Elected Chair of the Commission for 2020 I am honored to have been elected chair of the Commission for 2020 and to continue to serve District 1 which stretches from the Northern part of Santa Fe north to Chimayo and Santa Cruz. This will be my second term as chair of the Commission.
I began my first term in office in January 2015 and have three more years to serve in my second term which began in January 2019. I am proud to represent District 1 as chair of the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities, chair of the Santa Fe County 2020 Census Committee and on the board of directors of the New Mexico Association of Counties.
I also serve on the Buckman Direct Diversion Board, Santa Fe Metropolitan Policy Organization, Santa Fe Solid Waste Management Agency, Santa Fe County Housing Authority and I am the lead CEO for the Northern Area Local Workforce Development Board.
Santa Fe County Declares Public Health Emergency: Response To COVID-19
As County Commissioner for District 1, I am proud of how quickly our community has come together to help each other get through the challenges and uncertainties of the COVID-19 outbreak. You inspire us every day, and especially today when we most need to stick together during this time when we have to be apart!
In partnership with The City of Santa Fe, and with generous information sharing across multiple agencies and organizations, we’ve put together a one-stop-shop resource website for individuals, families, small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Visit www.alltogethersantafe.org or SantaFeCountyHelpForBusinesses for the latest on COVID-19 news and updates, financial and community resources, activities, ideas for small businesses, and tips for how to keep yourself, your families, and your neighbors safe.
Todos estamos juntos en eso, Santa Fe!
I am also excited to announce the public kick off of CONNECT, a program developed to assist Santa Fe County and City residents meet their basic needs. Through our Santa Fe Connects program we are partnering with over 40 non-profit organizations and over 90 navigators to provide assistance to families who need access to food, health care, housing, and utilities. Our navigators use a web-based platform to screen for and make referrals to address immediate needs. If we can’t help a family who reaches out to us someone in our network CAN!
The program is funded by a combination of both City and County dollars, and includes flexible funding that may be used to assist individuals during the COVID-19 crisis.
For more information, please contact Rachel O’Conor, Santa Fe County at 505-992-9842 or Kyra Ochoa, City of Santa Fe at 331-3322
Here are some updates from Santa Fe County regarding our response to COVID-19 and continued services:
At our special Board of County Commission meeting on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, the Santa Fe County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) declared Santa Fe County an emergency area due to the COVID-19 public health emergency and the economic emergency being caused by the virus and the response to it. This emergency has required, and will continue to require, urgent changes to the way the County does business and manages its human resources.
Actions Previously Taken by Santa Fe County:
In consultation with effected unions, Santa Fe County has taken a variety of steps in response to the COVID-19 emergency, including:
- Establishing an Emergency Alternate Work Arrangement Policy, which allows for a variety of Alternate Work Arrangements, including teleworking. Pursuant to this policy, large numbers of County staff will be teleworking until further notice.
- Limiting the hours during which various buildings, Offices, Departments, and Divisions are open to the public. All Santa Fe County buildings and facilities will be open to the public by appointment only. Satellite offices will implement reduced hours with Eldorado continuing to be closed, and Pojoaque and Edgewood open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to noon. Nambe and Tesuque transfer stations are open Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (closed for the noon hour)
- Requiring some essential services to be provided without direct human interaction (e.g., voter registration, tax payments, record requests). County staff will continue to provide assistance to residents online or via telephone, Public Safety services will continue as an essential function, senior meal delivery will continue in order to take care of our venerable population, transfer stations will remain open except the BuRRT transfer station (see more on that below), and Public Works activities will continue to serve the county’s needs.
- Santa Fe County asks you to please help practice social distancing by contacting the County through our online chat or by calling 505-995-6533, Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Bridging The Food Insecurity Gap
Hunger has plagued New Mexico for many years and now as we face this pandemic we are seeing that families are struggling more now than ever to put food on the table. Never less, our communities continue to demonstrate resilience as non-profit organizations, farmers, and local leaders are more aggressively distributing and growing food to ensure that no one goes hungry.
Where you can find food or help a hungry neighbor:
- Earth Care NM, in conjunction with the Santa Fe Mutual Aid Form, lists times and locations of free food distribution sites in Santa Fe, Espanola, and Albuquerque. This list breaks down free food available to Families with Kids, Seniors, and All Santa Fe Residents.
- The Santa Fe Food Security Facebook page has updates about where free food is being distributed
- The AgriGate of Santa Fe County lists farmers, food producers, and CSAs in the region so that individuals or food buyers may purchase food directly from our regional sources. You can search the Food Community Map for specific products you wish to find and the producers with those items will appear on the map.
