Jack Franks Seeks Leasing Agent for Valley Hi Nursing Home Without County Board Involvement

In a move of which no McHenry County Board member attending State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally’s fundraiser last night was aware, Jack Franks has asked for Requests for Proposals to lease Valley Hi, the County nursing home.

Valley Hi

One member of the County Board asked retiring Purchasing Director Don Gray how long he had been working on the RFP and was told since June.

Next Gray was asked why he didn’t tell anyone.

Gray is reported to have said that Chairman Jack Franks and Administrator Peter Austin told him not to, to keep it quiet.

I talked to all the County Board members attending the fundraiser.

Chuck Wheeler, Chairman of the Public Health Committee knew nothing of the proposal before today.

Mike Skala, Finance Committee Chairman, knew nothing of the proposal until today.

Jeff Thorsen, Vice Chairman of the County Board, knew nothing of the proposal until today.

Craig Wilcox, liaison from the County Board to the Valley Hi Operating Board, said that no mention was made of the proposal at Wednesday night’s meeting.

Craig Wilcox

“It is unfathomable to me that a Request For Qualifications regarding Valley Hi operations was released today by the county without any discussion by the County Board or appropriate committees and boards,” Wilcox said.

“The RFQ was obviously in the works for awhile, and was close enough to being released that an open and transparent government would have discussed it at our County Board meeting on Tuesday, or certainly at the Valley Hi Operating Board on Wednesday.

“I am disappointed that our County Administrator remained secret and silent and am in disbelief that our County Board Chairman feels such contempt for transparency that he would attempt such underhanded actions.

“I feel disappointment on behalf of McHenry county residents who have been misled by Chairman Franks into thinking his actions are upstanding and noble, when the reality is he consistently attempts to circumvent and knowingly avoid an open dialogue on critical issues.”

Jim Heisler, who serves on the Valley Hi Operating Board, said that not only was no mention made of the RFP by County Administrator Peter Austin, but the staffer scheduled to discuss next year’s budget on Wednesday night did not attend the meeting.

Transportation Committee Chairman Joe Gottemoller knew nothing of the proposal until today.

Chuck Wheeler

“As chairman of Public Health and Community Services Committee,” Wheeler said, “I am shocked and appalled to hear rumors that our County Chairman would go out for bids on Valley High to lease it out without running it through our committee or the rest of the board.

“Our employees at Valley High and our precious residents deserve better treatment than this and I apologize to them both for this behavior, “he continued.

“We can’t afford this shoot from the hip reckless leadership from Chairman Franks and County Administrator Austin.”

Kay Bates said she knew nothing of the proposal until today.

Chris Christensen did not know that an RFP was being prepared until today.

Mike Walkup also said he knew nothing about the Valley Hi proposal until today.

Michael Rein was kept in the dark, too.

Donna Kurtz did not know either.

John Reinert said he knew nothing of the proposal until today.

Donna Kurtz

Kurtz told me that she and Mary McCann met with Austin on Tuesday and were assured that the only changes at Valley Hi would be privatizing some of the support services, such as, housekeeping and food service.

“To date there has been no specific problem that this leasing of Valley Hi is supposed to solve,” Kurtz said.

“And until there is a complete financial analysis using audited data, the entire RFQ is a sham because there is no proof that it is necessary.”

Appearing on the McHenry County website in the purchasing section is the following:

Broker Services for the Lease of McHenry County’s Valley Hi Nursing Home

**Pre-RFQ Meeting will be held on 8/31/17 at 10:00AM in the Administration Building at 667 Ware Rd Woodstock IL 60098**

Questions for this RFQ are due 9/6/17 by 4:00PM

Addendums will be posted after 4:00PM on 9/13/17

The detail is here.


Jack Franks Seeks Leasing Agent for Valley Hi Nursing Home Without County Board Involvement — 48 Comments

  1. Does Peter Austin report to the entire County Board or only Jack Franks.

    It seems he repeatedly is aligned with Jack Franks and withholding information from the full County Board.

  2. And here you have another prime example of how a Democrat works; underhanded and behind your backs. Transparency my fat butt!! Who does he think he is, Jack Franks? God’s gift to McHenry county? Enjoy yourselves, voters; you got exactly what you deserved; a self centered, me first chairman

  3. It is the Board’s own fault. They have let this P.O.S. run over them at every turn. Are they afraid of his personal newspaper the NW Herald aka the Pravda? Until this Board gets a set, the County is nothing more than Franks self promoting political tool. And this after the Dems admitted Franks doesn’t have what it takes to win statewide. They gave it to the 83 yr old to carry the load for them.

  4. Many questions and thoughts come to mind.

    First, the the public needs a lot more specific information to understand what transpired, when it transpired, who was involved, and why all the secrecy.

