Hightstown officials are decorating the borough’s Civil War monument with Christmas lights this year, and that decision has sparked conflict in the Mercer County town.
Seven of the nine members of Hightstown’s Historic Preservation Commission resigned in protest, while borough council members are asking people to wait and see how the lights look,according to the Times of Trenton.
Critics won’t have long to wait. The lights and garlands on the monument, in the form of a Christmas tree, will be illuminated Friday night after a Santa Claus parade as part of an event called “Lights on the Square.” The borough’s website refers to it as “a tree lighting and United States Military tribute.”
Some residents have said that decorating the monument on Stockton Street is disrespectful, and opponents were hoping the borough council would reverse its decision at Monday night’s meeting, the Times reported.
But at the meeting, no member made such a motion, and each one present expressed approval of the holiday decoration. “I suggest that those with doubts reserve judgment until they see the completed project,” Councilwoman Isabel McGinty said.
The plan was based on the recommendation of Preservation Commission member Daniel Buriak, who did not notify the council that the other commission members were opposed, the Times reported. Buriak has not resigned from the commission, did not attend the borough council meeting on Monday, and has not been available for comment, according to the Times.
—ANNE-MARIE COTTONE, NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM