Municipal budget season is upon us, and I would like to first commend all public officials for taking on the difficult and important work of figuring out how to balance our priorities with our resources.

As a citizen of Auburn, I hope that City Councilors can find a way to allow the school budget to grow at a rate above the 1.8 percent that some councilors are insisting on.

Considering how little is spent per pupil in Auburn ($9,998 compared to $11,107 in Lewiston, or $13,662 in South Portland), the School Department and other city officials should be commended together for their extraordinary job of keeping costs down through the years.

I fear, however, that being penny wise could become be pound foolish.

Too strict an adherence to low growth will deprive Auburn students and their teachers of basic resources.

I realize that city officials must live within limited means. At a meeting on April 22, Councilor Belinda Gerry rightly pointed out that we should “ask those who can pay more to do so to protect taxpayers who can’t.”

Fortunately, the state income tax and state revenue sharing do precisely that. Unfortunately, Gov. Paul LePage seems to think that both are a bad idea, and cuts to revenue sharing have hurt the public. Perhaps others can convince him of the regressive nature of his tax plan.

In the meantime, people should do their best to cultivate the schools as best as they can. A modest increase above inflation can do that.

Joseph Hall, Auburn

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.