    Second, Why not involve the expertise and experience of the entire County Board.

    Who initiated this endeavor and when?

    What is all the evidence of when Jack Franks and Peter Austin discussed this matter, what was discussed, etc.

    Third, back to the first point, why did Jack Franks and Peter Austin not involve County Board committees and the full County Board on a matter of this magnitude?

    Why the lack of teamwork?

    Fourth, this is an 11 page RFQ.

    It takes a lot of time and effort to prepare an 11 page outsourcing of certain Valley Hi functions RFQ.

    Fifth, who are all of the people involved in gathering information for and preparing this RFQ?

    Where is the evidence trail of who did what and when?

    Sixth, what other RFQs has the County issued to outsource functions, when were they issued, and were they issued without involving any County Board committees or board meetings?

    Seventh, who is going to notify the Northwest Herald of this newsworthy event, and when?

    Eighth, RFQ responses are due in just over 30 days from the issue.

    What are the common locations to post such an RFQ so the County will receive the most competitive bids?

    Ninth, healthcare organizations have contributed to the Jack Franks PAC in the last year or so, and that has previously been mentioned on this blog.

    Tenth, the County Board should interview Don Gray and Peter Austin about this matter ASAP.

    Eleventh, when is the scheduled last day of work for Don Gray.

  5. Re: “the County Board should interview Don Gray and Peter Austin”

    The current Board does not have the required spine!

    I personally have no problem with removing Valley Hi from the jurisdiction of this County but I have a significant problem with the underhanded, sneaky approach used by the racist “round mound”!

    Racist? Yes, he is, in my opinion – he has openly attacked the only ‘official’ minority on the Board.

    I say ‘official’ because having only one Board member who openly declares she is a Democrat does not make her an ‘official’ minority.

    Insofar as any comment coming from Kurtz, she threw herself ‘under the bus’ (so to speak) with her statements relative to Prevailing Wage.

    I would not be surprised to see Tom Annarella leave his position with this new ‘cloud’ surrounding Valley Hi.

    Without Tom, Valley Hi will be a losing proposition.

    Republican voters who voted for the ’round mound’ better get to work for real Republican candidates for the Board next year!!


    What a bunch of whiners.

  7. Chairman Franks has previously stated that he is not in favor of the county running Valley Hi and wants to “hold Tom Annarella accountable” for the scabies situation last year. Also I don’t think that Cal got the quote from Joe G right. Mary McCann is Chair of PHHS, not Joe. McCann has been a consistent supporter of Franks up to this time.

  8. How dare the County Board Chair not act as a bi-partisan team player.

    Is he the County Board Dictator.

    Or the County Board Chair.

  9. You are correct Rickey, McCann was Chair of PHHS last term. However, I have heard that she too is upset about this.

  10. @Moderate..You really are clueless are you not? Governor Rauner is trying to save the taxpayers money however he is not getting any support in Springfield. How dare he right?! So back to Jack Franks. Again he refuses to let the County Board in on a open and transparent process. Work behind the scenes and tell Mr. Gray to not say anything. Is that how you want this to work in our County? Before a RFQ is ordered there are discussions of whether the County Board or Committee wants to go down this path. Get the information, debate it, and then decide. I wonder who and how Jack Franks will benefit? Jack Franks doesn’t make a move without benefiting himself! Good luck County Board Members!

  11. The tax paying citizens did NOT elect Peter Austin to ANY position. He was ready to bail and go to Iowa a few years ago, but they didn’t want him. He should be fired. Besides being morally and ethically wrong, isn’t there any enforceable policies to keep employees in check, disciplined or let go?

    What was decided about the accumulated large sum of taxpayer money from Valley Hi?

    McCann…ugh…thanks District 6 voters for keeping her around.

    Valley Hi should have been sold a long time ago. It is not exclusive to McHenry County taxpayers. It’s open to anyone from anywhere on our dime. Sell it.

    Voters, why did you want an elected chairman?
    Why did you want Franks?

  12. Moderate, you must not realize that Valley Hi actually makes money.
    It’s not a problem other than the board voting to keep taxing citizens when they have already accumulated more than enough money to operate without doing so.

    McCann is upset? Why because Franks didn’t personally call her to let her in on it? Glad to hear she’s upset. Let’s see what she and the other Board Members do about it!

  13. In the United States one person or group cannot rule by fiat.

    Franks, like POTUS, are not kings, much as they believe they are.

    (Madigan & Cullerton excepted, they are crown king & prince)

    There is a lesson in there.

  14. The problem with Valley Hi, to the extent that there is a problem, is that when the referendum was floated to the voters back in 2002, the administration of Valley Hi was being done poorly and the bed mix had too many Medicaid beds vs private pay and Medicare.

