"Keep Christ in Christmas" banners taken down - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

"Keep Christ in Christmas" banners taken down

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The B&C Service Center, in New Braunfels, has been in Darrell Friesenhahn's family since 1969.

"I would think it used to be normal, but apparently it's not normal anymore," said Friesenhahn.

People drive by, honking to show their support of the Friesenhauhn's helping a neighbor.

"We just can't let them take it down, it's gotta be up, so we told them they could use the side of our building."

Two banners, which read, "Keep Christ in Christmas" were displayed on city property for less than a week.

"We just thought we had a contract and assumed it when they okayed it. We asked that they put them up and then low and behold, they called us back and said, hey, take 'em down," said Tommy Daum, with the Knights of Columbus.

He says it cost over $1,000 to make the banners, which are now displayed on private property.

"We've offered them compensation for the banners because it was our error...and we haven't charged them for any take down, put up...that was never invoiced," said Gretchen Reuwer, with New Braunfels Utilities.

She says the banners don't meet banner program criteria.

Reuwer added, "A method of promoting events of a charitable or humanitarian nature, events of an educational, scholastic or artistic nature or other events of community or public interest, which are non-political in nature and are for the benefit of a non-profit group."

The New Braunfels Utilities building is decorated with seasonal red and green, but after two banners were taken down because of a technicality, some community members say they're not feeling the spirit of the season.

"The banner went up and then...It was called to our attention that we were not meeting a consistent application of our policy...If you set a precedence, then later on, somebody will use that and say, you know, you did it for them, you have to do it for me...It never should have been made," said Reuwer. "In the interest of being fair...this is what the decision was based upon...we have gotten support, we also have had a lot of people that were upset about it...it was a mistake on our part.."

Mistake or not, Darrell's just happy to help.

"It wasn't anything that we really had to think about," Friesenhahn said.

Somehow, the message is still getting across, loud and clear.

The NBU rep says there was a "break down in the process of handling banner applications" and several people are responsible.

The policy is now being reviewed and future application criteria will be listed more specifically.

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