IMRF Says Franks’s Proposed Pension Revocation Action for Countywide Elected Officials Illegal and Unconstitutional

Louis Kosiba

In an October 2, 2017, letter from Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund Executive Director Louis Kosiba, McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks is told that removing countywide elected officials is unconstitutional

“It cannot be abrogated by a belief that a certain segment of IMRF participants should not participate,” Kosiba informs Franks.

“Participation in IMRF is a protected constitutional right,” he continues.

Yet Franks told the Northwest Herald in an article published today that he will put such a resolution on the October 17th Board agenda.

Then the NWH prints the following paragraph as if it were factual when IMRF says it is not:

If passed by the County Board, the resolution will remove Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund eligibility for the offices of county board chairman, state’s attorney, county clerk, circuit clerk, treasurer, auditor, recorder, coroner and sheriff.

The IMRF letter brings into question the legality of the precedent that Franks cites as authority–the resolution passed to take County Board members out of IMRF.

That resolution included prohibition of IMRF participation by the incoming at-large elected County Board Chairman, who turned out to be Franks.

IMRF interpreted that action as the County Board saying that its members did not work 1,000 hours each year, the letter states.

While Kosiba admits that a resolution from the Board would be considered by his IMRF Board, if the affected officials submitted affidavits stating they worked 1,000 hours a year, the Board would not dismiss them from it pension system.

The deciding issue is whether the IMRF Board thinks the countywide elected officials work 1,000 hours, not how the County Board votes.

The IMRF Executive Director goes further, writing,

“I also think disqualifying these positions from IMRF would be detrimental to good government. 

We all want  hard working dedicated public servants who serve citizens in an efficient business-like manner. ..

Why would Illinois want to treat those “elected department heads” different from the staffs they lead?…
“Cancelling” pension rights will not help achieve the good government you seek.

Kisiba then suggests if Franks really wants to strip elected officials of their pension rights he should seek legislative change.

It should be noted that Franks did just that for Regional Transportation Board and County Board members when State Representative, but did not make such an attempt for the nine countywide elected officials he seeks to strip of the pension fringe benefit.

The text of the letter follows:


Comments

IMRF Says Franks’s Proposed Pension Revocation Action for Countywide Elected Officials Illegal and Unconstitutional — 12 Comments

  1. Franks knew this to begin with.

    Just another one of his “look what I going to do” publicity stunts.

  2. Jack has friends in the Dem controlled legislature.

    Getting the legislation passed to stick it to Rep elected in our county is No Problem Man.

    The IMRF dude’s pay is relative to the amout of $$$$ is controlled by that org.

    As good Conservatives are you going to be the stone in the road to saving tax $$$$?

  3. Constitution?

    You mean that piece of toilet paper, written by Public Sector Employees, for Public Sector Employees?

  4. I know people who voted against contracts and benefits knowing that they would pass anyway.

    They would claim to take higher moral ground knowing their vote was redundant.

    It’s just hypocrisy as if the vote was close I know they’d vote to benefit themselves.

  5. Like I said. It’s illegal.

    Franks is just using this to generate headlines so he can run for AG or some other higher office.

    The public is too ignorant to know the difference.

    They will think he did something because he said he did.

    It will say so on his ZIP sign.

    I despair for our Republic.

  6. @Nob you can’t be that stupid!

    Jack has friends in the Dem controlled legislature.

    LOL

    The Dems do not want to get rid of Pensions for themselves or anyone else.

    If the elected officials get rid of those pensions now you can start going after the pensions for public sector jobs!

    And Jack was for 18 yrs in the Dem controlled legislature and not one piece of legislature or new laws to get rid of his pension or the elected officials he is currently talking about came through!

    I really can’t understand how stupid you really can be with such a statement!

    Lets talk about saving tax $$$$ and get rid of Prevailing Wage!

    Let the market dictate what the wages should be!

    Get rid of all pensions because that would save the taxpayers $$$$.

    But no matter what for this resolution that Franks wants to put forward is Illegal!

    Can’t do it!

    So you want the board to pass something that’s Illegal?

    You are some kind of stupid!

    One other thing that was in the paper was that Franks decided that he wanted a resolution to go forward but decided that it wasn’t worth his time to go in front of a committee to have a transparent discussion but instead wants to try and grandstand at the county board meeting.

    That he is a master of!

  7. (40 ILCS 5/7-105) (from Ch. 108 1/2, par. 7-105)
    Sec. 7-105. “Municipality”: A city, village, incorporated town, county, township; a Financial Oversight Panel established pursuant to Article 1H of the School Code; and any school, park, sanitary, road forest preserve, water, fire protection, public health, river conservancy, mosquito abatement, tuberculosis sanitarium, public community college district, or other local district with general continuous power to levy taxes on the property within such district; now existing or hereafter created within the State; and, for the purposes of providing annuities and benefits to its employees, the fund itself.
    (Source: P.A. 97-429, eff. 8-16-11.)

    What this means is that “counties” are included in the definition of “municipality” for IMRF purposes. Every entity listed above is REQUIRED to provide pension coverage for anyone working over 1000 hours per year.

    An official can decline to file the application for coverage, however, once they have done so it is IRREVOCABLE by them or anyone else pursuant to the state constitution:

    SECTION 5. PENSION AND RETIREMENT RIGHTS
    Membership in any pension or retirement system of the
    State, any unit of local government or school district, or
    any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall be an
    enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which
    shall not be diminished or impaired.
    (Source: Illinois Constitution.)

    As stated in the letter, the County Board was able to opt out because IMRF interpreted that resolution to mean that the job did not customarily require 1000 hours per year. So it is not “the same thing” as Franks told the NHW.

    The incompetence of the NW and Daily Herald reporters continues to amaze.

    If it weren’t for blogs like this, biased thought it may be, no one would know anything.

  8. The 21st Amendment was a repeal of the 18th Amendment.

    There hasn’t been a law set in stone since Noah broke those two.

    It can happen with some support.

    Onr step at a time.

    Partisan politics is killing this country.

    Don’t be a stone.

  9. You are a fool.

    Communism is killing this country.

    You don’t even see evil when it stares you in the puss.

  10. The County Board cannot repeal the state constitution or change a state statute.

    Mr. Franks never got a bill passed during his 18 years in Springpatch to remove elected officials from IMRF, and I don’t think he even submitted one.

    He can’t do as County Board Chairman what he failed to do as state representative.

    There is also the argument made by Mr. Kosiba that it might not be desirable to treat elected officials who are placed in charge of large departments in a different position than county employees who are in charge of departments but are not elected to those positions (ie. Planning and Development, Human Relations, Purchasing, Health, etc.).

    Perhaps no public sector employees should get pensions and they should all have to use 401k’s like the rest of us but , again, that requires action in Springfield.

    Otherwise the only issue is whether or not the elected officials are putting in at least 1000 hours.

    The County Board cannot require them to submit time records so all they have to do is fill out a certificate that the job, in their opinion, ought to take at least 1000 hours to properly perform.

    Are there elected officials who we don’t think are working at least 1000 hours per year?

    If so , which ones?

    It was Mr. Franks who has been saying that the county should not have a lobbyist in Springfield.

  11. So is anyone going to ask?

    Is Franks giving up HIS pension?

    Because that’s where he has control.

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