    The referendum was then passed but, once Tom Annarella was hired and the bed mix was changed, the annual deficit shrank so the money was no longer needed to the same extent on an annual basis.

    However, due to the PTELL legislation, the levy amount, once lowered, cannot be raised again even though the voters approved a higher amount.

    The State is also an unreliable payor so if you reduce the levy, and can’t increase it back to previous levels due to PTELL, and the state stops paying, you are in trouble.

    That’s why the cash reserves have gotten progressively larger.

    In the meantime, Tom has provided great leadership in his role but may leave due to the hostility from the new Chairman, which will cause county government to lose it’s best and brightest.

    Way to go Mr. Chairman.

  15. I believe the cash balance got so high because the County Board could not bring themselves to escape the “if we don’t take it, we lose it forever” mentality.

    That was evident even last year.

  16. Moderate on 08/18/2017 at 11:31 am said:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Moderate on 08/18/2017 at 11:31 am said:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Since when is an RFQ or RFP a contentious issue?!

    How many RFPs have been circulated in the County that the Board was not a part of?

    According to the county site below, the meeting for the RFP isn’t even until AUGUST 31st!!!!

    That is PLENTY of lead time for whiney board members like Kurtz and Wheeler.

    Where was Wheeler’s outrage on this RFP?
    Provide Actuary Services For Self-Insurance Fund
    Questions for this RFP are due 7/10/17 by 4:00PM
    Answers/Responses will be posted after 4:00PM on 7/13/17

    Where was Kurtz’s complaining on this one:
    Provide 457 Retirement Plan
    Questions for this RFP are due 6/14/17 by 4:00PM
    Answers/Responses will be posted after 4:00PM on 6/16/17

    Where was Walkup whining about this one:
    Services to Provide Stormwater & Subdivision Review Consulting>
    Questions for this RFQ are due 5/3/17 by 4:00PM
    Answers/Responses will be posted after 4:00PM on 5/10/17
    UnOfficial Summary Sheet

    Oh, but when Democrats have ideas and give a two week lead time about discussion, THEN it’s a problem?!

    Oh and it’s not even an RFQ, it’s a PRE-RFQ!!!!

    Whiney little bunch of whiners.

  17. Do you think we could get Jack to sell Valley Hi if taxpayers footed Jack a commission?

  18. No decisions have been made, it needs board approval.

    So doing research before presenting to the board is now a bad thing?

    Bunch of whiners.

    If it cuts taxes, it’s worth exploring.

    Its simple. Get the information, provide it to the board.

    This board needs to get over itself and stop trying to micromanage every little thing.

    Let the people who were hired to do a job, do their job.

  19. Jack Franks attempted the county form of government to county executive.

    The voters voted down that referendum.

    If it had succeeded, Jack Franks would now be County Executive.

    But instead he is County Chair, acting as much as he can to be County Executive.

    We should go back in the archives and again rehash the differences between those two forms of government.

  20. The only place in the entire State that has some cash and a Democrat is zeroing in on it.

    Should be fun watching this develop,as that surplus gets ferreted out and spent on some scheme.

  21. DJ you’re very astute!

    Every Dem that ran for county board last year wanted to ‘leverage the surplus of Valley Hi and borrow against it’.

    Sick of these clowns.

    If Franks wanted research done he still should have brought it to the board.

    Transparency, remember that?

    He’s a snake in the grass and so is Peter Austin.

    They both need to to or get schooled!

  22. When one puts lots of links, the program seems to tag a comment for moderation.

    Next time, I’ll advise my father-in-law not to die before I get a chance to moderate Moderate’s comment.

  23. Valley Hi illustrates an unintended consequence of the PTELL law.

    It actually forces local governments to hoard money.

    Then they try to use it for things other than what it was intended for.

    The law should be changed so that those levies which are the result of a successful referendum vote should be able to be raised an lowered as needed within the maximum set by the voters in the referendum.

    The voters already said it was OK to tax them to that amount.

    This should be an exception to the general PTELL rule.

    This would prevent the hoarding situation.

    Madigan, however, reportedly doesn’t want to do anything that would alleviate problems created by the GOP sponsored PTELL legislation and lets the GOP twist slowly in the wind.

  24. You are all sheep, bleating as you are led to slaughter, just more trophy heads for chairman Frank’s wall.

  25. Interesting, Cal uses an anonymous 3 rd party to claim what Don Gray said.

    These idiots believe the statement that Cal made up.

    Did anyone ask Don Gray what he actually said?

    No journalistic integrity here, just fake news.

    Btw, still waiting on Walkup’s analysis for the last RFQ. Pretty sure he never raised an eyebrow.

  26. Posting a “Request for Qualifications”, “RFQ # 17-37” to “Broker Services for the Lease of McHenry County’s Valley Hi Nursing Home” is much more than doing research.

