DORI MONSON

King County Councilmember Dunn says new paid holidays would cost taxpayers millions

Nov 19, 2020, 4:06 PM | Updated: 4:45 pm
paid holidays...
A grill covered with coho salmon during Indigenous Peoples' Day celebrations at the Daybreak Star Cultural Center on Oct. 13, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. That afternoon, former Seattle Mayor Ed Murray signed a resolution designating the second Monday in October to be Indigenous Peoples' Day. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

In a recent budget vote, the King County Council approved two new paid holidays — Juneteenth and Indigenous Peoples’ Day — for the county’s 15,000 employees. Councilmember Reagan Dunn voted against using taxpayer funds to support these holidays, which he said would cost nearly $10 million per day off.

Monroe restaurant owner: ‘Crushing’ to see employees ‘so worried’ during shutdown

“What happened was the Juneteenth holiday was initially put forward as a holiday we would honor and celebrate, but not pay our employees, the 15,000 people, to take that day off,” Dunn told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show. “And I was comfortable with that. We want to celebrate a day that’s important to certain cultures. That’s great. But then, in addition to Juneteenth — they’ve decided to make it a paid holiday — they added Indigenous Peoples Day as well, and yesterday was the first time I learned, right as we were about to vote on the budget, that both of these holidays would be added as fully paid holidays.”

“It’s not just not quite $10 million, it’s not quite $10 million times two — $20 million of taxpayer money that will go for two new paid holidays,” he added. “While tens of thousands of people in Washington are out of work, while our hospital beds are full, while 35% of restaurants have gone out of business in Seattle, it just doesn’t make any sense.”

Dunn says he appreciates the importance of these holidays, but says adding more cultural holidays is a “slippery slope.”

“There’s a lot of wonderful, special holidays, but we can’t pay the government to take every one of them off,” he said.

“The problem is we, as you noted, can’t honor a paid holiday for every single culturally important event. And if we do, not only will we spend ourselves into oblivion at the local level, there will be nobody at the county to provide critical basic governmental functions for the people. So there must be a balancing act,” Dunn added.

Councilmember Dunn echoed what he read in one comment that suggested everyone gets 10 paid holidays each year, but can choose the days they want to take off.

“They could celebrate it in their own way,” he said. “I think if we’re going to go down this road, maybe that is the only answer. But we need to be very sensitive that we don’t start, every time a particular group wants a holiday, that we don’t decide to honor it by spending another $10 million on shutting down government for yet another day.”

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dori Monson on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dori monsonTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

Dori Monson Show

Dori Monson

Inslee Phase 2...
Dori Monson Show

Mayor of Winlock says Gov. Inslee should ‘submit himself to medical review’

The mayor of Winlock passed a proclamation saying he believes Gov. Inslee requires professional medical intervention for narcissistic personality disorder.
6 days ago
Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta...
Dori Monson Show

State Senator disagrees with making insurance rates a ‘zero sum game’

State Senator Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah) explains why he's pushing back against Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler's emergency rule.
6 days ago
teen hit and run...
Dori Monson Show

‘We are a country of laws’: Councilmember echoes calls to prosecute teen hit-and-run suspect as adult

King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn is calling for the teen suspect of an alleged series of hit and run incidents to be tried in adult court.
7 days ago
class, quarantine...
Dori Monson Show

Federal Way mom says school district is unprepared for class to quarantine

A mom in Federal Way says her son's entire class has to be in quarantine after one kid tested positive for COVID, and there's no remote learning option.
9 days ago
Stolen truck, Everett...
Dori Monson Show

Stolen truck found, returned to 83-year-old Everett man

An 83-year-old Everett-area man is looking for his mint condition 1997 F-250 truck, after it was stolen out of his driveway earlier this week.
12 days ago
Tahoma High School...
Dori Monson Show

Student says fight at Tahoma school wasn’t racially motivated

A Tahoma High School student involved in a fight witnesses say included racial slurs is claiming that race was not a factor in the incident.
13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...
By Alaska Airlines

Calling all football fans: follow Russell on the road

Take your Northwest spirit that we’re known for on the road this season with Alaska Airlines.
...
By Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
King County Councilmember Dunn says new paid holidays would cost taxpayers millions