DownTown Boys & Girls Club Closed by Board

The Board of Defectors [sic. Directors) of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Who-Needs-Me decided to pull the plug on Operations at the 7th Street B&G Club and let every one know about it yesterday (Monday 12-16).

Families and children of this club, who got this nice Christmas present from the Board, filled the Oxnard City Council Chamber to voice their shock and disgust at how the Board notified staff, fired them, and gave the close order for this facility. Coming to the Council was the only thing they could do to seek help, assistence, intervention and basic human caring and understanding

What they got was a lot of bottom-line bla-bla-bla from Seated B&GC Board Member and current re-elected Councilmember Dean Maulhardt stating that the premise of the closing was to do a feasibility study on the site and to review some needed modifications and upgrades to the site.

- BUT - there appear$ more at $take than just a review of the facility.

Prior to this devastating and sudden closure - the Board of the B&GC had sold off some prime play-field property to a housing development for LOW INCOME (Housing) ala with the Field of Dreams and the prime play-field gone, what could be next???? . . . . . . . Access to the street.

Most likely the B&GC's Board is going to make a sweetheart deal to sell-off the property of the current ClubHouse to some palm-greasing developer under the guise of DownTown ReDevelopment. SAD!

But the grim reality of this situation is that the affected families and children had
no where else to go tonight but to the Council.

Oddly enough - Dino Maulhardt, Ed Sotello- the city mgr., - Tom Holden. - and OPD Cheif Art Lopez are all on the B&GC Board of Defectors -

After the comments were heard, the Council told the gathering that IT, as a body, had no jurisdiction over this Non-Profit Organization.

Yet with so many City Officials on the Board -in essence- the folks who came to speak to the Council were aiming their comments in the right direction as the B&GC Board is really crossing the line by providing seats to City Officials with the power to approve new development, easements, re-zoning and the re-use of city property with all the rights of eminent domain in the back pocket along with developer contributions.

What is happening to the DownTown Boys and Girls Club is - it's being
sweetheart-dealed into another new downtown project...another powerpoint presentation and more boring architecture.

The Lesson in all this for our young people is- the dollar rules over the hearts of those who value dollars more than the hearts and lives of the young.

With his life's work of three decades of dedicated service to the people and City of Oxnard, as is the case with Mr. Ruben Herrera, the Board just tossed it and him out in one day of incredibly swift and insensitive vivasection as well as the rest of the paid staff. No transfers to other Club facilities were offered to the off'ed employed staff. Out you go and leave the keys.

What are we showing our kids? That people are disposable and can be told to leave as if sending them out to the basura with next week's junk.

The (expletive implied) humans who make decisions to fire and remove dedicated B&GC Staff with only a moment's notice are very uncaring and the citizens who came to Council - did so to ask: "Why does Oxnard have this motto, the City that Cares" - when in essence, the City does not.

Mayor Manny Lopez and Councilmand John C. Zaragoza do care, but they are only two votes against three other way-off swing-hitters.

Andres Herrera was not present at this meeting - nor was Pinkherd...but Maulhardt was and he had to keep his CITY COUNCILMAN hat on while he tried to justify the action of the B&GC Board of Dissectors. Dean should have recused himself and both he and Ed Sotello should drop off that Board that cares-less for Oxnard and what this 7th street facility has done for the City.

Being on the Boys&GirlsClub Board is akin to saying "Strom Thurmond should've become President in 1948" - it's Political anathema to be a "city official" and to actually allow this horrid Board action to take place while you have the power to do something.

The Oxnard Journal is asking Dean Maulhardt - Ed Sotello and Chief Art Lopez to drop off the Boys&GirlsClub BOARD and take a stand for the kids and citizens of Oxnard.

Seeing children come to the Council and cry for an important part of their life to be saved and not ripped from them is enough, seeing Gary Gillig just sit and read a report and to see no action or direction taken by the Council to remedy this is hurting and hurtful.

Oxnard, the City that Cares - yeah right !