Santa Claus' job saved in St. James

Ten days ago, St. James' Santa Claus learned that he'd be out of work this holiday season, but today, the lump of coal Saint Nick got was replaced with an early gift that saved his job.

Santa Claus has appeared at the St. James General Store for nearly a decade. However, due to the tough economy, Suffolk County decided not to renew his $660 contract for this year.

But four days before Election Day, Democratic candidate for county executive Steve Bellone came in with a personal check for $660 to make sure Santa is there for the kids.

Bellone insists it's not a political issue. "I've been bringing my kids here for the past three years," he said.

Now, Saint Nick will be back at the historic General Store the weekend after Thanksgiving.

However, County Executive Steve Levy (R-Suffolk) insists taxpayers should not have to foot the bill to pay when there are plenty of volunteer Santas in every community.

For an extended interview with the St. James Santa Claus, go to your cable box and select iO Extra on Ch. 612.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 5 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login, create an account or subscribe to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."