The Brandon School Division wants to hear from taxpayers before trustees begin their 2013-14 budget deliberations.
A special taxpayer meeting is being held on Tuesday at Crocus Plains high school from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“If we can get some people to come out and share with us their views, that will help us in our deliberations when we start putting things together,” board chair Mark Sefton said.
This will be the third consecutive year the division will hold such a meeting, but it is hoping for a better turnout than it had in the past.
“Two years ago, we had two people there. Last year, we had zero people there,” Sefton said.
In an effort to bring more people out, the date has been changed from November or December to January.
“It could be, honestly, that taxpayers and stakeholders really want to wait until they see what our draft looks like, because they may find that it’s easier to react to the draft than to go and spend part of an evening talking about what they see as priorities,” he said.
“But from our point of view, having some of the feedback in advance is really helpful.”
Taxpayers are encouraged to come to the meeting and discuss their top budgetary priorities.
“It could be that people come in, and one of their priorities is school safety, that’s been something that’s been in the news big time lately,” Sefton said. “It could be support for struggling readers.”
Other examples of priorities are expanding or scaling back all-day, every-day kindergarten.
“It’s always valuable for us to get that feedback, regardless of which way it’s going,” Sefton said.
The school board will be presented with the first draft of the budget on Jan. 21. Another public consultation will be held Feb. 6 at Earl Oxford School, followed by the division’s all-day budget deliberations on Feb. 19.
The board will hear public presentations on March 4 before voting on the final budget March 11.