A Tenafly family's idea to join with neighbors in a Christmas Eve display of streetside luminary candles turned from quaint to controversial when the mayor came to their door to order the lights removed.

According to PIX11, Jason Alvator was told by Mayor Peter Rustin, that one neighbor, who is Jewish, was offended by the display of 300 candles in luminary bags, which other neighbors had helped place along their street, Joyce Road.

Alvator said the display was not intended to be "religious" and had been cleared with local police and fire officials. He told PIX11 the mayor's visit was "like the Grinch was knocking on my front door."

The mayor told PIX11 that the display violated a town ordinance.

Listener Joseph Pinho has emailed us this response, which he said he received from Mayor Rustin:


I can understand your concerns after viewing the one sided piece that was aired on Channel 11 news.  It was very misleading.  To address the one issue you mentioned in your brief email; the family did not check with either the police of fire departments before putting lighted candles in front of about 40 homes. No such permission was ever given.   For your information, they did not check with the majority of homeowners on the street either.
Mayor Peter Rustin

Pinho said he emailed the mayor back: "Once again, I feel you did not have the right to knock on somebody's door while they're enjoying their holiday dinner how would you feel if it was yours?"

What do you think? How would you have reacted in Alvator's place?