Jack Franks Declares War on Leslie Schermerhorn

As State Representative, Jack Franks spent eighteen years in Springfield.

If getting rid of the Regional Superintendents of Education was a high priority, he was a failure.

Now, he has the power to produce a budget.

It is, in effect, an Executive Budget.

The type of budget I helped Lyndon Johnson prepare for submission to Congress in 1966.

The difference is that Congress actually plays a BIG role in determining the country’s final budget, while the County Board pretty much has advocated its legislative role.

There are exceptions, for example, deep-sixing Franks’ proposal to create a mid-level “Inspector General,” which would be tasked with doing something like what County Auditor Shannon Teresi does, but with less investigative power.

One proposal that seems destined to pass at tonight’s County Board meeting is to cut Regional Superintendent Leslie Schermerhorn’s number of employees by one–from 3.8 to 2.8 Full-Time Equivalents.

County Board members think this is a position that does nothing but bookkeeping.

The accounting function, according to Franks’ plan, would be taken over by someone under the jurisdiction of County Administrator Pete Austin, who is supposed to report to the County Board, but who has acquiesced, as far as anyone on the outside can see, to Franks’ every wish, starting with hiring to unauthorized patronage workers.

The employee whose position will be terminated handles other administrative duties besides bookkeeping.

Who will pick up that slack is unknown.\

At the Committee of the Whole meeting last Thursday, Schermerhorn addressed the Board during Public Committee time.

Referring to audit exceptions that found her books did not meet Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), she explained that she had found $6,000 to hire a CPA to eliminate that complaint.

But, not until conferring with former County Auditor Pam Palmer and finding that her office could not step into the gap.

“I have always been transparent,” she said.

Referring to an opinion from State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally, Schermerhorn observed that it said state statutes say the County needs to provide “as many assistants as the Regional Office requires.”

She passed out the opinion to County Board members prior to the meeting’s beginning.

If she loses one employee, she said, “I will be force to eliminate some of those services.”

Explaining the proposed budget, Finance Committee Chairman Mike Skala said that County Administration could handle the function the employees whose position is proposed to be eliminated.

“We as the County Board control the budget…”

“When we see areas that could be done differently, we control that.”

He pointed out that the State’s Attorney’s opinion says there is “no case law.”

The Regional Superintendent of Education says she “could sue us in court.

“I think that’s a pretty good idea.

“I’d be willing to take that on.”

Franks took the microphone then.

“I’d prefer not to have a full-blown discussion on this,’ he said.

He said he found the office’s audit “wanting, to be charitable.

“The facts laid out were incorrect.

“We have a fiduciary responsibility.

“Unfortunately, we have audits that show we are about the worst in the entire state on fiscal responsibility.”

Franks claimed that Schermerhorn “broke an agreement,” but did not say what it was.

He said state law “allows us as a County Board to remove a county official from office.”

Franks claimed the State’s Attorney’s opinion was incomplete.

“I don’t think anyone knew of these audits.

“That’s why I brought it forward to her privately.”

Franks then said that he was going to set up a committee to further probe the matter.

Schermerhorn interject that she would be willing to serve on it.

“You will certainly be a witness,” Franks said quite forcefully.

Yvonne Barnes said that it was her understanding that Schermerhorn had agrees to have the “County Administration provide assistance to the Regional Office of Education to fulfill her duties.”

“Leslie was in agreement on that,” she continued.

Barnes said that if the arrangement did not work out Schermerhorn would have the opportunity to come back and ask for reinstatement of the position.

Michael Rein suggested that a standing committee could handle the situation.

“I’m going to put together an ad hoc committee,” Franks seemed to scream into his microphone.

“That’s my decision!”




Jack Franks Declares War on Leslie Schermerhorn — 23 Comments

  1. Did you mean to say that the County Board has advocated or abdicated its legislative role?

    Are you posting from a tablet or some other device with predictive text input?

  2. Jacko has been running hog wild with these ad hoc committees.

    The Board really needs to grow a spine and change the rules so that the formation and composition of an ad hoc committee has to be approved by the full Board at its next regular meeting.

