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Firing director is last straw for volunteer...

Firing director is last straw for volunteer

For the past seven years, I have been a volunteer at the Burbank

Temporary Aid Center. During this time, I have seen the BTAC board of

directors terminate several center directors and top-level people


without warning, effective immediately.

Since it has happened again to the most recent executive director,

Patricia Smola, I have terminated my relationship with the

organization. I can no longer work under a board who treats its


employees in this manner.

Pat Smola had worked hard for BTAC, giving her all to build a

strong relationship between the community and the organization. This

was proven by the generous contributions of Burbank citizens and

local businesses.

I only hope that a new board can be formed -- one that will

respect the employees and volunteers, asking for their input on the

effectiveness of the organization and respecting them with the same


courtesy they have given the clients who so desperately need their


If this happens, I will be proud to be a member of the BTAC

volunteer group again.

Pat Straub


Smola made

reader feel at ease


I was completely shocked and dismayed to read your article

regarding the firing of Patricia Smola. I had the opportunity to meet

this dynamic lady two years ago when a family in my child’s school

was in great financial need just two weeks before Christmas.

Even though I was asking for help on behalf of someone else, I had

feelings of guilt, shame and fear when I walked in the front door of

Burbank Temporary Aid Center.

Ms. Smola immediately put me at ease as I explained their story.

She filled my van with food and toys for this family and gave me

telephone numbers for further assistance for them. This was all in a

day’s work for her, but it meant the world to this family and to me.

Pat Smola is an amazing person who cares about the people in our

community who find themselves in great need, even temporarily. How

many of us might be a few paychecks away from financial disaster,

medical emergency, job loss or who knows? But now who will be there

with a kind heart when we need one?

Sonia Arce