It pretty much boils down to who you’re talking with at the time. Some Moraga Town Watchers maintain the relatively recent departure of several key town officials is indicative of underlying pressures at the leadership level, while others chalk the departures up to an historic tendency by city officials moving on from Moraga in favor of positions elsewhere.
We’ll say we have noted a little “tension” of late, understandable perhaps as those entrusted with running the town deal with a couple of heavyweight revenue-drainers – the now-filled-in sink hole and Canyon Bridge, open and carrying traffic again but currently confined to one lane.
We can flatly say that a lot of townspeople were unhappy with the time it took to repair those two key components of town infrastructure, with many pointing to the recently announced departures of Town Manager (and former chief of police) Bob Priebe; Administrative Services Director Amy Cunningham, and Planning Director Ellen Clark’s resignations as somehow related to the pressures surrounding those positions.
Parks and Recreation Director Jay Ingram’s position, currently occupied on an interim basis by Mike Vickers, sometimes gets folded into conversations about the town’s leaders heading for the hills in the face of a mounting community dissatisfaction, but some insiders say “not so fast.”
Moraga has historically been an “incubator” for people working in municipal government positions, they maintain, with candidates taking jobs as “first-time department heads in a smaller community” before getting noticed, usually by neighboring communities, and leaving for “greener pastures.”
And the latest recent “wave” of departures is not without precedent, with former Town Manager Jill Keimach moving on to the same post in Alameda and Stephanie Hom coming to Moraga to serve as Finance and Administrative Services director before returning to Oakland upon the election of Libby Schaaf.
The Town’s most recent departures will almost certainly have an immediate, short-term impact, with all of the recent resignations effective the first half of December.
But even with that tight of a re-hiring deadline looming, officials this site was able to reach for comment apparently remain optimistic – if anonymous.
“The Town will get through this,” one said. “… as we have in the past.”