I love living here. I feel grateful to be part of a resourceful community which comes together in times of need – to shovel a neighbor’s driveway or to bring by a meal after the arrival of a baby or in the wake of health issues. And, we come together in times of celebration, as with the We Love Leadville Community Dinner, Boom Days and Winter Carnival and even the St. Patty’s Day Practice Parade! I am voting yes on 4A because I see it as yet another way to come together to meet our neighbors’ needs and to celebrate our identity as a resilient, strong, capable community full of pride. I want to do my part to ensure our youngest learners know how important they are and how much their community cares.

Full disclosure, one learner in particular is very important to me; Clara Belle, my almost 18-month-old daughter, will have the opportunity to be in the first preschool class in our new school. I love imagining her wide eyes as she first sets foot in her new school and internalizes how amazing learning is in her hometown and understands how her community stepped up to make sure she has an outstanding learning environment (might be hard for her to vocalize at 3, but she’ll feel it no doubt!).

Of course, I am glad we will build a facility with adequate, redundant heating systems. I am happy we’ll have a building that can withstand snow loads like we saw last winter without fear of the roof collapsing on our students. As much as I don’t like this reality, I am heartened there will be appropriate security systems to keep out threats unimaginable at the time of West Park Elementary’s and Pitts Elementary’s construction – 1957 and 1967 respectively. And, I am pleased our district and community leaders had the foresight to apply for the BEST grant to foot 60% of the bill, leaving our taxpayers to raise only the remaining 40%. I am also thrilled that we will cease “throwing good after bad” in a sisyphean struggle to maintain facilities that become more costly and difficult to maintain with each passing year.

More than all of those practical reasons, though, I am grateful to be part of a community where I know we all are ready to lend a hand. Please vote yes on 4A – reinforcing our community’s identity as one that helps our neighbors in times of need and celebration, as a county with pride, strength, and resilience to take on any challenge together.

Becca Katz

Lake County

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