Critics say Middletown holiday video inappropriate during time of layoffs

MIDDLETOWN, OH (FOX19) - The city of Middletown has released a video made to give holiday cheer to employees and city residents, but some are calling it inappropriate due to recent layoffs in the city.

The video features employees of the city singing and dancing while surrounded by holiday decorations. The video was produced under the direction of City Manager Judy Gilleland, who says it is the second year the city has made such a promotional video.

Critics of the video say the video was filmed at the wrong time and are upset that the Middletown Fire Chief is featured in the video while the fire department is going through a tough time. In late November, Middletown laid off nine firefighters and closed a fire station.

Middletown Fire Chief Steven Botts acknowledged the tough times for the city, but says he participated in the video because it's the holiday season, and it was a fun way to say thank you to other employees and residents.

Gilleland says that the video, designed to bring holiday cheer, is especially needed during the tough times the city faces.

The city paid an employee with TV Middletown $200 to produce the video.

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