    It is more substantial than more run of the mill tasks performed by the purchasing department.

    Hopefully someone is gathering the details of what transpired and will present a report to the public.

  27. It’s a Pre-RFQ Mark.

    I’m sure the public will be well informed on the whole proposal.

    You have to trust your leaders to lead. Of course, Walkup, Kurtz and Wheeler want to gain political points for a non controversial issue.

  28. The article states a member of the County Board talked to Don Gray, the Director of Purchasing with McHenry County.

    Other County Board members can talk to Don Gray about the matter.

    A substantial amount of time and effort would go into developing the Request for Qualifications.

    To keep a Request for Qualifications secret from the County Board on such a significant organizational decision as leasing the County owned Valley Hi Retirement Board is unacceptable and is a controversial issue.

    The voters elected the County Board.

  29. Once again. The county board needs to get over itself and let people do their jobs.

    When there is something to share or ask them about, they will know.

    Until then, allow the county admin staff to do their job.

    I think the board forgets their role quite often and they want to micromanage every damn thing going on.

  30. Lol 😆
    Franks: Damned if he does; Damned if he doesn’t!

    Cal Skinner’s attacks are so sophomoric.

    He attacks Franks for a clothing allowance, something that never existed but someone emailed him claiming it did and Skinner posted it!

    He attacks Franks for hiring staff. Really? Staff.

    Now he attacks Franks for leadership in attempting to address inefficiencies in government.

    OH BUT THE PROCESS!!! That’s what we have trouble with. THE PROCESS!!!

    Whiney little bitches.

  31. I know that companies like Aramark go to “great lengths” to get into places like Valley Hi.

    Somebody usually does well from these deals.

    You can find their smiling faces at all the following political fundraisers.

    Don’t you love politics?

  32. Is the phony ‘Moderate’ Jack Franks himself????

    I believe he well could be … which would explain alot of the projection and schizoid psycho-babble

    Jackal-Jacko isn’t pleased with being doxxed!

    Jacko on left, with the winged Pam Althoff just above him. Madigan on right.

    They’re all feasting on the poor IL tax-payer!


  33. Cindy seems to think I’m female while Susan and I have chatted on the phone before.

    Both can confirm, I’m not Jack Franks.

  34. Cut from RFQ:

    “I.Statement of PurposeThe brokerwill be asked to assist the County in outlining options, lease or other disposition of the facility and to help the County develop a strategy and plan of action for going forward with said facility and residents. The brokerwill also be asked to help the county analyze the strengths, limitations, feasibility and cost impacts of current and possible future options.With respect to all such options, the brokershould plan to assist the County in assuring, to the extent possible, that current employees at the facility will have first right to fill available positions with a new owner/lease/operator, should this be decided.

    The County would like to state that the reason we are seeking this assessment is not to criticize current County operations. Rather this effort is focused upon fully understanding the changing nature and future implications of continuing to remain in the nursing home business. The information gained from this effort will allow the County to make informed and cost effective decisions related to the future of itsnursing facility.III.Scope of WorkCollect and analyze financial data relating to the facility and recommend pricing the asset.Create all marketing materials and confidentiality agreements.Distribute marketing materials.Create online data room.Provide County with sample Letters of Intent forms, LeaseAgreements, Escrow Agreements, Bid Procedures and related documents.In coordination with staff arrange tours for prospective bidders.Obtain answers to vendor questions and provide responses in the form of an Addendum so all interested parties are given the same answers.Formulate timeline with milestones.Collect offers and provide a synopsis to the County.Assist the County in the negotiations with the selected vendor from the awarded RFP.Assist the County with the creation of contract to be reviewed by McHenry County States Attorney’s Office.Analyze prospective offer to determine revenue generation projections and projected liabilities and obligations for the County.*****THIS IS NOT A PREVAILING WAGE PROJECT*****

  35. In my opinion, this is what McHenry County needs.

    It is forward progress, so long as anyone who is not a corrupt insider still survives in Illinois to respond to this RFQ.

    My understanding is that this will engender a clarification to taxpayers and Board Members about the actual worth (positive or negative worth) of a “County” nursing home which is required by law to take non-County patients and which obligates only County taxpayers for ongoing subsidization.

    Should County/VH Board Members have been informed?

    I think that is now less relevant than moving the process forward…with the caveat that this is not one more bums-rush move to sell valuable public assets to insiders at discount prices.

  36. The county nursing homes bed mix was indeed changed and it now competes with private companies.

    The mission was to provide Medicare beds- which it doesn’t Get out of healthcare- sell the damn thing and move on.

  37. WITH THE PROVISO that the buyer IS NOT INDEMNIFIED AND “STOP-LOSSED” BY McHenry County taxpayers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.