McHenry County Board member Donna Kurtz called Franks' resolution to kill pensions nothing more than "politicizing."
“The idea that we're going to spark a revolution in Springfield. Gimme a break,” Kurtz said at the Committee of the Whole meeting. "We just heard the chairman, who spent 18 years down there, calling it a dysfunctional freak show. Apparently, he couldn't get anything changed with pensions. So now we're bringing it back to our county, and our county is the one who's going to bear the brunt."
Set to appear before the County Board on Tuesday, Franks' resolution would remove Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund eligibility for the offices of county board chairman, state’s attorney, county clerk, circuit clerk, treasurer, auditor, recorder, coroner and sheriff. The move would not affect the position until the end of their terms.
The county's coroner, recorder and sheriff already have opted out of receiving pensions.
The resolution is nothing against any elected official in particular, the chairman said. It’s about saving money, he said. Cutting pensions for newly elected officials in those positions would save the county money: $110,000 a year based on current officeholder's salaries, Franks said.
“I think we can do this," Franks said. "I think we must do this.”
Resolutions cutting pensions aim to make public servants feel bad about taking pension benefits, a move that is “villainizing” elected officials, Kurtz said.
County Board member Craig Wilcox called Kurtz comments “ludicrous” and came prepared to Thursday's meeting with an alternative solution to Franks' recent resolution to kill pensions for most countywide elected officials, who still have the choice to contribute to a 457 plan – a deferred-compensation retirement plan available to government workers.