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Sonoma County’s ornament ban on Christmas trees in county buildings sparks public outcry

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

RELATED: Ore. school removes holiday tree, bans Santa Claus [2]

O holy outcry.

The decision by Sonoma County’s top official to ban stars and angels from Christmas trees in all county buildings drew heated public reaction Tuesday and complaints the action was made in haste and without legal authority.

Dozens of Press Democrat readers, some using language unfit for midnight Mass, painted the decision as an affront to the holiday spirit and to common sense.

They also had choice words for Acting County Administrator Chris Thomas, who ordered the removals Monday, and for Irv Sutley, the 65-year-old disabled veteran and atheist activist whose complaints sparked the controversial action.



  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

“To make an ordeal out of a little doll with a wreath is beyond me,” said Mike Cronin, assistant manager of John Deere Landscaping in Santa Rosa. “It made me feel that this country is getting really picky.”

But Dolores Marconi, who lives in Glenhaven in Lake County, defended Sutley’s actions, saying they honor the Constitution by preventing the government from arbitrary displays of religious items.

“I have Christmas decorations at my house, but that’s where they belong,” she said.

Full story here. [1]