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Four conclusions from Thursday’s meeting of the SDC supervisory board

The SDC Supervisory Board will conclude their meeting on Thursday, May 9. (Photo by Trisha Young)

The Social Development Commission’s board of directors met Thursday evening to discuss the future of the suspended SDC, with board chair Barbara Toles urging the board to keep the agency running.

No specific details have been released about how the agency will move forward.

The SDC abruptly ceased operations two weeks ago, leaving residents with questions about the future of the SDC’s services and programs, such as job training, free tax preparation and educational services.

The board met at the African American Chamber of Commerce, 1920 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, with an option to join virtually via Zoom. Nearly 20 people attended the meeting in person or via Zoom.

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Here are four key insights:

1. Too important not to reopen

The SDC is too important to the community not to reopen, Toles said.

“SDC has been around for more than 60 years,” she says. “We are an agency that addresses poverty in our community, and there are far too many people living in poverty for this agency to not work.”

Toles, the SDC District 2 commissioner and former vice chairman, now serves as board chairman after Elmer Moore Jr. resigned from the position and the board last week.

Toles thanked the commissioners for their commitment to continue serving on the board and for their support as the new chairman. She also thanked SDC attorney William Sulton for his work.

2. No answers about paying employees

A member of the public, who attended the meeting via Zoom, asked Toles if the SDC plans to pay employees who are still owed wages. Her question came as the board began voting for a closed session.

“We don’t have an answer for you at this time,” Toles said.

3. Hire a Milwaukee hosting event

During the public comment section, Frederick Nelson, a representative of Employ Milwaukee, said Employ Milwaukee is hosting a hiring event with more than 20 employers at its 2342 N. 27th St. facility on Tuesday, May 14 from 3 to 5 p.m.

“It’s open to the public, but we wanted to target SDC employees,” he said.

4. Meeting largely behind closed doors

The commissioners spent most of the meeting behind closed doors, citing the need to discuss legal and personnel matters.

Under Wisconsin state law, a board can enter a closed session and send members of the public out of the room to discuss certain topics. These topics may include employment contracts or legal advice on lawsuits.

Board members discussed no new or old business when the meeting returned to open session.

More NNS coverage from the SDC

Leaders and community members are weighing in on the SDC closure

What you need to know about services after SDC’s abrupt closure

What you need to know if you used the SDC to file income taxes

What do you want to know?

Do you have questions about the SDC that you would like answered? Thoughts you’d like to share? We are here for you. Let us know what’s on your mind by emailing us or posting a comment. You can also text us at News414 and our reporters will work hard to get you the answers you deserve.