Once there, they sat down and pulled out signs, vowing to stay until Mr. Fitzgerald agreed to hold multiple public meetings debating the issue.
Mr. Fitzgerald entered and left the office several times, escorted by guards. During his last trip back in — he had just given an impromptu news conference in a colleague's office where he said he wouldn't be engaging with the protesters that day — the county executive reappeared at his office door and addressed the crowd.
"I know I've met a lot of you many times," Mr. Fitzgerald told the group. "Schedule an appointment."
That was that. After Mr. Fitzgerald went back inside, the protesters packed up and declared victory, albeit without securing an answer to their demands.
"We brought attention to the issue," said Mel Packer, one of the protesters occupying the office.