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City Council says no to Dr. King holiday

The Sunnyside City Council has long been known for standing alone on several issues. Add another item to the list for the local governing body.

The Sunnyside City Council refused to take action this past Monday night to have the city recognize Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a legal holiday.

Councilwoman Bengie Aguilar made the motion to have the federally recognized holiday in January as a legal holiday in the City of Sunnyside.

Currently, all City of Sunnyside employees work on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Sunnyside City Council also holds meetings on the same day.

Aguilar brought the issue before the Council in hopes the body would designate it as a legal holiday so employees could be with their families. Sunnyside is one of very few municipalities in the state that doesn't recognize the holiday.

But about the only support Aguilar found in her efforts came from Mayor Ed Prilucik.

The motion to have Dr. Martin Luther Jr. Day recognized as a legal holiday in Sunnyside failed convincingly Monday night due to the lack of a second motion from any councilman.

Prior to the Council failing to take formal action on the holiday, Aguilar acknowledged the city does recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday with a proclamation and other events. Aguilar said she simply felt city staff and Council should have the holiday off like everyone else. Aguilar even wanted to see the day turned into an opportunity where citizens could come together and volunteer with different community projects.

Prilucik said he agreed with Aguilar, but differed on who should and shouldn't have the day off. Prilucik said he felt the Council shouldn't hold meetings on the holiday. But, Prilucik said there really isn't anything the Council can do to assist city employees. Prilucik said the matter of which days are recognized holidays is something that is negotiated with the different employee bargaining units.

None of the Council members offered a comment when Prilucik asked for a second on Aguilar's motion.

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