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Franks' County Board chairman bill passes through committee

State Rep. Jack Franks issued the following news release on Wednesday:

Franks advances County Board reform

Provides direct election of county board chairs

SPRINGFIELD – Continuing his effort to give Illinois’ smaller communities better representation at the county level, state Rep. Jack Franks (D-Marengo) moved legislation through committee on Tuesday providing for a directly elected county board chairperson in McHenry and Lake County.

“We have the opportunity to give voters more control over county governance,” said Franks. “Coming off a year in which I heard loud and clear from frustrated, overtaxed property owners – this reform will lead to more responsive and representative county leadership.”

Franks’ legislation provides for the county board chair to be elected countywide by voters, rather than chosen by board members themselves. House Bill 3953 gives counties with over 300,000 residents the ability to directly elect their county board chair - though Cook, DuPage, Kane and Will Counties already choose their respective county chief executives through similar methods.

“Voters should be able to select the most powerful figure in their county government,” continued Franks. “We must never stop working to give Illinois residents more control over public policy outcomes.”

In McHenry County, Franks offered to postpone this legislation if County Board Chairman Ken Koehler agreed to sponsor a binding referendum to allow the public to elect the chairman, as allowed under state law. Though Koehler offered to discuss the proposal, he has not agreed to place the referendum on the November ballot, as the county board has the ability to do.

For more information, contact Franks’ constituent service office at (815) 334-0063.

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