Pima County could do a holiday switch

Columbus Day might be dropped; day after Thanksgiving added
2013-08-05T00:00:00Z 2013-08-05T08:00:12Z Pima County could do a holiday switchJoe Ferguson Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
August 05, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Columbus will still have a place in the history books, but not on the list of paid county holidays if County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry has his way.

In place of Columbus Day, Huckelberry wants to shut the county down on Black Friday - the day after Thanksgiving - either to give county workers an extra day off to recover from the potent mix of hours of watching football while digesting home-cooked turkey and stuffing or to add some oomph to retailers' biggest shopping day of the year.

Huckelberry will ask the Board of Supervisors to sign off on the swap Tuesday.

The request originated with employees at Pima County Consolidated Justice Court, who want to make the day after Thanksgiving - better known as Black Friday - a paid county holiday, he said. More than three dozen county employees, representing 33 county departments, indicated they would be in favor of the switch.

But Huckelberry acknowledged he had neglected to consult with Italian-American organizations, which in the past have objected to dumping a holiday honoring one of their own.

Maya Castillo, the president of the Pima Chapter of Service Employees International Union Arizona, said some of the Pima County employees she polled told her they want the extra day off in November.

But many were indifferent.

"No one was particularly passionate about it," she said.

Pima County Supervisor Richard Elías said he was aware that the request came from employees, but hasn't made up his mind whether he will support the issue when it comes before the board.

"I want to hear what people have to say," he said.

His only other concern, he said, would be if the new holiday would confuse residents who might assume that since other government agencies are not closed for the shopping day, county offices would be open.

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at jferguson@azstarnet.com or 573-4346. On Twitter: @joeferguson

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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