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.
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.
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,
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
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
Walter E. Kiernan