeches and rallies will take place this year.”

    http://www.effinghamradio.com/2017/07/31/no-democrat-day-at-the-illinois-state-fair

    ++++++++

    Having the event at a hotel instead of at the fair provides Democrats with a more controlled environment for current Democrat Secretary of State to announce either he will, or will not, run for re-election in 2018.

    The Illinois Democratic County Chairman’s Association annual Chairmen’s Brunch is the largest Democratic event every year and is expected to draw over 1,000 this year.

    The Chairmen’s Brunch will be at the Crowne Plaza – Springfield.

    Will Oliver Serafini be there?

  23. Hmmm!

    A commenter here criticizes Cal and says “My goal is to continue to point out that Cal is a beacon of nonsense.”

    Maybe get a life.

  24. Will Oliver Serafini be at the Chairmen’s Brunch videoing Jack Franks?

    From the picture in the blog post he seems to enjoy doing so.

  25. Is this something seeking to fill that vacancy?

    Would you please point me to the source?

  26. Does the hiring process of Oliver Serafini cross the threshold of willfull intent to break the law?

  27. Kirsten Powers is a writer for USA Today and a commentator for CNN.

    She is a liberal and a Democrat and wrote a book in 2015 titled, “The Silencing, How the Left is Killing Free Speech”.

    In that book she documents numerous, numerous instances whereby leftist and socialist teachers, professors and administrators in many colleges and universities in the US are denying free speech to conservative students and are blocking conservative speakers at their sites.

    She characterizes these leftists and socialists as the “illiberal left”.

    She states about them: “While preaching tolerance and claiming to hold liberal values, the “illiberal left” works to delegitimize political and ideological opponents in ways that stifle freedom of expression, thought and religious belief”.

  28. Who audits practices and procedures in McHenry County Government to make sure that administrators and their employees are “indeed” following documented practices and procedures and laws?

  29. Angel & Moderate, two of the biggest whiners in all of McHenry county, poor babies.

  30. Moderator you misspelled “gauruntees”.

    The correct spelling is guarantees.

    Maybe your spell check is turned off.

    Why are you suck a RAH RAH Go Franks fan? So far he has not impressed me at all.

    Seems to be all about getting himself a higher position elsewhere and using our county to do it.

  31. Whiners?

    Who is crying his lungs out every day warning us about his imminent departure from our state?

    I yield the floor to my compassionate conservative friends for an answer.

    Hint: the guy believes he is related to our 16th president…tic, tock, tic, tock…

  32. jgkm6? And you are ok with infridgement? (Plus all the grammar was useless.)

  33. Bred winner, there is no mechanism to,enforce adherenc to procedure and laws.

    I have called States Attorney, Atty General, and County Clerk.

    There is no agency charged with enforcement of law by elected offIcials.
    The same goes for school boards.

    All these agencies claimed to have no authority or responsibility to enforce a School Code:

    Atty Genl, States Atty, ISBE counsel, and regional superintendent Leslie
    Schermerhorn.

    All told me that citizens could file civil suits, but even having done so there was a sketchy or nonexistent pathway for obtaining any relief ( such as reversal of procedures enacted in violation of Illinois law).

  34. In the case of violation of County Code during the hiring of alleged patronage workers, County Board members could file suit quo warrento, whereby the alleged violator would have to prove ‘by what authority ‘ he has violated a County Code and hiring practices, and if failing relief from the grievance may be ordered by the judge.

    You might ask Board Members why they have not filed quo warrento suit.

  35. Thanks Susan for reply.

    Perhaps we need a mechanism such Inspector General in D.C. who can oversee, audit, etc the proceedings of government in our County.

    Does our County Government regularly bring in “independent” auditors from outside Illinois to review County operations?

  36. Not to my knowledge.

    If citizens want to force elected officials to enforce laws and Code (municipal or County resolutions, or Illinois statutory law), citizens must file civil suits against government body.

  37. For one example, school boards have knowingly voted to levy taxes in Transportation Fund far in excess of Transportation budget needs.

