Battle over inflatable Santa Claus - New York News

Battle over inflatable Santa Claus

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Santa Claus is no stranger to rooftops. But the mayor of Millstone Township, N.J., wants to kick him off one. She says the 40-foot tall inflated Santa could be a holiday hazard.

The giant jolly old elf is at the center of a legal battle. The owner of Seasonal World put Kris Kringle on the roof to spread some holiday cheer, but there is nothing cheerful about the 5 tickets he received because of it.

"There is no ordinance or development agreement that says I can't display it," said Tony Schiavone.

The town disagrees, and now Schiavone is on the mayor's naughty list again this year. Last year he was ticketed for a 20-foot Santa on the roof. That dispute was settled out of court, even though Schiavone said the McDonald's next door, which had the same inflatable on its roof, wasn't ticketed.

"It's what I do every year, I've been doing it for 12 years and they've been basically harassing me for 12 years," Schiavone said.

Mayor Nancy Grbelja told Fox 5 the Santa is against the rules because it is a distraction and that if a strong gust of wind comes, you better watch out. She said: "It's big and it's a hazard."

But Schiavone said there is no way Santa is blowing off this roof.

"It's weighted down with sandbags and bolted to the building," he said.

Some customers we spoke with accuse the town of being like the Grinch and say this Santa scandal is silly.

The mayor said she is no scrooge and that she has nothing against Santa himself, just the location of the oversized one.

But Schiavone has no plans to move him.

A court date has been set for after Christmas.

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