How you can help:
- New Mexico First and Share New Mexico have put together this flyer about ways that you can help with the need for emergency food across New Mexico. As they state, “Providers report 40-200% increases in families/individuals using services. Those numbers will grow as supply chain issues continue, joblessness increases, and economic downturn persists as leaders work to contain COVID-19.
- #BandTogetherSantaFe is an initiative by Hutton Broadcasting and the business and arts communities of Santa Fe to fundraise for Santa Fe Feeds First Responders, Kitchen Angels, and The Food Depot.
NCRTD To Temporarily Modify 11 RTD Blue Bus Routes To Provide Essential Trips Only; Red River Route Suspended
These measures are being taken in adherence and with respect to the state order that limits groups to no more than five. The buses can only accommodate the operator and four passengers. The District asks that the public limit rides to essential trips only, such as pharmacies, groceries, work, medical and banking. Five routes will operate on their normal time/stop schedule but will go to a reservation/essential ride-only system. Those routes are: 190 Chama, 200 Santa Fe, 300 Taos, 320 Questa and 330 Peñasco. Riders on these routes requiring service must call 866-206-0754, ext. 2 at least 24 hours in advance to schedule pick-up. The scheduled ride will only provide for pickups and drop-offs at designated stops along the existing route and operate on a first come, first served basis. The 100 Riverside, 110 Westside, 340 Chile Line Red and 800 Angel Fire routes will each operate on a demand request ride basis from 7AM to 6PM. Riders on these routes needing service must call 866-206-0754, ext. 2 at least 24 hours in advance to schedule pick-up. All rides are provided on a limited first come, first served basis. The 100 Riverside and 110 Westside will only pickup and drop-off within a 15-mile radius of the Española Transit Center on Paseo Oñate. The 340 Chile Line Red will only pickup and drop-off within a ¾ mile range of the fixed route while 800 Angel Fire will only pickup and drop-off at designated bus stops. The 170 Jicarilla route will operate Monday through Friday on its Monday, Wednesday Friday schedule between Chama and Dulce. On Tuesday and Thursday between Chama and Farmington, it will operate on the above described demand service picking up and dropping off at designated stops only. Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo has requested that no stops be provided in the Pueblo which will impact the 100 Riverside and 160 Santa Clara routes.While continuing to provide an essential service during the COVID-19 outbreak, the North Central Regional Transit District (RTD Blue Bus) has identified 11 of its 29 routes that will be modified and one that will be suspended beginning Wednesday, April 8. The changes are in addition to eight routes that were suspended or modified on March 25. All changes are temporary and will be in effect until further notice. Full details can be found at: www.RidetheBlueBus.com or by calling 866-206-0754, ext. 2. The 310 Red River route will be suspended until further notice.
The NCRTD continues to take aggressive measures to clean and disinfect passenger vehicles. Our top priorities are to continue service to the public, and to keep them and our employees healthy and safe. The District asks that anyone experiencing flu symptoms refrain from boarding our vehicles. Thank you for partnering with us to help prevent the spread of any germs and flu.
For more information, please contact Jim Nagle, Public Information Officer at 505-629-4707.
BuRRT To Suspend Services To The General Public And Non-Essential Businesses And To Reduce Hours Until Further Notice Due to COVID-19
Contact: Rosalie Cardenas, HR Officer/Admin. Assistant 424-1850, ext. 150
Non-essential services related items that will not be accepted at BuRRT include:To comply with the Governor’s Public Emergency Health Order dated April 6, 2020, that further restricts business activities and public gatherings, the Santa Fe Solid Waste Management Agency announces Buckman Road Recycling & Transfer Station (BuRRT) will suspend all services to the general public and non-essential businesses and further reduce operating hours, effective April 11, 2020. BuRRT will be open only to essential businesses, including waste haulers, and commercial account holders. Waste haulers include, but are not limited to, City of Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, Waste Management, Santa Fe Waste, Capital Scrap, MCT Waste, Ibarras Trash Services, and Road Runner Waste. Essential businesses that do not have a commercial account will be on a case by case basis.
- Any trash that is not residential kitchen trash
- Rubbish from cleanups and remodeling projects
- Recyclable materials at the drop-off center
- Green waste
- Household hazardous waste such as paint, oil and chemicals
- E-waste, including computers and televisions
Who are non-essential businesses?
