Jack Franks on His Naked Power Grab in His Own Words

At Tuesday night’s McHenry County Board meeting Chairman Jack Franks could not wait his turn before trying to defuse the powder keg that introduction of St. Rep. David McSweeney’s bill to increase his power beyond that of any other county board chairman.

Here is what he said, as transcribed by a Friend of McHenry County Blog:

4:37 PM into the recording–

Jack Franks was not in his “I’m in charge” mode at Tuesday night’s Board meeting.  He was more in “oops, they caught on this” time mode.

“Before we begin there is a matter I need to address… prior to the members comments.”

“Over the past week… and you got an email today, a number of board members have expressed their concerns with HB 3317 – ‘McHenry County Equitable Standards and Government Efficiency Law’ which was filed last Friday by State Representative David McSweeney.”

“And while I generally support any effort to advance good government here in McHenry County and elsewhere… I cannot support this bill.”

“While I provided input with Rep. McSweeney… when he reached out to me for my ideas… I did not write this bill for him… as it has erroneously stated in some circles.”

“I believe that not only should this bill include input from county board members so as to adopt the best practices but also that its provisions should be applied more universally.”

“I informed Rep. McSweeney that I would not be supporting this bill and then had a long discussion in which I expressed my deep concerns with Sam Yingling Chairman of the House Counties & Townships Committee….

“And he has agreed not to move the bill forward.”

“Chairman Yingling told me that his committee is developing an omnibus good government bill aimed at counties state wide.”

“I am going to make sure that McHenry County Board has a seat at that table.”

“I am announcing the creation of an ad hoc committee to offer ideas to Rep. Yingling’s committee regarding what the bill should include.”

Gottemoller, Althoff, Nowak, Reinert, Skala, Aavang, Schofield, and Wegener to be on this committee.

“I have also asked States Attorney Pat Kenneally to serve as well.”

“We will get you a date quickly to get that set up because I will need you to get to work quickly in order to get that to the general assembly.”

“A majority of this county board, together, we’ve accomplished so much… during my 2 years as chairman.”

“And, I firmly believe we will continue to do so… like refunding a portion of the Valley Hi surplus back to the taxpayers.”

“I couldn’t sit idle… while a piece of proposed legislation in Springfield stood to wreak with the relationship we have that has benefited the people that we represent… so that is all I have on that… and so with that lets vote to make this county board whole once again.”

= = = = =
INTERESTING:    While the audio indicates this last statement was the end of these comments… My notes indicate that Franks made the statement that… “he had no part in this bill.”

Note that the elected officer–County Auditor–Franks wants to  replace with an Inspector General was not asked to serve on this, his latest handpicked special committee.

= = = = =
Here is the Northwest Herald’s spin:

Franks: McSweeney’s proposed bill would grant McHenry County Board chairman ‘too much authority


Jack Franks on His Naked Power Grab in His Own Words — 21 Comments

  1. I don’t think Valley Hi is a good example for this blue ribbon panel given these individual board members where unaware of the 34 Million Dollars on deposit at Valley Hi until an unsuccessful challenger in District 1 brought it to their attention at the candidates forum at MCC in 2013.

    6 years later still nothing done about this largesse…

  2. The “McHenry County Equitable Standards and Government Efficiency Law” is as phony as a three dollar bill.

    It’s special purpose legislation.

    And special purpose legislation is expressly prohibited by our state constitution:

    ARTICLE IV, SECTION 13. SPECIAL LEGISLATION. The General Assembly shall pass no special or local law when a general law is or can be made applicable. Whether a general law is or can be made applicable shall be a matter for judicial determination.

    Accordingly, Rep. Yingling is correct: county issues can be addressed only on an omnibus basis, not by specific county name. (Franks and McSweeney don’t know that?)

  3. Note that the only McHenry County elected official who has actually done something to reduce the size of government is NOT on the committee.

    Want to reduce government?

    Put Tirio in charge, not a lying sack of crap with a bunch of weak spined selfish dolts and fellow liars!

  4. The CYA I know nuttin’ is too late.

    We know what they planned to do.

    Criminal conspiracy?



    Ding a ling Ying a ling?

  5. Gotta hand it to you, great spin on this. No matter what Franks does, you manage to make it a sinister power grab.

  6. How many ‘committees’ formed in Springfield to reduce size of government in Illinois did Franks sit on?

    How many did he Chair?

    What was the end result?

    What has any of the proposed members done to reduce the size of government?

    Kenneally can’t even find the political courage to go after the Millers!

    Bottom line of the statement he made?

    Franks was convinced by others that he had pushed too hard to make himself a dictator and a few Board members actually rebelled.

    Thank you Kearns for speaking up!

    I like the picture in the NWH – it conveys how the taxpayers feel.

    What will happen next?

    He will reduce the size of his bite of the apple and try to nibble away at making County Board Chair a dictatorship or he will give up his quest to be the County Dictator and pursue a different position.

    And you wonder why Althoff left Springfield to run for County Board?

  7. Joey Kvidera, it IS a gigantic power grab.

    Any and All of it.

    You likely believe Elizabeth Warren is 100% Cherokee.

    And old fossil Bernie Sanders is not a multi millionaire, and lives in a shack.

  8. Maybe Franks deserves some blame, but the bigger culprit is David the gasbag McSweeney.

    He’s the one who chose to submit this bill in the first place.

