County Board committee rejects Conservation District’s budget proposal

WOODSTOCK – A $28 million spending plan introduced by the McHenry County Conservation District is in limbo after the county Finance and Audit Committee rejected the proposal Thursday and the county board chairman said he will not advance the budget as it currently reads. The budget drew criticism from McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks, who [Read More]

Franks calls McHenry County Conservation District executive director’s contract ‘egregious’

WOODSTOCK – The executive director of the McHenry County Conservation District could earn more than $200,000 in annual compensation, plus benefits, next fiscal year due to a number of lucrative provisions in a contract that first was established in 2010. Elizabeth Kessler’s current contract began with a salary of $143,574, with built-in increases of 2% after [Read More]

Jack Franks Wants Public Officials to Work for their Pension

Editorial: MCCD budget fuss could have been avoided

WOODSTOCK – Leaders at the McHenry County Conservation District must create a workable budget that doesn’t require an increase in property taxes. They have the resources to do so; they have done it in the past, and they should commit to doing it next year, and for as long as possible. Without such commitments from local [Read More]

McHenry County Board authorizes $15 million property tax rebate

McHenry County homeowners can apply to recoup just under 30 percent of last year’s county government property tax bill. The county board Tuesday voted 18-6 authorizing a $15 million property tax rebate from Valley Hi Nursing Home’s abundant reserves — an issue several board members have talked about for years. The county-run nursing home has [Read More]

Editorial: Valley Hi Nursing Home rebate plan should be approved

For McHenry County taxpayers, the time has arrived to have tax money returned. On Tuesday, the McHenry County Board will get its opportunity to vote on doing just that. If you live in the county, now is the time to tell your County Board representatives that you want in. In 2002, taxpayers in the county [Read More]

Guest column: It’s time to move on Valley Hi tax refund

The verdict is in – the McHenry County Board can responsibly refund $15 million of Valley Hi Nursing Home’s $40 million surplus back to taxpayers, and expand rehabilitation services, while simultaneously ensuring its future economic viability. Valley Hi Administrator Tom Annarella, in a Jan. 25 letter to County Board members, called the proposed rebate “a [Read More]

McHenry County’s rewritten ethics ordinance advances

McHenry County’s rewritten ethics ordinance could go before the County Board by April, board Chairman Jack Franks said in a statement. The new ordinance would allow municipalities in McHenry County to opt in and adopt the ordinance, too, which would allow those governments to use the county-established Ethics Commission to hear and make judgments on [Read More]

Our View: Thumbs-up to returning taxpayers money from Valley Hi

Thumbs-up: To McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks’ efforts to refund $15 million from Valley Hi Nursing Home reserves. The county-operated nursing home in Woodstock has more than two years of reserve funding, Franks said, adding that the surplus is a result of overtaxation. We agree that qualifying residents – ones who took the homestead [Read More]

McHenry County Board chairman Jack Franks delivers State of the County address

WOODSTOCK – McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks delivered the State of the County address Thursday and described 2018 as “a year of efficiencies.” Delivering his second address since taking office, the Marengo Democrat highlighted tax reduction, slashed term limits and a shrinking County Board size as the pillars of a successful year. “McHenry County [Read More]

McHenry County Board proposes fiscal 2019 budget with $9.8M in tax cuts

McHenry County officials have proposed a 2019 budget that includes more than $9.8 million in tax cuts. Of that amount, $7.53 million come from abatements and $2.3 million come from permanent reductions in the county’s property tax levy.  “For the second straight year, we’re offering taxpayers meaningful relief by reducing almost $10 million from our [Read More]

McHenry County Board votes to reduce to 18 members

The McHenry County Board voted Tuesday night to reduce its size by 25 percent. McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks characterized the 19-3 vote adopting an ordinance to reduce the size of the board from 24 to 18 members as a victory for government officials and residents alike. “I’m ecstatic,” Franks said. “This shows how [Read More]

Jack Franks Wants Public Officials to Work for their Pension

McHenry County Board chairman attacks recorder’s spending of office dollars

WOODSTOCK – The battle between McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks and Recorder Joe Tirio continues to brew. The latest shot arrived this past week in the form of a news release from Franks’ office, calling for “increased scrutiny” of Tirio’s spending of dollars out of the recorder’s automation fund – a surplus of about [Read More]