All businesses and non-profit entities that are not deemed to be essential per Governor’s Public Emergency Public Health Order. The Stay at Home – Essential Businesses list can be found at https://cv.nmhealth.org/stay-at-home-essential-businesses/. If you are still unsure if your business is essential, send an email to email@example.com for a determination.
What are essential services for the general public?
The general public can make essential trips to BuRRT for perishable waste that will decay, cause odor, attract pests or pose a health risk such as food waste, kitchen waste, toiletries, soiled diapers and household waste generated from within the home. This does not include trash from cleanups of garages and backyards and remodeling projects.
Any non-essential services that are necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of residences or essential businesses will be determined by the Agency on a case-by-case basis. Businesses needing clarity on essential services can send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beginning Saturday, April 11th BuRRT will be closed on weekends. The operating hours will be 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday. These reduced hours will remain in effect until further notice. The Agency requests that customers who are sick do not use the facility. Customers should protect themselves by maintaining the recommended 6-foot social distance to reduce coronavirus transmission risks. The Agency has directed its staff to limit hand-to-hand and other close interactions with customers. For more information on the Governor’s Emergency Public Health Order, please visit the State of New Mexico website at www.newmexico.gov.
For more information on BuRRT, please call 424-1850 or visit the Agency’s website at https://www.sfswma.org
You Count! 2020 Census
This year’s census marks the 24th time in US History that our nation attempts to count every citizen living in the United States. The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data.
The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.
And while you are required by law to participate, the Census Bureau is also required by law to protect your answers. Your responses are used only to produce statistics. The Census Bureau does not disclose any personal information.
For the first time, you can choose to complete the census online, by phone, or by mail. Find out more about each of these methods below:
Please note that if you are responding online, you must complete the census in one sitting, as you don’t have the ability to save your progress. See the questions the census asks here.
If you do not receive an invitation to respond from the Census Bureau, you may respond online or visit our Contact Us page to call our phone line.
Sacando las acequias: Getting work done and protecting ourselves from COVID
There are 55 acequias within Santa Fe County that for generations have provided traditional grown food and maintain the rich agricultural traditions of our communities. Even today despite the COVID-19 crisis our Acequias as essential in fighting food insecurities and keeping our valleys lush, green and sustainable.
In order for acequias to continue to operate, we have interpreted the health order to mean that acequias and community ditches are considered essential businesses. We are also recommending that acequias avoid mass gatherings and maintain social distancing. We are providing the following guidance:
Acequia Cleanings. We have spoken with several mayordomos about how to conduct Spring acequia cleanings, i.e. sacando las acequias, and we have developed the following options for you to consider so that you are in compliance with the public health order:
- You may consider canceling or postponing the acequia cleaning if that is possible. Some acequias have opted to do this in cases where cleaning is not essential to get water flowing through the ditch.
- You may consider taking these precautions if you decide to proceed with your annual acequia cleaning:
- Work in crews of five (5) peones or fewer. Break up your work crew into smaller groups and space them out along the acequia so that at no time do you have a group larger than five (5) people.
- Within your small work crews, maintain a distance of at least 6 feet or maintain a distance of more than 6 feet and completely avoid person-to-person contact.
- Require that each parciante be responsible for the section of ditch that runs through their own property. This is a traditional practice used in several acequias where each family is responsible for their own “en frentes.”
- Some acequias are restricting the individuals that may be part of a cleaning crew to exclude anyone who traveled outside the state who should be in isolation or individuals over a certain age.
Acequia Meetings. We recommend that any regular annual membership meetings be postponed until a later date. Any gathering of more than five (5) people would be in violation of the public health order. However, if your acequia has an urgent matter to address, such as basic water delivery or emergency flooding, a meeting of your three-member commission and mayordomo can take place while also adhering to the Open Meetings Act. Other governmental entities are using conference calls for this purpose.
Acequia Elected Officials. Provided that elected officials avoid mass gatherings and maintain social distancing, they may continue their duties. Commissioners generally work from home so their continued work in governing and managing acequia operations may continue. Mayordomos are needed to operate acequia infrastructure so they may also continue work.
We know that the safety and health of each family and community is your primary concern. Our guidance is based on an interpretation of the public health order from March 23, 2020, also known as the “stay at home” order and guidance provided by the New Mexico Acequia Association.
We urge everyone to be safe, to comply with the public health order, and to be responsible when acting within the exceptions carved out for essential businesses (including how we interpret that order to apply to acequias).
Thank you for all your hard work in keeping our beautiful acequias flowing!