Looking to dig its way out of debt, a cash-strapped Michigan city sold off Santa Claus, his white sleigh and four of his reindeer at an auction.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that a state-appointed emergency manager is trying to improve the financial health of Flint in part by selling off some of the city’s unneeded items, including vehicles and the plastic Santa Claus set that the public normally sees sitting atop city hall during the holiday season.
The Flint Journal said that the sale irked Melodee Mabbitt, who told the Flint Journal: “I think it’s a ridiculous slap in the face to sell Santa.
“This is really a silly thing. It’s insulting. Are you really going to get that much for Santa Claus?” Mrs. Mabbitt said.
Jolly Old St. Nicholas, his ride and the four reindeer turned out to be a popular item, sparking a bidding war that featured 99 separate offers.
When the dust settled, Mrs. Mabbitt and her husband Bob emerged victorious with a winning bid of $1,330, the Flint Journal said.
Mrs. Mabbitt told the Flint Journal that she raised money for her effort, which was “about the community standing up to an emergency manager.”
She told the Flint Journal that she plans to have Santa back atop on City Hall.
“We’re going to put him back to work,” she said.