By Robert Rich
Lee Sepanek’s (aka “Christmas Lee”) light show got on the cities’ radar a few times too many last year. The Phoenix resident’s home, located near 44th Street and Camelback Road, is normally an extravagant, shining beacon for the season’s Christmas Spirit starting Thanksgiving Night.
However, the City of Phoenix took issue with Lee’s ambitions the year prior. After planning a fundraiser, in which Lee was selling hot cocoa, cookies and Christmas trinkets to provide more funding for his public display, the City pulled the plug. They used the technicalities that he did not possess a food handler’s license, or a home baked goods permit, to shut down the show.
While the display is listed as one of the most popular light shows in Phoenix, some people on the street adjacent to him took issue with it.
“I had a couple of new neighbors move in a year prior. They experienced their first Christmas and they didn’t like the traffic.”, Lee said.
This year, Lee’s campaign on GoFundMe is looking to add at least another $10,000 dollars’ worth of lights into the light show. He has also obtained a food handler’s license and baked goods permit. However, Lee still expects that the city will try and spoil his Holiday fun.
“I have heard that they’re pretty hard-nosed about the whole thing and they’re not bending.”, Lee said.
The good news is that Lee at least has one ally. Councilman Sal DiCiccio has tweeted that Phoenix politicians should be “ashamed” of how they’ve treated Lee.
DiCicco couldn’t be more correct on this matter. Lee’s light show is a win-win for the community. The vast majority celebrates the joyous display and it brings nothing but positive attention to the community. The bureaucratic attack brought upon Lee is nothing more than the City of Phoenix trying to appease a few crotchety members over everyone else.
You can support Lee by donating to his GoFundMe HERE. Phoenix should give Lee the same community support that he has given us the past 30 years.