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Committee to discuss reducing size of McHenry County Board

Chairman Jack Franks pushes for change after 2020 U.S. Census

The McHenry County Board Ad Hoc Committee on Governmental Consolidation will meet to discuss reducing the County Board’s size after the 2020 U.S. Census.

Board Chairman Jack Franks will reconvene the committee at 5 p.m. Tuesday to debate the matter.

“McHenry County’s voters spoke loud and clear in a 2016 referendum that the County Board can do the job of representing the people with fewer members,” Franks said in a statement. “I couldn’t agree with them more. The voters in that election also chose me as chairman, and I, along with a sensible County Board majority, are going to move this forward.”

After each decennial U.S. Census, county boards get an opportunity to adjust their size.

The McHenry County Board has stayed at 24 members since 1972. It is the only collar county board to remain the same size since voters first were empowered to directly elect members.

In 2016, 77 percent of voters supported an advisory referendum asking whether the County Board’s size should be reduced.

“Successful businesses are always looking at how to improve the implementation of their services. This is a long-overdue discussion for the McHenry County Board to have,” committee member Chris Christensen, R-Cary, said in a statement.

The ad hoc committee recently heard testimony on abolishing the McHenry County Recorder’s Office and recommended that it be put to the voters via a binding referendum. Voters in the March primary approved the idea.

The office will be merged with that of the county clerk in 2020.

“The taxpayers told us to do more with less when it comes to the number of officials they have to elect. We heard what they have to say, and now it’s our duty to roll up our sleeves and come up with a plan,” Franks said.

The Ad Hoc Committee on Governmental Consolidation consists of County Board members John Jung, R-Woodstock; Bob Nowak, R-Lake in the Hills; Kay Bates, R-McHenry; Mary McCann, R-Woodstock; Don Kopsell, R-Crystal Lake; Donna Kurtz, R-Crystal Lake; Mike Skala, R-Huntley; Joe Gottemoller, R-Crystal Lake; Christensen; and Franks.

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