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Council Retreats After Thousands Spent on SF Chronicle Rebuttal Letter

Unclear Who Initiated Rebuttal Letter; Mystery Remains as to Its Cost

In response to the San Francisco Chronicle Article published on September 15, 2017 entitled "Town tapped out: Moraga’s fiscal crisis shocks, baffles residents," town staff reported several councilmembers requested a rebuttal because of perceived inaccuracies in the article.

Staff and the contracted Town Attorney spent an indeterminate number of hours drafting a six-page rebuttal for consideration by the council.

The Chronicle caught wind of the rebuttal letter and preemptively sent its own response before the council meeting, essentially telling the council to pound sand.

The council retreated from its earlier reported suggestions, thanked the staff for its concern, and distanced itself from the idea entirely.

It remains unclear to residents whom, exactly, initiated the rebuttal letter and the related costs of time and money that ultimately resulted in its withdrawal.

  • Staff says several councilmembers requested the rebuttal, but councilmembers point fingers back at the staff

  • The number of hours (and associated costs) are unknown, as the Town denied a resident's request for information, claiming the town attorney billing information is privileged and confidential

Staff report: link

Chronicle preemptive response: link

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