"SDC felt it was necessary to seek an injunction because the County's administration blatantly violated what is clearly spelled out in our state statutes," said SDC CEO George Hinton.
"The administration is setting a dangerous precedent by acting as though the law is something that can be applied selectively."
went on to say, "Director Colon's disregard for the decision made by our County Supervisors, and thus the will of the people, is deeply disturbing."
A judge will hear SDC's motion for injunctive relief on the afternoon of Friday, August 14.
Filed Under: LN Political, Local NewsTagged With: contracts to Community Advocates and UMOS, Milwaukee County, Milwaukee County Circuit Court, SDC CEO George Hinton, Social Development Commission
The Social Development Commission's (SDC) loss of a Milwaukee County contract to provide energy assistance services to low-income residents isn't the only concern the anti-poverty agency's CEO George Hinton has as he scrambles to keep the organization viable.
is also concerned about the way his
agency lost its 30-year hold on the program for which it received $1.2 million yearly to help residents sign up for partial payments of utility bills and reconnection charges, fuel oil deliveries and costs of furnace repairs.
Hinton feels the democratic process of checks and balances was violated when Hector Colon, the director of Milwaukee County's Department of Health used "emergency authority" to award 12-month energy assistance contracts to Community Advocates, Inc. and UMOS Inc.
asked during a recent MCJ
phone interview, adding there is no "emergency" as Colon stated to justify his action, calling the county health director's claim a "fallacy."
agency's appeal of the earlier decision was about more than SDC
keeping a program that was synonymous with the organization.
"It had a lot to do with the 'process' (used to select the agencies), and the lack of transparency in that process," Hinton
During an appearance on Eric Von's morning show on WNOV last week, Hinton and SDC Board member Gerard Randall noted there were no hearings, focus groups or other processes conducted by the County Department of Health to see what would be the best way to develop a plan to serve the community's energy assistance needs.
On WNOV, Hinton and Randall questioned the county executive's role in awarding the contracts to Community Advocates and UMOS despite the board's recommendation of SDC, especially given its long history of providing energy assistance to the community.
found it funny that Abele spoke of there being 'politics' in the selection process (and the need to remove it to guarantee fairness).
and Randall criticized Abele for making the decision without working with the board, saying the county executive displayed arrogance and a disregard for the process.
They do good work," Hinton
said during the radio interview. (But) we should be working together-all of us-to serve the community."
When they shared the previous contract, SDC
provided services to 75 to 76 percent of the community.
provided services to 20 percent.
During his MCJ interview, Hinton credited county board members-especially Board Supervisors Martin Weddle and Khalif Rainey-for seeing the same thing the agency saw: An organization the community knew and trusted that was a stable influence in the community.
"That's why they voted the way they did," said Hinton
"If we didn't have a case, it (the selection process) would have been over long ago."
has not been paid by the county since May for the energy assistance work they have done.
said approximately $200,000 is owed to them.
scoffed at the rationale Colon used, noting the process Community Advocates and UMOS
will use to service energy assistance applicants will be on an "appointment only" basis, not the "first come-first served" model used by SDC
"There is no advocacy of need in the new model," Hinton
said in the radio interview.
Using an analogy of a medical emergency, the SDC
CEO said a sick person needing medical attention immediately doesn't want to hear the next opening to see a doctor is two weeks away.
"That's my fear.
People freezing because Community Advocates and UMOS
don't have an immediate slot to see applicants.
As to the complaints by the agency's critics of long lines of assistance applicants at SDC
suggested WE Energies stop flooding the community with service termination notices to residents in need.
"It's impossible to meet that need; there is more demand then supply of labor at one given time," Hinton
will continue to service energy assistance applicants until the contract ends next month.
Filed Under: LN Business, Local NewsTagged With: CEO George Hinton, Milwaukee County, Milwaukee County's Department of Health, Social Development Commission