Amidst a flurry of controversy and creation of a "perceived reality" they said they could no longer fight, Moraga-Orinda Fire District Board members rescinded their plan to acquire an office building for use as district offices at 1150 Moraga Way.
The decision to rescind the purchase contract -- with penalty -- was made after rancorous debate about board spending habits and much public gnashing of teeth, in this site's comment stream as well as in the traditional local press.
A quietly angry Fred Weil cited an editorial appearing in a local newspaper earlier in the day and said the author had chosen to ignore the facts of the purchase as presented. Seething, Weil led a succession of his colleagues during the board's meeting Wednesday night, charging individuals in the media and private sector with "ignoring the facts" about the purchase and saying he would no longer support it.
He was followed by directors Frank Sperling and John Wyro, Sperling musing that the board had failed in its effort to educate the public sufficiently about the benefits of the move. Sperling said the board had fallen victim to a campaign of "purposeful misinformation" by some elements of the community.
Please see the attached video for more of the director's statements.
Directors Brook Mancinelli and Dick Olsen, both of whom had previously objected to the purchase, appeared to have been caught off guard by the sudden reversal of their colleagues, and Weil ended that portion of their meeting Wednesday with an appeal that there be no further public comment.
"The matter is moot," he said.
Fire Chief Randall Bradley, under contract to proceed with the purchase of 1150 Moraga Way, scrambled to organize a special meeting to formally notify the sellers of the district's intent to back away -- a meeting expected to take place over the weekend.