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After Mayor Ben Briscoe cast the tie-breaking vote last week, the day known as Juneteenth will be an annual paid holiday for the city of Pearsall workers from next year onwards.
In June, President Joe Biden signed a bill designating Juneteenth – June 19 – a federal holiday.
Juneteenth honors the day in 1865 when Union General Gordon Granger came to Galveston to announce the liberation of enslaved people in Texas. This was more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation became official in 1863.
The city observes holidays on New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Good Friday, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Councilors have decided that, starting next year, city staff will no longer have President’s Day as a holiday.
“One change that was made was giving staff off for an additional day for New Year’s Eve,” Pearsall City Manager Federico Reyes said. “They would have two days for New Year’s Eve and not take President’s Day.”
Immediately after presenting councilors with the proposed changes, Councilor Davina Rodriguez made a motion to accept the new holiday schedule proposed by Reyes.
Councilors Rodriguez and Sonia Hernandez voted in favor of the holiday schedule; Councilors James Leal and Julian Hernandez voted against the motion. Mayor Briscoe broke the tie.
June 19 falls on a Sunday in 2022.