Martin Luther King Day New City Holiday

Image of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Fruitland Park — Fruitland Park city commissioners voted to make Martin Luther King Day a paid city holiday at a workshop meeting held Thursday night.

Interim City Manager Rick Conner suggested the change.

“We made a study of what other Lake County municipal governments do for their workers,” Conner told commissioners. “About half of them give employees 11 annual holidays and half provide 10 holidays. We give our employees eight days,” Conner said.

Conner recommended adding Martin Luther King Day, Veterans Day and Presidents Day to the list of paid city holidays.

Commissioner John Gunter interjected. “I worked for more than 30 years for a company that only gave us Christmas and

Thanksgiving,” Gunter said. Gunter then voted to add two new city holidays.

“In all honesty we didn’t set out to make Martin Luther King Day a city holiday in order to honor Dr. King but I am personally very happy for it,” Conner said. “Dr. King was one of the greatest Americans of my lifetime, and he deserves a day of remembrance,” Conner said.

Conner said it is also important to recognize the large number of U.S. military veterans who live in the region.

But mostly it was about city employees.

“In truth we were trying to do something to benefit our city workers,” Conner said. “They haven’t had pay raises in five years and they deserve consideration,” he said.

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