The first of 4 public meetings has been held as Howell officials prepare to ask residents for a Headlee Amendment Override on Election Day. City Manager Shea Charles led the open dialogue meeting with the community at City Hall, Wednesday night. On November 6th, taxpayers will vote on whether or not to override the Headlee Amendment. If approved, the City of Howell would be allowed to increase its authorized millage rate for 5 years by an additional 4.5003 mills.

Because of factors like Headlee and Proposition A, Howell has had a difficult time recovering since the recession 10 years ago. Charles said they are not alone in this struggle. He said that the way the state funds local governments in broken, and that is why you are seeing similar issues in communities like Brighton and Fenton. Charles said that if approved, the money is an investment in the community, will stay in the community, and not go to the state or anywhere else. If approved, the override would generate approximately $1.4-million per year.

A majority of the questions asked by the public at the meeting were about roads. 80% of yearly Override intake would go into streets and related infrastructure. The city has laid out a plan targeting which roads would see rehabilitation and repaving over the next 11 years. The remaining amount would go into offsetting the city’s operational deficit. Charles said that that 20% would get them where they need to be to continue offering the services that residents expect. Snow plowing and leaf removal are a pair of examples of services that could potentially be downgraded if the proposal fails.

One resident was concerned about what a 4.5 mill increase would do to his fixed budget. Charles said there are potential opportunities for relief for disabled veterans and families living at certain levels of poverty. Topics and responses discussed at each informational meeting will be posted on the city’s website at There you can also find more information on the proposal, what the city hopes to do should it pass, and a map of the streets to be worked on.

Charles invited anyone with questions to come see him, call him at (517) 546-3502, or send him an email at

The next community meeting will take place on September 12th. Two more will occur in October, with one on the 2nd, and the final falling on the 24th.(MK)