WILMINGTON — Clinton County government departments this year will observe Juneteenth on the day after Veterans Day.
The decision on the date for this year’s observance was made Monday in the county commissioners office where a number of department heads and elected officials assembled to offer input on the best day overall to hold the newly approved federal and state holiday.
Approval of Juneteenth (June 19) as a national holiday came last Thursday, June 17, followed late Thursday by a Juneteenth statement from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine declaring most state government offices would be closed Friday to observe Juneteenth, which fell on Saturday.
Clinton County Prosecuting Attorney Andrew T. McCoy said he spoke late Thursday with the county administrator, and the thinking was to convene county officials and come up with a separate day to observe the new holiday this year. Given the short notice, Friday had not seemed the best choice because county government offices were already scheduled to be open Friday and no advance notice of closure had been given to the public. There also were considerations related to the local courts, said the prosecutor.
“So the thought was to put a little more thought into it and find a good day to be observed,” McCoy said Monday.
For any holiday that’s recognized or recommended by the governor, all employees of county governments shall receive holiday pay, McCoy reported at his presentation to clarify county governments holiday policy.
At the Monday meeting, Clinton County Common Pleas Judge John W. “Tim” Rudduck said from a judicial perspective, he thinks he has jury trials scheduled in his court through October. As a humorous aside, the judge said, “Thank you, Mr. Prosecutor.”
Clinton County Clerk of Courts Cindy Bailey said she was at a clerks conference Thursday when the news broke.
“It was just like pandemonium. Judges were calling the clerks; HR [Human Resources] people were calling the clerks,” reported Bailey.
She said some counties did close on Friday; some went with a floater-day holiday; and some counties said they would close the following Friday.
The day after Veterans Day this year is Friday, Nov. 12.
In future years, of course, Clinton County government offices will observe Juneteenth on June 19. When that date falls on a Saturday, the holiday will be observed the day before on Friday; when Juneteenth falls on a Sunday, the observance will be held the next day on Monday.
Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.