There is only enough room for a certain number of official holidays it can recognize as city holidays and Columbus Day has been cut from the list in favor of Veterans Day, according to the City of Columbus.
If you didn’t know it, today was Columbus Day. You may have assumed city employees would be at work today like many other people in central Ohio, but you may not have even realized a change had occurred.
At the Michael B. Coleman Government Center downtown, city departments were humming along. In the Building and Zoning Services department, employees answered phones as if it was any other Monday.
“Thank you for calling building and zoning services, Angel speaking; how may I help you?”
Workers for contractors were able to come in and deposit money into their accounts at the Public Utilities Permits department.
The parking meters were monitored as well, much to the chagrin of one driver who received a ticket on Broad Street across from the Statehouse.
That wasn’t the only parking ticket given out.
A woman named Katie got a ticket and promptly posted a screenshot on Twitter of the city’s website that had Columbus Day as one of several holidays where parking would be free.
We checked the city website less than an hour after her post and there was a different list with notices that Columbus Day was not a free parking holiday.
The notices at the meters themselves were changed earlier this summer to reflect that Columbus Day was not a free parking holiday, according to the city.
Robin Davis, a spokeswoman for Mayor Ginther’s office, explained that switching city recognized holidays has been coming for a while now.
“It was something that was important to Mayor Ginther,” said Davis. “So, when he came in two and a half years ago we were having contract negotiations at that point so we started to bring it up to the unions and they were very much supportive of it.”
Still, employees of the city say they would prefer to have both days off.
The city says it needs to be a good steward of taxpayer funds.
“We couldn’t just add another day, that would cost a great deal of money. But we thought it was important to honor our veterans,” said Davis.
The City of Columbus employs around 8,500 people.