Parish Council votes against declaring ‘Thanksgiving Eve’ a holiday

Published 8:01 am Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

LAPLACE — A proposed day off for St. John the Baptist Parish employees took a surprising twist when council members denied a motion to declare Thanksgiving Eve a holiday during their meeting Tuesday night.

Councilman Lennix Madere made the motion to give employees Nov. 23 off so they could spend Thanksgiving weekend with their families.

“A lot of (employees) never had a normal Thanksgiving,” Madere said. “It would be good for employees to have that extra day off, to prepare to cook and spend time with family that they have probably not seen since 2019 (before the COVID-19 pandemic).

However, Councilman Robert Arcuri objected, saying employees already have 17 paid holidays per year.

“That’s a lot of days for vacation,” he said, recalling how in the private sector he had 10 annual paid holidays.

He noted the parish is closed Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving.

“I feel like (17) days is enough,” he said.

Councilman Tom Malik shared that had received calls from several employees voicing their opposition to the extra day off. In fact, he said he could remember two employees voicing support.

“It was astounding,” he said.

Councilwoman Tammy Houston said in the private sector employees are able to present bonuses during the holidays, a practice prohibited by state law for government employees.

“I don’t see why we should not (grant the holiday),” Houston said.

The motion failed as the vote was deadlocked 4-4. Voting against the proposal were Malik, Tonia Schnyder, Warren Torres and Arcuri . Councilman Michael Wright was not present at the meeting.