Juneteenth, Veterans Day approved as paid holidays for Marietta city employees

Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 1:59 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - The debate over the Juneteenth has finally reached resolution in Marietta.

The Marietta city council, after a heated back and forth this year, has voted to make Juneteenth and Veterans Day paid holidays for city employees.

The council met Friday afternoon and voted unanimously on the two new paid holidays for Marietta City employees.

The final vote came after controversy. The initial measure intended to make Juneteenth a paid holiday for city employees. It received a 4 to 3 vote in support of the holiday but failed after Mayor Steve Tumlin vetoed the measure. Tumlin tells CBS46 that he wanted Veterans Day to also be considered as the council made changes to the holiday schedule.

“Juneteenth is recognized toward a significant event and you’ve got 12,000 soldiers in a cemetery that died during the Civil War, so to me it was a good time to bring up why we have not celebrated Veteran’s Day in the City of Marietta even though it’s been around since 1924,” Tumlin said.

He also told CBS46 that he does not think one holiday is more important than the other and he is not against Juneteenth. He says has attended the NAACP’s Juneteenth celebration on the Marietta square for the last 17 years and he felt Juneteenth deserved more than a four-person yes vote.

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The original veto was called a slap in the face by Jeriene Bonner-Grime, president of the Cobb County chapter of the NAACP.

Residents CBS spoke with said they didn’t like the controversary but support the outcome of the two new paid city holidays. “It shouldn’t take all of that just to have a holiday brought,” said Jamie Meadows. “It’s a good thing overall that you officially got it but it the route that it took maybe not so much,” she explained.