City Council Votes 8-0 To Make Juneteenth The 12th Holiday For City Employees

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

The City Council voted 8-0 on Tuesday night to make Juneteenth Independence Day the 12th paid holiday for city employees. Vice Chairman Ken Smith was absent.

There was no discussion. The council earlier had several meetings on the topic.

Councilwoman Demetrus Coonrod had urged passage of the new holiday last year, but the council then only passed a resolution commemorating the day.

She again brought it up this year, and former Councilman Jerry Mitchell and Vice Chairman Ken Smith both voiced support.

Juneteenth is a holiday on June 19 celebrating the emancipation of freed slaves in the U.S.

It is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day and Emancipation Day. 

The city finance office was asked to calculate the cost of the move. Officials said it would involve $65,000 in overtime pay for essential workers and $628,000 in lost productivity.

It would not take effect this June 19 because it has not yet been budgeted.

The first Juneteenth day off for city employees would be in 2022.

Current city paid holidays are New Year's Day, Martin Luther King's birthday, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day.


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