Brattleboro board puts off MLK decision
BRATTLEBORO -- The Selectboard is putting off a decision about whether to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day an official town holiday while it gathers more information about making the potential change.
The board took the issue up at its meeting Tuesday after Everyone's Books' store owner Nancy Braus asked the board to consider making the change during a meeting earlier this year.
The board put off a decision after board member Donna Macomber asked what it would cost the town to add an extra holiday and not take any of the paid holidays away from the staff.
Interim Town Manager Patrick Moreland said he would find out what it would cost to add a holiday and promised to bring the information back to the next board meeting.
Moreland said the town could take away two half-day holidays on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, or take away the Friday after Thanksgiving which is also a paid holiday.
But Brattleboro Executive Secretary Jan Anderson said she was not in favor of either of those options.
Anderson said the employees enjoy those holidays as important family days.
She said the options were "not popular among employees."
She recommended that the town establish a day to honor everyone who works for civil and human and rights.
Board member Kate O'Connor said that while she understood Anderson's reluctance to lose the holidays, O'Connor said she was very supportive of having the town recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day and she did not want to establish a new holiday for all civil and human rights workers.
"Martin Luther King Day is established by the federal government for a reason," said O'Connor. "It is to honor Martin Luther King. It is not for us to do another holiday on our own."
Howard Weiss-Tisman an be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 279. Follow him on Twitter @HowardReformer.
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