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Leader has it all wrong with BTAC...

Leader has it all

wrong with BTAC

As a former member of the BTAC board of directors, I am very

disturbed by the tone of the Leader’s articles and editorial about


Burbank Temporary Aid Center. You are trying to make “news” out of a

non-story. The real story at BTAC is that the poor and the hungry

continue to be served, no matter who is the executive director, no

matter who sits on the board, no matter how badly the Leader tries to


smear a valuable community agency. The real story is that each day,

some of BTAC’s 50 volunteers show up to interview clients, to pick up

food donations at local stores and markets, and to distribute food to

some of our hungry neighbors.

Obviously, there are two sides to any story; even more obviously,

the BTAC board cannot publicly disclose its dealings with one of its

employees. To suggest that something is being hidden by respecting

the need for privacy in personnel matters is poor journalism. The


unfortunate result could be that people who are not familiar with

BTAC may believe your slanted stories and withhold donations. This

will not injure the former director of the board, but those who come

to BTAC for help in times of crisis. The wonderful, broad support of

so many segments of the community is what has made BTAC the

successful agency that it is. Please stop trying to undermine it.

Judy Pierce



Community should know why Smola was fired

Isn’t the termination of Patricia Smola at the Burbank Temporary

Aid Center a re-run of a similar situation a few years ago? Didn’t

the board of directors have a similar “no comment” at that time?

All the quotes about Ms. Smola’s job performance have been


The city contributes $35,000 to $40,000 yearly to the temporary

aid center. Does that give the city authority to question why Ms.

Smola was terminated? I think so.

Maybe her dismissal was warranted. But we’ll never know until the

board of directors gives a full explanation. In this era of openness,

we should expect it.

Wesley Greene


So who is watching

over BTAC board?

Ah, Mr. McKenna, you said a lot without saying anything meaningful

when you indicated “diverse and significant issues” as a key to some

difficulties at the good old Burbank Temporary Aid Center (Leader,

July 19).

What are the functions of this BTAC board? Who are these shadowy

figures? Who do they answer to?

Whether BTAC is a charity or a conventional business, certain

efficient operational methods must be followed. How about a statement

of operations to show the accounting for income and out-go? It would

also help to have it certified by a reputable accounting firm and

made public.

The volunteers and individuals making contributions could be

considered shareholders and their dividends would be knowing that

BTAC is ethically solvent.

The shenanigans of the past few years are crying out for some

meaningful clarification.

Walter E. Kiernan