McHenry County Board Members Oppose Jack Franks Legislative Power Grab

Jack Franks

Most of the people who will be directly affected by Jack Franks attempt to grab the power to appoint McHenry County Board committee chairmen and select which committees on which all members will serve have weighed in on the question.

In less three days during the last week of the veto session, McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks convinced Democrats in the House and all State Senators except local ones to give him more power over the McHenry County Board than Mike Madigan has over the Illinois House of Representatives.

Madigan has the power to appoint committee chairman and to place Democrats on the committees of his choice.

It is the House Republican Leader, however, who determines on what committees Republicans will serve.

Under House Bill 171, Franks would have the authority to put both the one Democrat and all twenty-three Republicans on any committees he desired.

That gives him the power to stack more committees in his absolute favor than he has now.

Neither the Human Relations nor the Internal Services and Facilities Committee act in lockstep with Franks’ wishes.

Not signing were Michele Aavang, who was out of town, Mike Skala, Bob Nowak and Democrat Paula Yensen.

If you would like to advise the Governor of your position, you can do so here:

Or, if it is more convenient, call 217-782-0244.


McHenry County Board Members Oppose Jack Franks Legislative Power Grab — 18 Comments

  1. Finally some unity!

    On another topic: If anyone has a copy of the ‘flyer’ referenced in the Northwest Herald article about Nowak and Spoerl championing for reducing the County Board size, please get a copy to Cal or myself.


  2. Some of these very same members were aiding and abetting Franks during his previous power grabs.

    I wonder what has changed?

  3. Chairman Mr Jack Franks STILL will have to get the “advice and consent” of the McHenry County Board with regard to the creation of any committee and the appointments to various committees.

    Question is whether “advice and consent” process is similar to that of say the U.S. Senate in confirming appointments to positions in the U.S.

    Would “consent” in McHenry County need a simple majority or 2/3 to approve what Chairman Franks would propose to do?

  4. I take back everything I’ve said about Board Members being overpaid.

    They deserve everything they get for putting up with Franks gigantic ego, bluster and antics.

  5. @Bred.. With the new amended bill that is on the Governors desk the County Board will not have the opportunity to approve this.

    Karen M. bill did require it however anytime you put a bill forward it can be amended.

    So thanks to Karen M. and Pam A. for thinking of this stupid bill!

  6. “Advice and consent ” is 12 with the Chairman voting to break the tie.

  7. Franks was personally in Springfield to shepard this thru in record time.

    Karen M voted “present” on her own bill, as did Pam.

    Pam was on the Assignments Commiittee and allowed it to go to forward.

    Does this sound like “cahoots” to anybody?

  8. So what you have is a former Chairman, a current Chairman (of the opposite party), and a wannabe future Chairman colluding to give Chairmen more power.


  9. Where was This Iron Wall of defiance when the vote was taken for patronage hires.

    It’s not so bad that you get snookered but it’s really bad that you don’t know when you get snookered.

  10. According to the wording of the bill, Chairman Franks would HAVE to get advice and CONSENT from the Board for creation and/or staffing of committees.

    Are there at least 13 Members who are not beholden to the Chairman and would honestly provide their input on CONSENT?

  11. @bred winner:

    The answer to your question is NO there are far too many RINOS that’s the problem.

  12. Maybe if Skillocorn,Wheeler, Reich didn’t turn their back on the Gov. this would have mattered.

    If this was going to be vetoed we have been told already and not be sending out hailmarys.

    Pam A. voted present that should tell you something as she is closest to the Gov.

    Lastly…. Orville don’t you have states evidence to turn or gun runners to bail out of jail.

  13. Well I’ve got to praise those on the list who sent gov. Rauner their objections!

    I wish we had more consistency tho.

  14. It would be nice if the people whose signatures are not legible would also hand write their names.

    So 20 of the 24 McHenry County Board Members oppose HB 171?

    With it being unknown if Michele Aavang opposes the bill because she is out of town, and Mike Skala, Bob Nowak, and Paula Yensen support the bill?

    If so many board members oppose the bill, why is Republican State Senator Karen McConnaughay (who representing parts of Kane and McHenry County) a Sponsor of the bill, and furthermore, why did she vote “Present” instead of “Yay” on a bill for which she is listed as a Sponsor?

    That is indicated in the Bill Status:


    As the majority of the McHenry County Board oppose the bill, this is nowhere close to a bipartisan county board effort by Jack Franks.


    Also reflected in the Bill Status is the slim shady process used by the General Assembly to pass HB 171.

    This shady process did not allow the county board, legislators, or taxpayers enough time to consider the bill.

