Randy Greene: Vote YES on the Headlee Override

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I’m encouraging my neighbors and community to VOTE YES for the Headlee Override.

One of the most common reasons cited for voting “no” is that some think that the city should live within its means. People have said things like, “When the economy worsened, I lost income and I had to tighten my belt.” Well, that’s exactly what the city did. Employees took pay freezes. There were staff reductions. Infrastructure projects were put on hold. But then, thankfully, the economy improved.

I know what it’s like to take a pay cut. I suffered through the economic downturn, too. I had to change my spending habits and make tough choices. But, when the economy improved I was able to enjoy the benefits of the resurgence. The city, unfortunately, has not due to the limitations of the Headlee Amendment. A YES VOTE on the Headlee Override merely restores the city’s income to near where it was before the economic downturn.

I didn’t enjoy the tough choices I had to make when I lost some of my income. I missed sporting events I would normally have attended. I didn’t eat at restaurants quite as often. I had to cancel some travel plans and delay others. I’m grateful for the raise I received when the overall economy improved. I’m glad I can go to an occasional ballgame now and take my family on vacation.

The city’s income, however, hasn’t been fully restored. The city budget is still suffering the effects of the housing collapse.   Although the city managed its budget magnificently during the recession, there were infrastructure improvements that were canceled or postponed.  I suspect most residents won’t enjoy living in our city as much if services have to be reduced, crumbling roads can’t be repaired and critical upgrades can’t be made to the water and sewage lines. That’s why I’m voting YES on Nov. 6 and hope that you do, too.

— Randy Greene is a member of the Howell City Council.

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