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

McSweeney says measure ‘is not dead’

McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks offered kudos to Rep. Sam Yingling, D-Grayslake, on Tuesday for stopping the advancement of House Bill 3317, a bill that would assign greater authority to the chairman position.

“While I am a strong advocate of good government and reform, the proposals in House Bill 3317 would grant the chairman too much authority,” Franks said in a news release.

Among other things, the bill would allow the McHenry County Board chairman veto power to reject line items in proposed budgets and would allow him or her to rebate money to taxpayers from any county surplus without going through the full board for approval.

Although he stands by everything included in the bill he introduced, Rep. David McSweeney said he voluntarily transferred chief sponsorship of the bill Tuesday to Yingling, who is interested in using the bill to help draft a comprehensive piece of legislation that would offer similar provisions to multiple Illinois counties. McSweeney still is a chief co-sponsor of the bill.

McSweeney said Yingling either will amend the bill to take out items from his proposal that he’s not comfortable with and add provisions for other counties or draft a new bill that would include items from House Bill 3317.

“My view is that this is exactly the right way to handle it,” McSweeney said. “This bill is not dead.”

In a letter sent to County Board members Tuesday afternoon, Franks said he shared his stance on the bill over the weekend with McSweeney and Yingling, who is chairman of the House Counties and Townships Committee – of which McSweeney is the ranking Republican member.

In response, Yingling told Franks in an email sent Tuesday, which Franks provided to the Northwest Herald, that he has no intention to advance the bill as it stands.

“As the Counties and Townships Committee works to develop an omnibus bill to address a variety of topics, we welcome any further input from you and members of the County Board,” Yingling said in the email to Franks.

Yingling could not be reached for comment.

Franks announced during Tuesday’s County Board meeting that he would be creating an ad hoc committee composed of County Board members and McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally to discuss good government initiatives that could end up in Yingling’s omnibus proposal.

Franks said he has asked board members Joe Gottemoller, Bob Nowak, Carolyn Schofield, John Reinert, Kelli Wegener, Pamela Althoff, Michael Skala and Michele Aavang to serve on the committee. He also said in a news release that he will not be on the committee.

“I trust the Legislature will provide a comprehensive bill from many sources, and then we’ll see what the debate brings,” Franks said.

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