This may be the only Santa that comes through the city! Again, some recent drama in the lovely and quiet city of Highland Village. I don't know when the tradition started, but for the past several years, Santa makes a visit to Highland Village and it's not on Christmas Eve. He, along with our faithful firefighters make the rounds through the streets of the city spreading holiday cheer and some candy too. I received an email thread from a resident who inquired about Santa's visit. She received confirmation from Nancy Sharp, from the HVFD, that "due to the high cost of fuel, Santa would not be riding around this year". That may have been true when gas was $4+ a gallon but now it's half the cost. So, what's the deal? People are definitely saddened by this decision because this has been a tradition for many years. There is a lot of discontent and downright anger over the 2499 road situation. Take this away and it's not going to be pretty.
Several residents wrote to Mayor Dianne Costa and this was her response:
Thank you for your email. I was unaware of the change. In the past I rode the truck distributing candy to the onlookers. I too enjoyed this event. Yesterday I spoke to the Fire Chief and the city manager. Unfortunately fuel had little to do with their original decision. It requires 4 personnel eight days in a row. We also had to have our full crew at the station in case of an emergency. In the past we had several fire volunteers but there still was a significant cost of overtime. After speaking to the chief and city manager we came up with a compromise that I hope you will be pleased with and we will soon make it available on the website and throughout the city.
The fire station will be the site on December 20th for pictures with Santa. What we plan to do prior and all day that day, is have the fire truck along with police escort, run through the city. Once back at the station pictures and holiday events will begin. I pray this meets with your satisfaction.
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