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Whittier Homeowners Association Eating Its Own Over Oil Plans

Things are getting tense in Whittier, where the City Council gave potential oil drilling rights to Matrix Oil Company back in 2008. The Hostile Friendly Hills Homeowners Association, which includes about 1,400 homes in east Whittier, has had a bit of a meltdown. The Whittier Daily News reported in July that HOA president Faye Hill "said the association board is neutral on oil drilling but opposes any trucks or equipment using Catalina, Colima or Mar Vista and is opposed to an access road behind Lodosa." But the board wasn't hanging together at a September 1 meeting, when, according to the paper, "about 30 people, mostly members of the Whittier Hills Oil Watch, showed up, asking the board to take a position against drilling for oil in the Whittier hills." Now-former board member Allan Nakken tells the paper that Hill "allowed them to interrupt us. Protocol was just zero. Then, she stands up and started using profanity." Hill apologized at a meeting last week, but Nakken and fellow board member Jim Emery had already resigned, along with a paid administrative secretary, who said "she didn't want to deal with the infighting." Hill told the paper "Sometimes you need to shake things up to make change...I think this is healthy. My goal is to strengthen the board and increase our membership." An environmental impact report for the proposed drilling is expected to be out this month or next, and then things should really get interesting.
· Formerly non-political Friendly Hills Homeowners Association now finds itself in middle of oil-drilling issue [WDN]