A Message from the Mayor
While our nation has faced epidemics and pandemics in the recent past, the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has presented our nation’s health care professionals, along with our national and state leaders, daunting challenges in containing and combating its spread. While we follow Governor Whitmer’s mandates on social distancing and staying at home, the City of Howell and other local communities face related challenges.
The dynamics of containing the virus presents difficulties in managing the city. The Governor’s executive orders have superseded City Charter mandates that city council hold bi-weekly public meetings. We are moving forward with video-conferencing / webinar solutions to allow us to conduct a modest amount of city business.
To manage our way forward on service delivery, we have identified four core areas that must be sustained: water treatment, wastewater treatment, public works and public safety (fire response and law enforcement). The City of Howell is participating in “mutual assistance” with surrounding communities to ensure sustainability in staffing these areas. Through a collaborative agreement with the city’s labor unions, we have implemented a split shift concept with our staff that will help in social distancing. Where appropriate, salaried personnel will be able to work from home. Although City Hall is closed to the public, staff members will ensure that your calls are answered and services are maintained/delivered.
Of particular concern is with our business community, specifically the small businesses that we all enjoy in Howell. The City has joined with the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce, Howell’s Downtown Development Authority, Ann Arbor SPARK and the Livingston County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau to create “Howell Synergy.” Its objective is to connect local businesses with quality information and resources, advocate for affected businesses, and communicate how we can effectively collaborate together. They are also tracking possible federal and state programs that target small businesses to provide relief. If at all possible, please support those small businesses that are still offering delivery or take-out services. We have a deep appreciation for all businesses in our community and their role in making the City of Howell such an enjoyable and desirable place to live. Now, more than ever, is our chance to thank them for their contributions through our patronage. The end goal of these efforts is to make sure we are prepared to recover from this situation as soon as certain restrictions are lifted, not just immediately, but in the weeks and months to come.Our city website and social media sites are a timely resource for the most accurate and up-to-date information on COVID-19 and relevant State of Michigan and U.S. Government recommendations and restrictions. Please help one another in containing this virus by closely following the advice given by those trusted entities. Should you have questions or concerns, please reach out to City Hall, or contact me or another member of your city council. Our contact details are listed on this website.
While getting through this will be difficult, I believe it’ll be easier if we continue to support each other. I’ve witnessed amazing displays of our community coming together and supporting each other. From our residents and schools to our businesses and healthcare workers, I’m encouraged by the unity our community is displaying. It’s truly my honor and privilege to serve this community that so clearly supports one another. Stay safe and healthy.
Mayor, City of Howell