Local

Tirio vs. Franks: On a path to make amends?

Less than a week after a McHenry County Board walk-out in protest of Chairman Jack Franks’ public questioning of Recorder Joe Tirio, the dueling officials agreed to get together to smooth out their professional differences.

Tirio took the podium during public comment at the board’s regular meeting Tuesday and made this offer to Franks:

“To the issue of our professional relationship, Mr. Chairman, I’m not sure how we got where we are, but I’d like to offer an olive branch, of sorts, in the spirit of Yom Kippur. I’d like to meet with you at a neutrally agreeable time and place, perhaps so that we could talk and mend the relationship that we have. I’ll wait for your call, if you’re interested.”

“I accept,” said Franks, who is Jewish.

“Sincere Shabbat Shalom to you and your family, sir,” Tirio said.

Franks told the Northwest Herald he viewed Tirio’s gesture as a sincere one: “Whenever somebody puts out an olive branch, you take it.”

Tensions between Tirio and Franks peaked Sept. 13, when the chairman questioned the recorder about his automation fund – a surplus of about $2.4 million. Franks’ questioning led nine County Board members to leave the meeting in protest of some of them characterized as a display of partisan politics. The walk-out broke quorum and derailed the Marengo Democrat.

While County Board critics attacked Franks’ behavior as partisan, the chairman said he was trying to save the taxpayers money.

“I don’t care what party somebody is,” Franks told the Northwest Herald after the meeting. “I’m going to ask hard questions.”

Tirio defended spending practices inside the recorder’s office:

“I avoided spending a tremendous amount of money. I feel it’s interesting I’m getting punished somewhat publicly and creatively in the public.”

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