    They then transfer the excess funds from Transportation Fund to Education Fund.

    This is a purposeful evasion of the Statutory cap on Education Fund levy amount.

    Pointing this out to school board did no good; they were so cavalier about their contempt for tax rate caps that they printed intentions of multimillion dollar transfers in their forward budget projections.

    Finally, citizens filed a tax objection lawsuit.

    The next budget book contained appropriate reduction in the Transportation Fund levy.

  38. https://www.co.mchenry.il.us/county-government/departments-a-i/auditor

    From above web site, the McHenry County Auditor is Pamela K Palmer. Her Mission Statement is below

    Mission Statement

    It is the mission of the McHenry County Auditor’s Office to provide quality, cost-effective fiscal services to the citizens of the County through the functions of financial reporting and record keeping and also through a continuous auditing program. These two processes are designed to assist all members of the County Board, Elected Officials and Department Directors in their duties by providing them with accurate and meaningful information concerning the financial condition, policies, procedures, controls and performance measurement of the county.

    Office Objectives

    To fulfill this mission, the McHenry County Auditor’s Office will:

    Monitor all internal financial operations of the County and serve as the general accountant of the County and keeper of its general accounts.

    Audit all claims against the County and recommend payment or rejection by dated signature. This shall be achieved by auditing the documentation and basis for the amounts billed to the County, as maintained by County vendors, under agreements between the County and its vendors.

    Collect, analyze and preserve statistical and financial information with respect to the cost of operations of the various County departments and facilities maintained, operated or owned by the County.

    Report quarterly to the County Board the entire financial operations of the County including revenues anticipated and received, expenditures estimated or paid, and other pertinent information. The availability of these reports to the public will be published quarterly in a newspaper of general circulation in the County.

    Audit the inventory of all real and personal property owned by the County under the control and management of the various officers and departments of the County.

    Maintain a continuous internal audit of the operations and financial records of the officers, agents or divisions of the County.

    Audit the receipts of all County officers and departments presented for deposit with the County Treasurer.

    Maintain a file of all contracts entered into by the County Board and all authorized county officers, for or on behalf of the County.

    If you have any questions concerning the financial reports of McHenry County, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can be reached at the office weekdays from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm or e-mail us anytime.
    ———————————————————————————————

    Besides financial, the Mission Statement says that she audits policies, procedures and controls.

  39. But she has no legal mechanism to enforce ‘non-selective’ enforcement of County Code by elected officials, nor School Code by elected officials.

    I wish she did!

  40. If she did, her office could file quo warrento suit regarding the alleged patronage hires in violation of County Code and Salary Administration Policy.

  41. Looks like the Kane County Auditor might have a more detailed description of audit of procedures and operations as follows:

    “Improves Operations through Internal Audits – The County Auditor performs independent internal audits of County departments to identify ways of providing Kane taxpayers with better services and improved controls at less cost. Through the use of an annual comprehensive Auditing Plan and Risk Analysis we can identify and prioritize those audits. Put simply, every internal audit is designed to answer questions that you, the taxpayer, would ask: (a) What is the department supposed to accomplish? (b) What is the department actually accomplishing? (c) Do records and procedures exist to properly control the operations? and (d) Can the department’s methods of operation be improved?”

    —————————————————————————————

    It would seem that a County Auditor, in any County in a State, ought to have the authority and independence to look at anything and every thing in County Government and then report to the citizens.

  42. Woodstock ‘ought to’ have a property tax rate less than triple national average, based upon the average quality of social service and education provision as reflected in statistics of economy, crime, and standardized test scores..
    But we don’t.

    Citizens may want to attend some school board meetings to let reality really sink in: nobody empowered to spend OPM and put us at 4% property tax rate sees a problem with that level of spending.

    They are well paid, well sick-day’ed-and-vacationed, well OPEB’d, well perq-ed, well insured, and well pensioned cradle-to-grave due to the system.

    They feel no minor discomfort themselves, why should they care about others’ pain?
    Why would they change spending habits?

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