Local News

'Community Tree' sparks holiday debate in Cary

Posted December 23, 2009 10:10 p.m. EST
Updated December 24, 2009 10:11 a.m. EST

— A holiday-decorated Community Tree inside Cary’s Town Hall has sparked debate among council members and residents.

Councilman Don Frantz wants to call it a Christmas tree and he is not alone.

“I truly feel it should be called a Christmas tree,” Cary resident April Peoples said.

Peoples is among the residents in favor of the name change, but others argue the switch would leave some people out.

“It's a community Christmas tree,” Cary resident Melanie Williams said.

Williams, owner of the Chocolate Smiles Candy Factory, said the holidays should be about involving everyone, not just those who celebrate Christmas.

“We don't want to lose the essence of all the different holidays that we celebrate,” Williams said.

The decoration has been called the Community Tree since it first went up in 2006. It is decorated with ornaments donated by businesses and organizations throughout the community.

The debate over the proposed name change has fueled a flood of angry e-mails to the Town Council and even the mayor.

“I’ll just say they're not in the Christmas spirit yet,” Mayor Harold Weinbrecht said.

Weinbrecht said he would rather see council members and residents focusing on more pressing issues, like recently delayed projects. “That's a lot more pressing than the naming of a tree,” he said.

For now, the tree's name will not change, but council members plan to discuss a possible name change during its next council meeting on Jan. 14.