Dear Santa Fe City Council, residents and business owners: I am sad to write this, but after so many years of visiting in the summers (I’m a teacher), I can’t help but wonder if you are aware of how a visitor sees the state of your community. It pains me to tell you that your town has lost its sparkle.

I found Santa Fe dirty and tired this summer. Your sidewalks are dirty, as are the storefronts and restaurants. Your parking structures are dirty and smelly. I think you need to rally your business owners and clean things up; get the hoses out and wash those streets, storefronts and sidewalks. I saw that you are working on eradicating gang graffiti. Thank you. That is a good beginning.

I felt unsafe walking around your downtown area with all the homeless and loitering young men. I saw no police to control the racing cars around the square and the drunks and/or druggies. If you want to continue to accept our money, I would pass an ordinance to remove rowdy behavior. All these young men that become obnoxious can do community service and help clean your town.

I think the change you made with the parking meters is one more way to make visitors not welcome. What if my battery on my phone is dead or I left my phone at the hotel, etc.? Parking for visitors is a nightmare. It makes visitors feel you don’t want us there. I think parking should be free to make your visitors feel like you want us there. We spend a lot of money on your stores, restaurants and events. I imagine we are a big part of your economy.

I noticed you are running out of water. Every business and restaurant should install a low-water toilet and/or at the very least, bold, bright signs in all bathrooms and everywhere stating there is a drought/water shortage so we visitors can help.

Thanks for listening. I hope this will inspire you to take some action.

Claudia Essenburg is a random visitor who loves Santa Fe.

(73) comments

Janis Roller

She probably didn’t leave the downtown area or she would have included the numerous potholes that make driving Santa Fe roads a jolting experience.

Gay Maloney

Wow, folks. What an enlightenment. My husband and I were about to book visiting Santa Fe where years ago my friends had gone and glowed about it. Now your local community comments about "white" folks and so-what attitude about having a dirty city with homeless folks made the decision not to visit. Don't need my hard earned money--Great-- cause there are clean towns and cities that do. They are proud of keeping their city attractive. And you locals must not get out much and travel as you would find out that the visitor who wrote the article certainly does not have a "Disney" world view of what a city should be.. And I was married in New York and born near San Francisco both of which I used to love to visit. Because of their filth and homeless attitude along with not prosecuting crime, I won't be back. My son has to go into SF for business and is well aware of the danger. Beautiful cities--destroyed by WOKE politics and citizens that ALLOW it.

JB Weinberg

You can keep your "clean" towns and cities. I'll stick with Santa Fe. Good riddance to your money and your attitude.

Russell Scanlon

“Woke” politics, eh? You kind of gave yourself away there.

JB Weinberg

40 years ago there was a bumper sticker popular in Santa Fe - "Less tourism, more strip mining." I agreed then and still do. On another point, New York and San Francisco continue to be very popular tourist destinations and they are dirty, smelly and unsafe in certain areas. So why is she holding Santa Fe to a different standard? Santa Fe is a real place, too, and we just went through a pandemic, too. So my advice to everyone who is so upset - ignore her. For every tourist like her, there are many many more who love Santa Fe just as it is. Times have been tough. Let's take heart and be kind to each other.

Richard Reinders

Who goes to NY or San Fran anymore when you have San Antonio, Salt Lake City. and Scottsdale at least these towns you don't have to scrape the sh%t off your shoes at the end of the day.

Russell Scanlon

I agree about the trash. It is a real problem—but not just in Santa Fe. Garbage really fouls up the experience on every major highway around her (and inTexas BTW). But everything else in this diatribe suggests that the writer should invest her time and money in the sterile, fake experience of Disneyland.

Anna Soeiro

People getting this upset about a comment from a tourist reflects the attitude of an area I am glad to be leaving. After 20+ years, the increase of hostility towards "others" and of each others opinions is silly and counter productive. Hasta la vista. I do hope those angered about a tourist, can direct their anger into passion and actually do something with it.

