Madison city officials have changed the way they, and we, look at creating the annual city budget, and that's a good thing.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin and his team, including city council members, really hit on something last year when they began soliciting budget ideas online and then listened to citizens discuss the various priorities that emerged. Very simply, citizens had some awfully good ideas. And to their credit, city officials listened.

And they're doing it again this year. The online Healthy and Safe Community campaign is up and running on the city's website. And next Monday, at 7 p.m. at the Central Library, the public is invited to an in-depth discussion of the ideas sent into the website.

This is an opportunity for citizens to be proactive in the budgeting process rather than reactive. It's smart and we hope you'll take advantage of it.