I grinned as I applauded Mark Laflamme’s Street Talk column, “Budget work no small job in towns.”

Laflamme’s observations on small town budgets talk took me back a bit — back when I was a member of a town’s budget committee, a school committee member and, later, as a freelance reporter when I covered budget meetings in Mechanic Falls, Minot and Poland for the Lewiston Sun Journal.

Talk regarding sums of money involving disbursements, accounts receivable and accounts payable can be drudgery at times during budget meetings. But to squads of citizens in every town who are experts on all things economic when it comes to assessments, allocations and appropriations of local funds, the key to understanding all (and all that ever will be) is the mil rate. A town’s financial demeanor will always be evaluated by its mil rate. The mil rate is the true kindling for all local financial barn burners.

And when I was involved in or covered budget discussions, the mil rate talks always ignited a Broadway show tune in my mind: “If I was a mil rate, Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum. All day long I’d biddy biddy bum … if I were a mil rate …”

(With apologies to Fiddler on the Roof.)

Eriks Petersons, Mechanic Falls

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