It’s a sad day in Howell.
I am among those taken aback and saddened by the news that Howell City Manager Shea Charles resigned at the end of the Monday, May 6, 2019, Howell City Council meeting, after requesting a closed session to discuss his performance review.
When the meeting went back into session after an hour-long discussion Howell Mayor Nick Proctor called “in-depth and sobering,” the council accepted Charles’ resignation.
Charles has been an amazing force for good in Howell. His 15-year tenure here has seen the city grow tremendously. When asked about his proudest achievements during his tenure, Charles said they were “helping the community through the financial crash of 2008, the many infrastructure projects, and being part of a great city staff that does so much for the community every day.”
There are funding challenges, of course, stemming from a combination of the Great Recession and the Headlee Amendment, which keeps the city on a perpetual hamster wheel of never getting ahead. While costs for everything have gone up, Howell today operates on a budget 13 percent smaller than in 2008. When voters turned down the override request in November 2018, a future of having to make cuts to services looms.
I am just supposing here; I don’t know whether that has anything at all to do with the departure of the talented Charles. I also don’t know what the future holds for him. Maybe there’s a new job in the wings; maybe Charles will run for president.
What I do know is that the Charles era in Howell has been a good, productive one, and the city is so, so much better for his time here.
You can read the WHMI-93.5 FM story on Charles’ resignation by clicking here.