To the Editor:
About a year ago, Jack Franks left his safe Springfield seat to focus on fixing the problems in McHenry County. His leadership has been transformational.
Franks exposed the illegal practices of County Board members taking full-time pensions for part-time work, which they could not prove they earned. Franks ended these lawbreakers ripping off the taxpayers. Once elected as County Board chairman, Franks worked collaboratively, even though some members are obstructionists. Nonetheless, he has set a new tone that taxpayers, not insiders, come first.
Franks and the board have made the committee process more efficient, and now all meetings are streamed live. They have instituted a Committee of the Whole process so all board members and the public are fully apprised on every issue before it comes to a board vote. They have instituted electronic voting so all votes are searchable and transparent. They have required all county ordinances to be posted online so everyone knows the rules.
Most importantly, Franks has gotten the board and other taxing bodies to focus on reducing our property taxes. Franks laid out a comprehensive plan to reduce the county’s portion of the property levy by more than 10 percent. His plan won’t adversely affect services and will make county departments more fiscally responsible. Putting taxpayers first is a new concept in McHenry County. It is a breath of fresh air, and one that is long overdue.