Editorial: Say it now

Easy now, hard later.

That saying has many applications, including speaking out on issues affecting taxpayers, like budgets.

The community will get two opportunities for public comment on the Board of Education budget: this evening at 7, in Middlebrook School’s auditorium, and Monday, Jan. 26, at 7, in Middlebrook’s media center.

The community had an earlier opportunity a few weeks ago, but that was before the budget was presented by Superintendent Kevin Smith. Now he has laid it out and this is a good opportunity for people to ask questions and offer comments. The next opportunity will not come until the public hearing on March 23. Citizens may always, of course, send written comments to members of the Board of Education and Board of Finance, which will receive the district budget on Feb. 6.

Tonight’s event is a formal public hearing, where the community may comment but they may not necessarily get a response. Monday’s meeting is more informal, and conversation-oriented.

As proposed, the district budget would increase 1.98% over the current fiscal year. A story on page 3A in this week’s Bulletin reviews all the education budget increases over the past six years. They range from a low of 1.17% in fiscal year 2011 to a high of 3.54% the following year, 2012.

If you have something to say — positive or negative — say it now. It is much easier for the superintendent and board to consider comments made early in the process. It goes without saying that the Board of Education should entertain all comments, positive and negative, seriously.