  9. The position of “elected” County Auditor must remain in McHenry County. This Auditor position is accountable to the citizens of McHenry County and is independent of the board and the chairman.

  10. Plan A didn’t work, so on to Plan B.


    Jack Franks alone makes the final decision who sits on an ad hoc committee?

    It would be helpful if whoever is interested can list those on the County Board they perceive to be the Jack Franks supporters and those that are willing to criticize a Jack Franks idea?

    Maybe a sliding scale of 1 – 10.

    With 10 being those apt to rubber stamp a Jack Franks supporter, and 1 being someone willing to publicly criticize a Jack Franks proposal?

    Or something so people can get a better idea of who’s who on the board.

    Of course this would be a general guideline.

    It seems the proposed ideas committee is stacked with those who for whatever reason rarely criticize a Jack Franks idea.

    No Chuck Wheeler, Jeff Thorsen, or Yvonne Barnes.

    Must be nice for a County Board Chair desiring more power to unilaterally stack an ad hoc committee whose mission is to propose changes to how the county board operates.

    Mr. Franks has already proposed and at times unilaterally made lots of changes since elected county board chair, and nearly all or all of which were not made clear while he was a candidate for the County Board Chair position in 2016.


    Current McHenry County Board Members after the November 6, 2018 general election (members serve 4 years and 1/2 the board is up for election every 2 years):

    District 1 – Yvonne Barnes, Michael Vijuk, Thomas Wilbeck, Robert Nowak

    District 2 – Carolyn Schofield, Jeffrey Thorsen, Suzanne Ness, John Reinert

    District 3 – Kelli Wegener, Lori Parrish, Chris Christensen, Joe Gottemoller

    District 4 – Kay Bates, Pam Althoff, Stephen Doherty, Chuck Wheeler

    District 5 – Paula Yensen, John Jung, Michael Skala, Carlos Acosta,

    District 6 – Michele Aavang, Jim Kearns, Mary McCann, Larry Smith


  11. Surprise!

    Jacko picked some of his most reliable sycophants to ‘serve’ on this ad hoc committee.

    This bs will continue until the rules are changed so that the Chairman has obtain the consent of the full Board before he is allowed to create an ad hoc committee.

  12. @An American

    You give McSweeney too much credit.

    Ever notice his big lips?

    Guess upon whose butt they are planted.

    Franks “consulted” on the bill?


    My guess is that he loaded it up with all his wishes just like a Christmas list to Santa.

    Anything on the list after the poop went into the propeller would have had him jumping for joy.

    Instead, he got the next best thing. e.g. to see what happened when that gem was run up the flag pole.

    No salutes other than those rendered with an extended middle finger.

    The NW Herald quotes the legislators as saying the bill isn’t dead.

    McSweeney’s political career should be – Ditto Lyin’ Jack’s.

    It seems the only time that Jack ISN’T lying is when his mouth is closed.

    Remember “I’m not going to make state rep a career”, “I will not run for county executive” and on and on.

    We were warned but. . .

  13. Gottemoller, Althoff, Nowak, Reinert, Skala, Aavang, Schofield, and Wegener to be on this committee.

    How will the even get anything done with their noses so far up his ass.

  14. I attended the candidates forum at MCC in 2013. When Mr. Stieper expressed his concern about the 34% Million sitting at Valley Hi, not only were the new candidates unaware of this, but, also, appearing as a candidate, the incumbents Bob Nowak and Joe Gottemoller. Do they not know how to read financials or do they ever look at the information regularly provided to them as County Board Members?

    It was clear that Mr. Stieper’s impressive resume and tenacity as a County Board Member would have been too much to overcome for those maneuvering for control and power.

    We need to think when we vote: is the County Board here for us, or themselves? Terminating the big health insurance coverage provided to them (less then part time) Board Members would define who wants to serve us, or themselves.

  15. I attended the candidates forum at MCC in 2013.

    When David Stieper expressed his concern about $34 Million sitting at Valley Hi, none of the candidates seemed to know what he was talking about.

    Among the candidates that night were incumbents Bob Nowak and Joe Gottemoller.

    Do they not know how to reach financials, or do they even read the material sent to them regularly as County Board Members?

    It was apparent that, if elected, Mr. Stieper’s resume and tenacity would be too difficult to overcome for those seeking power and control.

    To define who is on the County Board for US or for THEMSELVES, we need only to withdraw the huge health insurance package provided to the County Board (in addition to the $20,000+ salary) and see how many Board Members run for reelection.

  16. How do you know Jack Frank’s is lying?

    His lips are moving…

  17. This made me laugh my rear off!

    “I Don’t want anyone to think I was behind this” and

    “I won’t be supporting this Bill”


    Then why does Franks tell people this is “His County” and he’s “going to get executive power whether they like it or not!”

    Boy, does he look like a liar (again) and he’s a jerk for throwing his chief buttkisser McSweeney under the bus too.

    Pace yourself, Franks, you’re quickly losing supporters.

    People are wising up.

  18. I oppose that bill!!!

    but Can someone answer me one thing?

    Why would Mcsweeny write this bill for Mchenry county chairman jack franks?

    I Mean Mcsweeny is not our rep or has anything to do with Mchenry county right?

    I know the benefit Jack franks gets which is power? but what is in it for Mcsweeny?

    Just asking

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