Revised ballot language for a Headlee Override election was authorized by the Howell City Council at its most recent meeting.

Members felt the language needed a clear statement of purpose, which is to restore funding for infrastructure projects and street improvements, as well as maintain critical city services. The City is faced with significant fiscal challenges, in part due to a broken state funding model and reduced state revenue sharing.

If approved, a Headlee Override would allow the City of Howell to increase its authorized millage rate for five years by an additional 4.5003 mills. The request would restore the authorized millage amount, which has been reduced by the Headlee Amendment. The proposal would generate approximately $1.4 (m) million per year, beginning in July of 2019.

Now that the ballot language has been finalized, Council will work to identify the community education process but also review what is permitted under election law. Councilman Dan Mullvahill commented he just wants a solid plan moving forward and members agreed it would take all hands on deck in the months leading up to the November General Election. Mayor Nick Proctor commented he still had some angst about putting the proposal on the November ballot. Councilman Bob Ellis felt turnout would be belter in November, and they would be able to get a good sense of where the community stands on the issue.

Council will meet next on August 13th and is expected to discuss the public education approach, why it’s important to maintain services and where the money is going. Educating the public, not advocating, is permitted under election law and community forums are likely.

Voters in Brighton rejected a similar proposal on Tuesday by a 128 vote margin. (JM/JK)