Councilwoman won’t quit over borough’s ‘Christmas’ tree after all
The Roselle Park borough council member who submitted her resignation over the addition of "Christmas" to the name of the town's Christmas lighting ceremony has changed her mind.
In a joint statement statement released to Roselle Park News, Charlene Storey and Mayor Carl Hokanson said that Storey rescinded her resignation and will chair a new committee on diversity.
The name of the lighting ceremony will still include "Christmas" following the council's vote on Thursday night that prompted Storey's resignation.
“It was never my intent to insult anyone’s beliefs or religion," said Hokanson in the statement. "We live in an increasingly diverse community, and we have to come to grips with that fact.”
Storey is still opposed to adding the word "Christmas" back to the ceremony. In an earlier statement, she said it "cuts non-Christians out of the loop on a public event” and is a violation of the oath council members took to uphold the U.S. and New Jersey Constitutions, “which forbid government to get involved in religion.”
In the new, joint statement with the mayor, statement Storey said, “The new committee will help the borough identify and better deal with diversity and all of its issues, and hopefully head off such disagreements."
The story went viral as the story received national attention. The majority of commenters to the initial story on NJ1015.com were opposed to Storey's resignation.
"Good riddance. This is beyond ridiculous. Freedom of religion is just that ... the ability to say "Christmas", the ability to say "Hanukkah". There are a lot more important things in this world to address than banning the word Christmas in the Christmas season," wrote Cheryl Weeks.
"I'm sure she takes the day off and is willing to get paid for it," wrote Gary Whitson. "This whole thing is utter nonsense. If you can't hear the word Christmas at Christmas time, that's pathetic. She has no business being in government if she can't represent everyone." Eileen Hunt wrote, "Really? I have a box of tissues for her Chrismas present. Buh-Bye Did she stomp her feet on the way out? And she was a councilwoman?"
Roselle Park's ceremony is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 11