To the Community of Angel Fire;
My heart is heavy as I write this statement. We are living in an unprecedented time and every single one of us is affected mentally, physically, and most of us financially. We, as the Village of Angel Fire, will follow the guidance and advisories issued by the Governor and the Secretary of Health that are in effect through at least April 30 to include the most recent Public Health Order issued yesterday, April 6th.
There are several changes and additions to this new order. As we are a Resort community and people may have been seeking refuge here through our short-term and vacation rentals, one significant change made in the Governor’s press release will apply to us. It reads that short-term vacation rentals of rooms, apartments or houses must cease operation until at least April 30. So by state Public Health Order this is in effect for the next 23 days. If this order is renewed for a longer period of time, we will revisit the issue then and continue to abide by the new orders.
I have also had many requests to close Angel Fire from out of state homeowners, there is no legal authority to do so. Although there is no state mandate for anyone to stay in one home you own rather than another home you own, be it in or out of the state of New Mexico, I do ask you to use good judgement and self-isolate following travel from known COVID-19 areas when possibly exposed.
I also want to add, this virus knows no boundaries. There is no invisible barrier holding it in or out of the village limits, the county lines, or the state line. Our Governor’s advisory is for New Mexicans to stay home through April 30. That means, unless you have a job that allows you to continue to go to work, or outings that are absolutely necessary for your health, safety, or welfare; you are asked to stay home, in self-isolation, for at least the next 23 days. This includes all of us. Take a minute to think responsibly. As residents of Angel Fire and our surrounding areas, when you go to Taos, Santa Fe, or Albuquerque to shop, you could without knowledge, actually become the carrier moving the virus around New Mexico from the places with the highest numbers and/or ratio of positive cases, bringing it back into Angel Fire. And over half of the workforce of Angel Fire live outside the village limits. It’s complicated, as we in the Moreno Valley are unique in geographical invisible “boundaries”. Colfax County still has 0 positive cases, but many of our workforce come in daily from Taos County, where there are positive cases and many of our residents travel to Taos daily to work and/or shop.
So my suggestions to the residents of Angel Fire is to use your own sensible judgement as to making sure each one of you are following the guidelines of social distancing, using personal hygiene practices and staying home unless absolutely necessary to go out. I implore you to decide to come together more as a community, supporting each other in this crisis with kindness and compassion instead of mistrust, rumor, and seeking targets of resentment and blame.
So many are in personal financial crisis too, by no fault of their own. Jobs and businesses that thrived are on the verge of going under. Even some of the most solid small businesses who have had to close, do not have more than a 60 or 90 day pad to fall back upon. SBA loans are available, but all may not qualify. Others in our workforce have not had a paycheck in weeks, but the bills are still due. The unemployment agency has been inundated with applications from a record amount of unemployed people, it’s hard to get through….so the money hasn’t come in yet. Bills are already piling up. There is also the very real fear of the virus on top of the stressful issues each are having to face.
I am so proud of all those who are still able to and continue to work. I’m even prouder of those that have offered to volunteer or assist in any manner within their means. We have an amazing team of medical and emergency workers in place. ALL OF YOU who are working long hard hours making sure that our needs are met and we have food on the table, we sincerely THANK YOU, you are all an asset to our community! I know you are tired and sometimes not treated in a civil manner. Hopefully that will change. Know that you have our respect!
Lastly, please remember it is said, crisis brings out our true character. True character is how we respond and how we treat one another. I hope, looking back in 10 years, Angel Fire will be remembered by how we treated our fellow man during this crisis.
Mayor, Village of Angel Fire