E-Mails on Oil Project

 

Read  the E-Mail that tells us how the Oil Project started on October 18, 2006.  It started between Mayor Bob Henderson, City Manager Steve Helvey, Matrix Consultant Mac McFarland, Matrix VP Mike McCaskey and Matrix Geologist. 

DOCS THAT STARTED OIL PROJECT  1116060001.pdf DOCS THAT STARTED OIL PROJECT 1116060001.pdf
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E-Mails between City of Whittier and Matrix Oil 2008.

Co's Public Record Rec'd  122210.pdf Co's Public Record Rec'd 122210.pdf
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E-Mails between City and Matrix Oil on the Oil Project 2008.  

2008.doc 2008.doc
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E-Mails between City and Matrix about Letter of intent.  This was done almost one year before lease signed 2007.

2007 E MAILS ABOUT OIL PROJECT0001.pdf 2007 E MAILS ABOUT OIL PROJECT0001.pdf
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E-Mail below to Kim Barlow Assistant City Attorney from Geralyn Skapik Open Space Legal Defense Fund Attorney
 "Henderson then went on to insult the residents of Whittier, stating that  he does not believe the voters of Whittier are sophisticated or intelligent enough to review the "1,000-page environmental impact report."
See E-Mail below (October 19, 2011)

 Ms. Barlow-

I appreciate you responding to my email. However, based upon the actions to date exhibited by the City officials during this process, I am not surprised that the City now is effectually thwarting public participation.  According to the article in the Whittier Daily News, Mr. Henderson made it quite clear that Whittier is not a "direct democracy" and that this "process" is, "extremely complex."  Mr. Henderson then went on to insult the residents of Whittier, stating that  he does not believe the voters of Whittier are
sophisticated or intelligent enough to review the "1,000-page environmental impact report that is detailed and complex with more than 1,000 comment on the report."  Henderson then rationalized his actions by stating that Whittier is a "representative government for a reason" and that the voters have "elected people who are suppose to take the time to go over a project.  We also have staff input but the public wouldn't have any of that."

It is clear the City does not have the required commitment to public participation.  Mr. Henderson's comment are opposite of the intent behind CEQA.  The purpose of public participation is to hear the public and not disregard the voices of the people.  Mr. Henderson has chosen to preemptively discount public comment and solely rely on the comments of the applicant and staff, thus violating CEQA. 

Mr. Henderson, the City Council and the City Attorney's office is quite aware the residence of Whittier and Los Angeles County have hired Claremont
Land Group and Pareto Planning and Environmental Services, to "represent their interests" and to review and analyze the EIR and related documentation.  We have been retained by many Whittier residence because they no longer have faith in the "representative body" that they elected to represent their interest.  For Mr. Henderson to dismiss the organizational chart for the City, which places the residents first, is evidence that he has no interest in listening to the majority that is so vehemently opposed
to this project. Indeed he has stated publicly, numerous times, that he has a "gentlemen's agreement" with the other members of the council that if the
project cannot be carried out safely, they will not vote for it.  Stated affirmatively, this serial agreement is that the Council members will vote for the project if it can be done "safely."  It is uncertain what Mr. Henderson's definition  of "safely" is, but evidently it includes a project that has 6 significant environmental impacts that cannot be mitigated.
Clearly, this issue has been pre-determined and the public is being denied the ability to respond in kind, in a manner that is simple, concise and understandable for all participants.  The public cannot influence the Council's vote if the project is not thoroughly vetted. 

Given that it is Mr. Henderson's position, that we should have individuals who are experienced reviewing these documents, present to the Planning Commission, we are prepared to present a video outlining the issues our experts have discovered relating to the FEIR and the new "amended" project proposal.  This presentation is representative of OSLDF members.  We will have 10 people announce their names and addresses before the presentation and then play the video.  There will be no concern of these individual wanting to make further statements as they fully understand that they cede their time to  us and I will confirm that position before the video is
played.

It is evident that the project before the Planning Commission has been significantly changed.  The public has had less than 6 days to review these
significant changes hidden in the revised FEIR and provide a response. Even though the public has had less than one week to review the revised FEIR, the
City has elected to forgo recirculation of this revised project.  By thwarting our ability to disclose facts at the hearing during public comments on this revised project, you are in violation of CEQA.

PRC Sect. 21177 holds:
(a) An action or proceeding shall not be brought pursuant to Section 21167 unless the alleged grounds for noncompliance with this division were presented to the public agency orally or in writing by any person during the public comment period provided by this division or prior to the close of the public hearing on the project before the issuance of the notice of determination.

(b) A person shall not maintain an action or proceeding unless that person objected to the approval of the project orally or in writing during the public comment period provided by this division or prior to the close of the public hearing on the project before the filing of the notice of determination pursuant to Sections 21108 and
21152.

PRC Sect. 21177 mandates that we provide public comment and you are in
essence thwarting the public's our ability to do so. 

We will be happy to provide you with a copy of our video at the hearing tonight and we will plan on putting on our presentation during the public comment period which commences on Thursday evening.  Please ensure that the video/audio equipment utilized by staff and Matrix tonight  is made equally available to the public during the public comment period. 

In addition, we have reviewed the Urgency Ordinance that was passed by the City Council on Monday morning.  It is our position that the Planning Commission is illegally constituted and thus any decision made by this Commission would be remanded by a court for reconsideration before a properly constituted Planning Commission.


Geralyn Skapik

Geralyn L. Skapik, Attorney at Law
CLAREMONT LAND GROUP