Chandler makes Juneteenth an official city holiday - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Chandler makes Juneteenth an official city holiday

August 31st, 2022 SanTan Sun News
Chandler makes Juneteenth an official city holiday

By Ken Sain
STSN Managing Editor

Chandler city workers are getting an additional holiday after the Council officially  decided to recognize Juneteenth at its Aug. 18 meeting.

“I don’t know how many times staff, or employees, have asked, ‘Is that our day off?’ Well, we can honestly say … that is your day off,” said Councilman OD Harris.

Chandler gives its employees 12 holidays each year. Juneteenth marks the official end of sanctioned slavery in the United States, when the last group of slaves in Galveston, Texas were informed they were free by Union soldiers on June 19, 1865. President Biden made it a federal holiday a year ago. Arizona has not recognized it as a state holiday.

Harris said many city services will still be available to residents, such as keeping the pools open. All administrative offices will be closed. City Manager Joshua Wright will decide which other departments remain open.

For city workers who have to work on the holiday, they will be able to choose another day to take off during the tax year. It will not roll over if the employee does not use it during the tax year.

As part of the resolution that Council passed, staff will look into ways to allow city workers to celebrate other cultural or religious days of significance. The addition of the holiday is not expected to impact this year’s budget.

“I would also like to thank my peers up here for saying yes to this,” Councilmember Christine Ellis said. “It was … us sitting down again and looking at each other, bringing our own past experience in our own great cultures, having discussion about it, to make sure that we came up with something that was going to benefit everybody.”

The other official city holidays are New Year’s Day; Martin Luther King Jr. Day; President’s Day; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veteran’s Day; Thanksgiving Day; Day after Thanksgiving; Christmas and a personal holiday.

In other action:

Council officially certified the results of the Aug. 2 primary election. Councilmembers-elect Angel Encinas and Jane Poston were both in attendance and recognized by Mayor Kevin Hartke. They will be sworn in and take their seats in January.

Hartke and Councilmember Matt Orlando won reelection. It will be Hartke’s second term as Mayor and Orlando’s sixth as a member of Council.

•Council also gave the go-ahead to McKinley Glenn, which is a plan to put 22 single-family homes on nine acres at Chandler Heights, a little east of Cooper Road. The homes would all be single story. Cachet Homes is the builder.

•The Council also approved expanding the patio for SanTan Brewing Company on East Warner Road. The brewery plans to use the extra space for a stage and shade structures. They will be installing speakers so they can provide live entertainment.

•As part of the approval, SanTan can only offer live entertainment until 9 p.m. on Sundays-through-Thursdays, and 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

•Council also agreed to spend more than $3.4 million to replace vehicles that have reached their end of useful life. They will be replacing 62 vehicles. More than 80% of the vehicles are for public safety. Another 18% are for utility or special purpose. Only 1% is for the city’s motor pool.