TENAFLY, N.J. (PIX11) – The Mayor of Tenafly is apologizing to the Alvator family after knocking on their door 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve and asking them to remove 300 lighted candles they had lined up on Joyce Road.
The family, who were new to Tenafly this year, said they were trying to re-create a tradition the father had grown up with in Cranford of setting up luminaries to light the way for Santa’s sleigh. Apparently one neighbor three doors down was offended by the block long display and had complained to the Mayor, hence the Mayor’s personal visit on Christmas Eve.
Following the exclusive PIX11 story, Mayor Peter Rustin received more than a dozen angry email messages and voice mails, criticizing his actions. The Mayor justified asking for the removal of the luminaries, saying the Alvator family had not asked for official permission from the police or fire departments for the display.
“I want to apologize for certain things,” Mayor Rustin told PIX11. “One is interrupting a holiday dinner. That was not my intent and it was unfortunate this incident took place on Christmas Eve.”
The neighbor who complained to the mayor slammed a window, refused to answer the door or speak with PIX11 Friday while at least one other neighbor said he was sad to see luminaries go.
The Alvator’s told PIX11 they have accepted the Mayor’s apology.