Due to increasing budget pressures, residents in the City of Howell may not be getting an annual city calendar this year.

The Howell City Council has discussed the calendar at various meetings at length and different motions to purchase different amounts for lesser cost have failed. The calendar is apparently a very popular item and copies move fast. While the cost for the calendar is not huge, Council is looking at ways to control costs and implement savings. Some members have noted the importance of the calendar for keeping track of recycling and other city services but also that it serves as a vehicle for publishing the annual report, and increases community engagement. Most recently, Councilman Bob Ellis made a motion to approve purchase of 2,500 community calendars to be distributed from City Hall at a cost of $4,647.66. the calendar was previously mailed. That motion failed in a 4 to 3 vote. However, it was agreed there was no harm in trying to solicit sponsors to potentially fund the calendar. City Manager Shea Charles told WHMI Council voted not to approve the calendar and there was quite a bit of discussion. As for next steps, he says Council provided consensus to staff to try to find a sponsor for the calendar at a cost of $6,200. The item is expected to be discussed again at the December 3rd meeting.

The City is faced with a structural deficit and a broken state funding model. Voters shot down a Headlee Override proposal that appeared on the November ballot and City Council has previously warned that if it did not pass, cuts would likely be inevitable. Mayor Nick Proctor spoke of the City’s budget deficit and when referencing the community calendar, said “…people have to start seeing that we’re serious and things have to go by the wayside.” (JM)