Melodee Mabbitt and a group of about a dozen donors on Tuesday were successful in saving a Santa Claus display that had set atop Flint City Hall for years after an emergency manager decided to auction off the city's tradition to raise a few bucks.


The Santa and four reindeer was just one almost 400 items that Emergency Manager Ed Kurtz decided to auction off for bids starting at $5. Mabbitt's desire to save the beloved display kicked off a bidding war between about four people that ran the price up to $1,330 over a four day period.

"For me that was too sad a story for Flint to live with," she told the Flint Journal on Tuesday. "I think it’s a ridiculous slap in the face to sell Santa."

"This clearly isn’t just about Santa Claus. It’s about what it symbolizes to have an emergency manager auction Santa Claus off," she added. "No elected official would auction Santa off online."

"This is about the community standing up to an emergency manager."

Mabbitt expects Santa to be "back to work" atop City Hall come Christmastime.

[Photo credit: Flint]