Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Friday, November 4, 2011

Santa Job Slayed By Cash-Strapped County on Long Island

Even Santa's gotten the pink slip.

Officials on Long Island say there is no money in the budget to pay a man $660 for playing Santa at a general store run by Suffolk County.

David McKell, 83, has played Santa for nine years at the St. James General Store, which gets decorated like Santa's workshop. The retired police detective lieutenant and former state trooper sits in a rocking chair in the back, handing out candy canes and posing for photos with children.

Being fired as Santa is "really a shame," McKell told Newsday.

Officials are looking for volunteers to take shifts. Even the county executive, Steve Levy, has volunteered to wear the suit for a few hours. more