The breakdown could have been avoided. But then, few breakdowns in community are inevitable. In this case, some folks made several poor decisions. Other people responded poorly to the poor decisions. Words were exchanged, positions hardened, sides were drawn up. Rumors flew, and even when folks knew they were rumors, they repeated them until it was very difficult to discern what had really happened.
People were angry and hurt; some conversations stopped, and new alliances were formed. Only certain people knew about key meetings. A lot of energy was expended in determining motives, justifying decisions and anticipating the opposition's next move. Regular activities continued, but the life was drained out of them; everything seemed hollow. Small acts and casual comments were freighted with huge symbolic meaning. Everyone felt undervalued and betrayed by someone; a number of people threatened to leave. The meltdown had taken on a life of its own.