Our kids took their very first breaths at 10,200’, we cut our teeth as educational entrepreneurs beneath Mount Massive at the High Mountain Institute, and it was a privilege to live and work with so many wonderful people in Leadville for almost two decades. For the moment we are in California for work in another school, but when asked where we are from, we speak of Leadville.

As current Lake County taxpayers, prior residents, former members of the school board (Christopher) and hospital board (Molly), we are very excited about the profound opportunity presented by 4A and the BEST grant match. While on the surface, this might seem to be against our best interest as non-resident land-owners, in fact, it is the opposite. We know that for every $1 spent in improving schools, there is a $20 payoff in property value. But our interest goes beyond that.

It seems clear that the benefits outweigh the costs and we will happily pay our share – please vote yes on 4A.

Why? Like the sign used to say: “We Love Leadville” – yes, we know the wall is gone and the sign changed. That is very much the point: change is inevitable. It can be hard, but investing in the future is a worthy endeavor. The Lake County community has gotten good use and value out of West Park and other school facilities. Now it is time to seize the opportunity to build the schools of our future.

Lake County is a rural community full of hearty folks who make do and do without, relative to the more affluent surrounding communities.

This tolerance for adversity is a communal strength: we implore every single voter to support Leadville’s schools and invest in future generations.

Leveraging the BEST grant funding to maximize our tax dollars, and spending less on patch-work repairs for decades to come, is the smart choice.

Christopher and Molly Barnes

Los Olivos, Calif.

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