After debate, Taneytown OKs holiday decorations


After much discussion and many angry words, the Taneytown City Council voted last night to pay $6,800 for Christmas decorations this year.

The city will purchase 27 five-foot-tall Christmas wreaths to hang in the city square, at the intersection of Routes 140 and Route 194, in front of the city office and several other places around town.

The disagreement over the choice of decorations began when Councilman Thomas J. Denike commented about "bad publicity" BTC the town got last year from residents concerned about the amount of money being spent on the items.

Some residents also were concerned about public money being spent for a religious holiday.

"I'm just wondering if we're going about this the right way," Mr. Denike said. "We hadn't spent a dime on Christmas decorations in 15 years before last year. This is our highly publicized budget excess."

Councilwoman Jacquelyn Polk, who chaired the committee that selected the decorations, grew angry when Mr. Denike appeared to be questioning the choice.

She said the decorations had been chosen by consensus.

"Everybody wanted these decorations," Ms. Polk said. "We decide what to do, and then you say we can't do it? You made me cashier of the committee, we make a decision and then you want to change it."

Eventually last night, the council voted -- unanimously -- to purchase the decorations.

Contributions from local agencies such as the Jaycees, the Chamber of Commerce and the Heritage Committee will finance the remainder of the $10,000 that will be spent to decorate the town, Ms. Polk said.

The council also voted to donate a functioning car from the city's impound lot to the Resurrections Farms homeless shelter in Silver Run.

The nonprofit organization will pay to have the vehicle taken from Taneytown and brought to its property.

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