OGDEN -- Despite complaints, Leasa Ray says the sign at the top of her cafe isn't going anywhere.
The large red-and-green sign on the east side of the cafe prominently displays the words, "Happy Birthday Jesus."
Ray owns the OMG Cafe at 2501 Washington Blvd. The cafe is just to the east of the Ogden Amphitheater in what used to be a Utah Transit Authority ticket booth.
UTA still owns the building, but Ogden city owns the underlying property.
UTA spokesman Gerry Carpenter said the transit agency doesn't have a lot to do with the building, other than its de facto ownership. UTA leases the property to Downtown Ogden Inc., an organization Ogden contracts with to promote and market events for the city's downtown area.
Downtown Ogden Inc. leases the building to Ray to run the cafe.
Ray said she put the sign up recently as a way to celebrate Christmas and the birth of Christ.
"To me, business is all about Jesus," Ray said. "Especially right now. I think the sign looks great."
Ray said after she put up the sign, she and her business partner were approached by Dan Musgrave, executive director of Downtown Ogden Inc.
Ray said Musgrave informed the business owners that people had been complaining about the sign. Butler said she was not asked to take the sign down, but it was suggested to her that doing so might be better for business.
But despite the complaints, Ray said she will keep the sign up, noting that her problem isn't necessarily with Downtown Ogden Inc., or Musgrave, but with the people who have complained.
"I can't believe people would be complaining about this sign," she said. "I mean, especially at this time of year. With Christmas Village all set up, you've got lots of symbols of Christ around. Just around the corner, you've got a Nativity scene set up. People think that's OK, but not 'Happy Birthday Jesus.' It's ridiculous, and I won't take (the sign) down."
Ogden's Chief Administrative Officer Mark Johnson said he was aware of the issue and that the city had received a written complaint about the sign.
But Johnson said the city won't be asking Ray to take down the sign.
Musgrave was out of town Thursday and could not be reached for comment, but Johnson said he didn't think any strongarm tactics were taking place and that Musgrave was simply giving friendly advice.