The City Council agreed to fund the embattled Pico Youth & Family Center for another six months while center leadership work to improve its internal management.

So, this week’s Q-Line question asked:
Do you think the council got it right or should the city reconsider its funding for the center?

Here are your responses:

“The Pico Youth Center is a corrupt group which should never receive any taxpayer funds. They are effectively stealing the public’s money. I wonder who on the council has been paid off by these criminals? We’ve got the Boys & Girls Club, PAL, YMCA, public libraries and after-school programs, so why do we need to spend money on an organization which can’t even account for the money it receives?”

“Yes, I think the City Council got it wrong. They should not fund the Pico Youth & Family Center. The Santa Monica Boys & Girls Club has opened another one and it’s at no cost to the taxpayers. They’re wasting money on the Pico Youth & Family Center, and it’s all because Oscar de la Torre is in this for his own political ambitions.”

“If anything, and I mean anything, that’s happened in this town in the last 30 years could be more enlightening as to the corruptible and dismal nature of our supposed leadership, this is it. Mr. de la Torre of PYFC has had six months to balance his tax-supported business. He gets an “F” grade. What do the spineless, life-long council members do? Give him another six months. The council needs to grow some appendages and cut him off. And while you’re at it, reexamine the other 28 so-called nonprofits receiving taxpayer money. The question you should be asking is: Mr. de la Torre is on the school board. Their yearly budget is $125 million. Do you really want him and a hapless school board running the business of education, or a City Council frightened to make decisions that actually benefit Santa Monica and not some costly ideology? Wake up people! The circus is in town. All of these poor examples of leadership remind me of the circus geek biting the heads off of chickens. From their point of view, nothing is wrong, while some find it disgusting.”

“I don’t think it’s bad at all that the city of San Malicious has agreed to fund the Pico Youth & Family Center for another six months. After all, these loggerheads think nothing of voting themselves in for all these increased fees. And the youth are our hope and destiny. Six months is nothing. It ain’t nothing. Not when you have people in the city of Bellflower who just voted themselves these horrendous salaries. Hell no! Not at all.”

“Of course the city should discontinue funding the PYFC. It has little to show for all the money the city has provided it. And it has difficulty accounting for that money — double paying its director and staff, and paying its director and staff when they aren’t working. The city needs to consider organizations that have a successful track record of serving our young people, like the Boys & Girls Club in Santa Monica.”

“I was there at the City Council meeting when this issue was discussed. They didn’t get into it until after 12. All the City Council members stayed there until the end. It was heartwarming and heartbreaking hearing from all the young people about how much the center means to them and how much the staff means to them. There were also interns from UCLA and USC, so there are qualified people there, and there are also qualified people who testified that the center does a real good job of deterring people from gangs and doing drugs, and to help them stay in school. I think the city did the right thing to continue supporting them with funding. … Their program is now known in other states and is one of the good programs that really helps young minorities. I think the city did the right thing and it was heartfelt and they all voted for it.”

“No question the city should continue funding PYFC, but there must be new leadership so that we can trust that the money is being spent wisely. The report issued by the city showed there was a lack of accountability and oversight. That said, the testimony of those kids who have been helped by PYFC showed that it does serve an important purpose and one that should not be discarded because of politics.”

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