ORANGE - The Orange City Council has approved 20 thousand dollars for new holiday decorations after getting backlash last year for displaying a nativity scene outside City Hall.
Critics wanted a display that included more than just Christian symbols.
Tina Faul has been living in Orange for over 50 years, and she says she has never been as upset over holiday decorations as she is now.
Last year, the nativity scene was removed from City Hall grounds after the Orange County Atheist group asked to display sign next to it.
“I was very upset about it, ” Faul says, “To me they let them get their way for what was already a tradition,” she explains.
Now, she is more upset that the City Council approved a 20 thousand dollar budget to buy more holiday decorations.
“It's not worth it, we've got roads that need to be repaired, water lines, and stuff like that,” says Faul.
Others like Ambre Guillot say these decorations represent family traditions that need to be upheld, no matter the price.
“We've had the same one for a long time and it's worn, I know they touched up the paint, but it's going to be awesome to have a new nativity scene here,” says Guillot.
“We’re complaining about a price on a nativity scene that actually tells a story of what we're founded on,” she says.
According to City Council, the plan is to spend almost $8,000 on the nativity figures, over $600 on a stable.
The rest of the spending will include Santa and his sleigh, Christmas carolers and a menorah totaling up to over $20,000.
“The outdoor stuff usually cost a little bit more, but 20 thousand dollars?” says Faul.
Although visiting the city hall nativity scene is tradition, Faul says there's more in the holiday season than decorations.
“There're shelters that may need money to help cloth and put people in homes,” she explains.
Calculations by Public Works Director Jim Wolf say the nativity scene will only take 200 square feet of the entire display.
The decorations will be put up this December.
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