City Hall will remain open on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, Jan. 21, because city officials and union representatives could not agree on whether to give employees the day off as a paid holiday.
Tom Ramsey, supervisor of field services for a union representing general city employees, urged the council this week to declare Jan. 21 a legal holiday and to stop trying to use it as a bargaining chip in negotiations. City negotiators last summer asked employee unions to give up Admissions Day or another of their 12 paid holidays in exchange for King's birthday, but the offer was rejected.
City officials said the city would incur $123,911 in additional payroll costs by adding another holiday.
Mayor Donna Smith said she hopes the city can close City Hall on King's birthday next year, but it can only be accomplished through negotiations with employees.
The council has rescheduled its regular meeting from Jan. 21 to Jan. 28 to avoid meeting on the holiday.