    – House Floor Amendment 1 filed on June 28, 2017

    – House Floor Amendment 2 filed on June 28, 2017

    (House Floor Amendment 2 changes the bill substantially.)

    – Passed the House on June 28, 2017

    – First Reading in the Senate on June 28, 2017

    – Second Reading in the Senate on June 29, 2017

    – Karen McConnaughay added as Co-Sponsor on November 7, 2017

    – Thomas Cullerton (not John Cullerton) filed Senate Floor Amendment 1 on November 7, 2017

    (Senate Floor Amendment 1 completely changes the bill.)

    – Third Reading in the Senate and the Bill Passes the Senate on November 7, 2017.


    The General Assembly rules to pass legislation are rigged against the taxpayer.

  15. As an indication of how much HB 171 has been changed, read this Press Release from Democrat State Representative from Kathleen Willis (Northlake office in Cook County) dated July 5, 2017.

    As of that day Ms. Willis was promoting the bill as allowing townships to consolidate.


    Incidentally, the General Assembly did pass Senate Bill 3 (SB 3) on May 31, 2017, which Governor signed into law as Public Act 100-0107 (PA 100-0107) on August 14, 2017, which allows voter referendums for township consolidation, and stipulates very specific rules about such consolidation efforts.

  16. I’m sure Rauner will come in clutch though.

    He cares a lot about what Republicans from McHenry County think.

  17. For those of you that missed it, Cal posted the below blog-post, then deleted it.

    Jack Franks Threatens Effective County Board Opponent, Chuck Wheeler – Part 1
    Posted on 11/15/2017 by Cal Skinner
    This is a repeat of an article I ran earlier, but the accompanying one running tomorrow is not.

    = = = = =

    You might guess that having spent most of my government service in the legislative branch that I identify with it most closely.

    (Yes, I know I was in the Executive Branch when I worked in the Executive Office of the President’s Budget Bureau and as McHenry County Treasurer, but my heart is with the Legislative Branch.)

    Most of McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks’ experience has been in the Legislative Branch, too.

    All of it was spent under the protection of House Speaker Mike Madigan.

    Madigan provided the leadership example for Franks.

    A recent example:

    When State Rep. Scott Drury refused to vote for Madigan for House Speaker, Madigan took money away from him by not appointing him as a committee chairman.

    Madigan’s not so subtle message:

    “Do what I want or you’ll be punished.”

    Chuck Wheeler expresses frustration at the restrictions imposed by the Federal government.
    Now we have Franks threatening McHenry County Board member Chuck Wheeler with criminal prosecution.

    That’s what came out at the Human Resources Committee meeting this morning (1:28 minutes into the meeting; listen here) when Mike Walkup revealed he had found a letter from Franks to Wheeler in his Administrative Building mailbox.

    In his “Dear Mr. Wheeler” letter, dated Monday, April 3, 2017, and addressed to his home, Franks writes,

    I have been informed that you refused to vacate the meeting room during closed executive session on March 28, 2017 at the McHenry County Mental Health Board regular meeting.

    As you know, Dr. Paula Yensen, the duly appointed liaison, was present to represent the County Board.

    Jack Franks
    You did not have actual or implied authority to represent the County Board or government at that meeting.

    As such, your attendance was solely as a private citizen.

    For you to make representations to members of the Mental Health Board that you were entitled to appear in a closed executive session because of your position as an elected official, despite clear legal restrictions proscribing your presence is inexcusable.

    Nonetheless, you improperly and illegally attended a closed session where sensitive personnel matters were discussed.

    Article 4, Section 1, Rule 1.5 of the McHenry County Board Rules state that “d]iscussions held in executive session are considered privileged and confidential. Not County Board member shall breach the confidentiality of privileged information.”

    As a result of your actions, the attorney/client privilege has now been compromised and the individuals who were discussed at the meeting may now be entitled to all information discussed.

    Pursuant to 5ILCS 120/3, you have now subjected both yourself and the County to potential civil action.

    Please also be award that 5 ILCS 120/4 provides for violations of this kind to be prosecuted as a Class C Misdemeanor with a punishment of up to 30 days in jail and a $1,500.00 fine.

    It will be up to the State’s Attorney or a special prosecutor to determine whether you should be prosecuted for your conduct.

    Please be award that should you be sued civilly, it would be improper for the State’s Attorney to defend you, as you acted solely as a private citizen and not as a member of the County Board.

    Please be advised that further actions may be taken.

    Should you wish to discuss this matter, please contact me.

    Very truly yours,

    Jack D. Franks
    McHenry County Board

    cc: McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office, Members of the County Board.

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