    If the Board doesn’t act, Jacko will continue to bypass the standing committees by creating ad hoc committees stacked with hand picked brown-nosers.

  3. The problem is the voters foolishly allowed the chair position to become a full time job with full time pay.

    The chairman has employees who work and report to him allowing the chairman to scheme and dream on how to expand powers and dictatorial powers over a board many of them unqualified, passive and there because they need the benefits.

    Even strong members would be outmatched simply by the time, assets and money given to chairman.

    Open meetings act prevents board from meeting and delegating any kind of defense strategy.

    This is why I voted against the referendum.

  4. I had spent many many meeting in the Superintendent of schools office and I can assure you NOTHING is really being done..

    Almost every function can be done by a computer or a clerk.

    Just recently Opioid services were given to that office because they really have nothing to do.

    The last superintendent supposedly lied about his education and was pushed out.

    I need to do a FOIA on that.

    He was never in that office.

    The one before him Gene Gagleoin ( Sp) was never there.

    His staff even said so.

    They said he had a back problem..

    Do a FOIA on all of the staff going back 10-15 years and interview them.

    This is a Pandoras box..

    Pam Althoff knew all about the incompetence and B.S. of this office and dod NOTHING.

  5. Could someone tell me what the functions of the regional superintendent is?

    I would appreciate the information.


  6. If I remember correctly there are a lot of counties that do not have a regional superintendent and they do fine.

    The job should be eliminated along with the 3.8 employees.

  7. Most counties do not have a regional superintendent and they get along fine.

    That entire office should be eliminated.

  8. Actually, every county but Cook is covered by a Regional Office of Education.

  9. Linda: The ROE is like a township.

    It exists only because of the horse and buggy.

    When everyone went to one room schools there was a superintendent who rode around checking on all of the schools to make sure they had enough chalk and pencils and visiting with the school marms.

    Now every school has it’s own superintendent plus the state handles inspections.

    So the RSS (Regional School Superintendent) spends her time trying to make up things to do to look busy.

    Like a township supervisor.

  10. Jgkm6, wrong! Get your facts straight before you spew BS (or are YOU Lying Jack Franks?)

  11. Cook is the largest county of schools BY FAR and they did away with the position some 15 years ago.
    Here is a list and they cannot do half of these functions.. They have no idea about at least 5 of these functions.
    ROE Statutory Responsibilities

    State law requires Regional Superintendents to assume certain duties, including:

    To exercise supervision and control over all school districts in the County and advise in controversies under law
    To distribute general state aid and categorical funds;
    To evaluate and file school treasurers’ bonds;
    To notify districts of monies sent to school treasurers;
    To issue and register teaching and administrative certificates;
    To assume responsibility for suspension of teaching and administrative certificates;
    To assume responsibility relative to holding institute or in-service training;
    To coordinate and deliver in-service training for school bus drivers;
    To enforce health/life safety standards in all school buildings;
    To cause a review of school construction plans and specifications for remodeling, school additions, and new school construction for compliance with applicable codes;
    To issue school construction permits as above;
    To direct cooperative education programs;
    To appoint a truant officer;
    To maintain an annual census of school districts;
    To maintain a map of school districts within the county;
    To act as secretary to the Regional Board of School Trustees;
    To assume responsibility for certain scholarships;
    To give notice of regular or special elections;
    To act as custodian of school-related documents for the State of Illinois;
    To file poll books and election returns;
    To report annually to the County Board and the State Board of Education regarding the activities of the Office and the condition of the schools;
    To respond to questions, including legal questions, from parents, teachers, administrators, boards of education and other citizens of the region; and
    To provide continuing professional development opportunities for administration, staff development in the fundamental learning areas, technology staff development, gifted education program assistance, and other services identified through regional needs assessment.

  12. Her real income with entitlements is $112,000 times 33% So another $37,000

  13. To cause a review of school construction plans and specifications for remodeling, school additions, and new school construction for compliance with applicable codes;

    She absolutely blew this with the District 155 grandstand fiasco.

