The Christmas decorations on Murray Bridge's main street are "extraordinarily dismal", a councillor says.
No-one present at the city council's meeting last week disagreed with Cr Andrew Baltensperger's argument.
"The whole point of allocations of serious money is to provide serious decorations," he said.
"In my opinion, this hasn't occurred properly over the last five years, except for the lighting on the trees.
"A lot of children have been born and raised here without seeing Christmas decorations, ever.
"This newest attempt is bland and insipid."
The illuminated decorations hanging from poles on Sixth Street made it look like Santa's cave, Cr Baltensperger said; that was what Bridge Street should look like.
Even the Christmas music and tinsel of years gone by had disappeared, he said: "I can't see where the money's gone".
Cr Tyson Matthews agreed that the council was not doing enough to highlight an important time of year for local retailers.
When Mayor Brenton Lewis asked whether anyone in the chamber was proud of the decorations on Bridge Street, he was met only with shaking heads.
Assets and infrastructure general manager Heather Barclay offered to meet with Cr Baltensperger to discuss his concerns, and hear his vision for better Christmas displays in future.
Mr Lewis noted that not all decorations could be used for more than a year or two as they wore out in the weather.
One of the reasons there had been fewer new decorations in recent years was that the council had focused on quality, not quantity, he said.
Cr Baltensperger's outburst was prompted by a report which noted the $30,000 budget the council set aside for Christmas decorations each year.
- View The Standard's Christmas lights list: www.murrayvalleystandard.com.au/story/6523682.