Tucker City Council will reconsider Juneteenth holiday

Tucker City Hall. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Tucker, GA — Juneteenth is back on the agenda next week in Tucker. This time, two Tucker City Council members are proposing an amendment to observe Juneteenth as a holiday by closing city hall and giving city employees the day off.

On Feb. 15, Tucker City Council voted 5-2 to adopt the 2022 calendar, which did not include Juneteenth. Councilmembers Alexis Weaver and Noelle Monferdini voted against the resolution, after Weaver made a subsequent motion to close city offices in observance of Juneteenth. Her motion was unsuccessful.

Councilmembers Virginia Rece and Cara Schroeder are bringing the discussion to the May 9 City Council meeting.

According to Tucker’s charter, the mayor sets the agenda of the city council after receiving input from members of the city council, city manager and the public. Additional items can be added to the agenda upon written request of two members of the city council.

Tucker received attention for the city council’s rejection of Juneteenth back in February. The city first claimed that summer camp was the reason for remaining open on the day the federal government is observing Juneteenth in 2022 – Monday, June 20.

But Tucker Recreation Center’s summer camp calendar had accounted for June 20 as a day off. When Tucker Observer pointed this out to the city, the city changed its camp schedule, so camps would be open on June 20, the day the holiday will be officially observed. The city said the initial decision to close camps that day was a “clerical error.”

Later, Mayor Frank Auman said Dec. 6, not June 19, should be the day Georgia marks the end of slavery. He argues that Dec. 6 is a more appropriate date because the 13th Amendment — which abolished slavery in the United States — became effective when Georgia became the 27th state to ratify it, Dec. 6, 1865.

Read Auman’s full statement here.

If the amendment passes, Tucker city employees will observe 12 holidays in 2022: New Year’s Eve, Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

On May 9, City Council also plans to hear a second read of an ordinance for a Special Land Use Permit at Tucker Exchange. Chick-fil-A returns for a first read, along with a townhome development on Lawrenceville Highway by Embry Development Company.

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