  14. The Cook County ROE (ROE # 14) was reorganized effective October 4, 2010, converting a single ROE into three entities called Intermediate Service Centers (ISCs):

    North Cook Intermediate Service Center (Region 05 North Cook ISC 1)

    West Cook Intermediate Service Center (West 40) (Region 07 South Cook ISC 4)

    South Cook Intermediate Service Center (Region 06 West Cook ISC 2)


    Fred Eychaner, the Chairman of Newsweb, has taken substantial financial interest in Jack Franks as McHenry County Board Chair, becoming directly and seemingly indirectly one of the largest recent contributors to the Supporters of Jack D Franks PAC over the past two years.

    Contributions from Fred Eychaner and Newsweb directly and seemingly indirectly to the Supporters of Jack D Franks PAC since October 2016 follow.

    October 12, 2016, the McHenry County Democratic Central Committee PAC reported receiving $10,800 from Fred Eychaner.

    October 17, 2016, the McHenry County Democratic Central Committee PAC reported receiving $21,600 from Newsweb.

    That’s a total of $32,400 from Fred Eychaner and Newsweb to the McHenry COunty Democratic Central Committee PAC.

    October 17, 2016, the Supporters of Jack D Franks PAC reported receiving $10,800 from Newsweb.

    October 17, 2016, the Supporters of Jack D Franks PAC reported receiving $5,400 from Fred Eychaner.

    October 31, 2016, the Supporters of Jack D Franks PAC reported receiving $27,400 from the McHenry County Democratic Central Committee (seems to be $27,400 of the previously mentioned $32,400).

    October 9, 2018, the Supporters of Jack D Franks PAC reported receiving $5,600 from Fred Eychaner.

    Here’s the summary and grand total:

    October 17, 2016: $10,800
    October 17, 2016: $05,400
    October 31, 2016: $27,400
    October 09, 2018: $05,600
    Total: $49,200.

    Other blog articles covering the topic:




    How did the McHenry County Democratic Central Committee PAC expend the other $5,000 of the previously mentioned $32,400.

    It’s unknown.

    But there was a $5,000 expenditure from the McHenry County Democratic Central Committee PAC to the Illinois Voter Education Fund on October 18, 2016 for advertising.

    The Illinois Voter Education Project PAC (same address as the above reported expendture) never reported receipt of the $5,000 from the McHenry County Democratic Central Committee PAC.

    The stated purpose of the Illinois Voter Education Project PAC was, “To educate Illinois voters about new ways to vote and participate in the political process” and its listed coverage was statewide (no particular county or district).

    It reported receiving $10,800 from Fred Eychaner on October 11, 2016.

    It also reported receiving $21,600 from Newsweb on October 11, 2016.

    Its Chairman was Charles Morris and Treasurer was Denise Bradley, both of Chicago.

  15. All if this could be done by the state and local school superintendants.

    She relied on the ststes legal counsel for an opinion on the bleachers which was completely wrong.

  16. @Stephen Pokorny

    Assuming, that is, that District 155 (We are a law unto ourselves and don’t need no steenking permits) actually submitted plans to the ROE.

    Given the facts that came out during the contentious litigation between the city, the residents and the district, I wouldn’t want to bet that the ROE knew anything about it, let alone gave permission, until the feces hit the fan.

  17. Jack Franks is a Democrat. Stay tuned…19 days…tic, tock, tic, tock, tic, tock, meow, meow, meeeeeoooooowwwwwwwwwwww…

  18. ISawWhatYouDid and Civics you two must feed on strings as otherwise how to you get out your…

    Civics, really, who was the Regional Supt. of Eduction for McHenry County between Goeglein and Dr. Schermerhorn?

    Pants on fire.

    Go back and as the bartender for another uiskie.

  19. Wouldn’t a person who is an attorney, with a masters and administrative degree be paid at least $150,000 a year?

    McHenry County is fortunate to have someone with her qualifications overseeing county schools.

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