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Accountability called into question by BTAC project...

February 18, 2004

Accountability called into question by BTAC project

Where is the accountability for up to a million dollars to remodel

and expand the Burbank Temporary Aid Center facility? Who makes up

the difference in funds if the project goes seriously over budget,

leaving the facility incomplete or an eyesore?

BTAC board leadership was seriously questioned with the firing of

the former director, Pat Smola. Now with funds so tight in Burbank

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and so many critical needs, we are expected to believe that the board

suddenly has developed exceptional project management skills that

will enable it to stay within budget and bring the remodeling project

in on time?

BTAC does fill the needs of the community, but so do the schools

and other critical components of the infrastructure in Burbank.

Burbank's citizens deserve a mechanism in place to ensure

accountability for the funds, such as a quarterly report to the City

Council, and the council's involvement in the decision-making and

funds disbursement processes.

Joanne Weckbacher

Burbank

What about the rights

of property owners?

Back in June, the Leader published an article regarding the

construction on residential property at 753 S. Mariposa St. in the

Burbank Rancho district. In the article, our neighbors were

protesting the potential licensing of a state care facility

purportedly intended to house abused children.

To the contrary, we've found out we have all been grossly

deceived, as the truth disclosed to us is that this facility is for

mentally disabled adults ages 20 to 50. Please note that all local

zoning for commercial use is on Riverside Drive only -- near this

corner -- and not on a residential street such as ours.

The real danger to pedestrians, horses and riders, not to mention

the potential increased car traffic and accidents on this street

(that leads to the riding trail), is inestimable. This property's

parking lot opens into an alley with horse stalls that exit into the

alley. How could commercial deliveries to such a facility be safe

with horses and riders and traffic at this corner also competing with

commercial trucks and employee parking? The original Leader article

discussed this and compassion issues for a children's care facility,

but this is not what's being built here, and it is not what Burbank

allows for the state to license without the City Council or our mayor

having the real facts, doing a proper impact study or having any say

so in this matter.

This property, if licensed when completed, has extremely dangerous

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