WOODSTOCK – The Northwest Suburban Bar Association presented McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks with its President’s Award for Civility.
Franks, D-Marengo, received the award at a June 14 ceremony for his long record in both the Illinois House of Representatives and the County Board of working across party lines to find common ground in a respectful and civil manner.
“I am humbled and honored to win this prestigious award, and it means so much in an era in which both major parties seem to be farther apart than ever before. It’s unfortunate that politics has become a blood sport, but it doesn’t have to be. In Springfield, I was in the majority party and worked with minority Republicans to get good things done. In Woodstock, I’m in the minority party and have reached across the aisle with Republicans to enact property tax relief, greater transparency and other measures that have made taxpayers’ lives better,” Franks said.
Award criteria include respect, integrity, engagement, inclusiveness, objectivity and common ground. Besides civility in politics, award presenters highlighted Franks’ willingness to call out members of his own party when they do wrong, such as being the first prominent Democratic politician to openly criticize former governor Rod Blagojevich, who is currently serving a corruption sentence in federal prison.
“I look at the award not as a pat on the back, but as a call to arms. When I was sworn in as chairman, I told the County Board and county employees that I wanted us to be the most efficient, most transparent and most professional county government in the nation. I want us to be an example to follow. We can be a shining beacon of what can get done when two sides respect one another’s differences and work in tandem to make the will of the people the law of the land. I want to thank the voters who have chosen to put their trust in me, and to the Republicans on the County Board who have chosen to put labels aside and work with me,” Franks said.
The NWSBA is a local, voluntary bar association serving Chicago’s northwest suburbs. Its 650 members are dedicated to improving the quality of life in their communities through education, philanthropy, and by inspiring excellence in the practice of law.
Franks, a third generation Marengo resident, is partner in the law firm of Franks Gerkin McKenna, which was started by his father, Herb. He received his law degree from the American University Washington College of Law. Franks and his wife, Debby, have two grown sons.