Angelica Trujillo

From someone who is born and raised here, I find this article upsetting. First of all, a lot of tourist have no idea about the culture, history, or how Santa Fe came to be. They probably don't even know what 'Santa Fe' means. They just see our city on a magazine or website and have money to burn that they have to add it on their bucket list. Good for them! But they should really educate themselves on the city before you go and just assume whatever they think. My family has been in Santa Fe for many generations and have worked very hard in labor- filled jobs. My family has built over 100 homes in the Santa Fe/ surrounding areas and take pride in what we do, as well as the relationships built along the way. I take pride in being a Santa Fean and celebrating our hispanic culture actively. When a white Mayor comes in and allows people to destroy our historic monuments and not defend our blend of cultures, I take it to heart. He disgusts me daily as he allowed these losers to walk free from crimes that should have had charges filed. He took away our Don Diego de Vargas statue in the Cathedral Plaza and people celebrated that. How pathetic that people trip over statues rather than actually making a difference in the community to soften relations. I worked since I was 14 and many of those years were in local, family-owned businesses, all off the plaza. That is the heart of town and many cultures always come together here. This new generation is so sensitive with anything, it doesn't feel like you have freedom of speech and representation. Tourist come to Santa Fe wearing the flashiest turquoise and silver and they stick out like a sore thumb. Many local people are humble and do not need show what they have. It is a shame for anyone to act like there is not a nationwide homeless problem that is constantly growing. I volunteered as a young person in homeless shelters and knew many local people who have shared their stories with me on how their situation panned out. I am under 30 and I have seen such a drastic change in Santa Fe, and it is not for the better. They want us to welcome tourists with opening arms, yet, they bring their whole families and decide to 'buy out' homes and companies in order to turn SF into their permanent residence. That is fine. What is not fine is people from out of state coming in and trying to change everything, to include fiestas, the culture, and the way of small, family-business. Local Santa Feans are struggling to thrive here. Rent is over the roof and home values are at an all time high. Gentrification has become strong here and even 10 years ago, you would see way more locals. Nowadays, people come from all over the place and try to change the history of the city. Nobody can change history and there is always going to be good and bad involved. When I was a teenager, the plaza was our hang out spot. It was safe, we knew one another and we did not harass anyone. Parking meters should stay the same and they should always charge. What is an extra dollar or two out of your big spending to pay for parking? Many workers who make the city memorable for tourists have to pay for parking everyday and you do not see them complaining. They are grateful to have a job! Many families cannot even afford a vacation or daily necessities and here we have a 'sparkly' commenter bashing our city. Donate money to the city if it bothers you so much. People don't always know how to separate their expectations and reality. Keep it real in the city of Holy Faith because that is what we live off on, an honest living.

Paul Grant

Angela-I understand how you feel. There are clearly some things wrong with the internal workings of Santa Fe. There needs to be discussion, awareness and understanding. But there are 2 aspects of Santa Fe. There is the internal problem with the people who live here and also the people who come to visit as tourists. You must understand that tourism is an economic driver of how Santa Fe generates its income. Santa Fe has no real industry here. We depend on tourism to financially survive. You cannot expect the tourists to know or understand the internal issues of Santa Fe. Tourists come here for for the art and culture and for the food. They come here to get away from all the problems they deal with from where they live. So Santa Fe should always try and put on a pretty face if they can. Tourists can also be nice and they can also be rude. But Santa Fe depends on them for income. Saying all this like many tourist cities it has been through a very rough time in the last year and a half with Covid. So this talk about Santa Fe losing its sparkle shows a little lack of understanding. In the next year Santa Fe will need to invest some time in sprucing back up. In spite of all of Santa Fe's problems they cannot afford to squander the precious resource of Tourism.

John Gomez

Paul Grant I barley got to travel before covid but when I did it was to places like India. I never held my money over their heads like these people do to us. It is beyond gross they do that. Santa Fe at least downtown Santa Fe is kitty land. It is not a hard place at all nor is it dirty so I don't get it.

Todd Bernstein

I was born here and I think the hostility toward white tourists and newcomers criticizing our city is completely understandable.

There is much justified anger after recent events, like when a mob of mostly white people from out of state destroyed our beautiful obelisk honoring Union civil war soldiers that fought to end slavery, just because of a few words that had already been chiseled out. Do you know where the leader of Three Sisters Collective is from?? Los Angeles. Her native ancestry didn't make it OK . It still makes my blood boil. We can't fix history by destroying history and Hispanic culture.

Our city never had a "sparkle". That choice of word suggests that the writer was looking for something very surface level and flashy, rather than our actual history and culture, which is not 'sparkly' and includes a long history of ranching and farming.

The writer complained about feeling unsafe around homeless "young men". To her, they are just obstacles to her perfect vacation rather than an extremely vulnerable population. She clearly speaks out of ignorance and privilege regarding the issue of homelessness. Maybe it would help her to do some volunteer work serving food for the homeless at Pete's place, like I did. Maybe it would help her to talk to them and see that they're people too because she clearly has no empathy for them. She suggest that the "young men who become abnoxous," whatever that means, do community service and this is really telling that she doesn't even want to pay them for it so they can feed themselves. We have a range of ages in our homeless population, but for no apparent reason she singles out the young ones, which makes her sound ageist.

Perhaps the writer has better intentions and I'm being harsh, but she comes off as being ageist, wealthy, entitled, and not caring about our poverty/food insecurity problems. If she has money to travel here frequently, she can't be that poor on account of being a teacher.

Paul Grant

Remember Todd. Like it or not Santa Fe is a "Tourist town". Tourism is the life blood of our income. Tourists come to Santa Fe for the Art, The culture, the food, the architecture. They seek to get away from all the problems they have where they live. Some tourists are nice and some are rude. However, Santa Fe depends on them. Do not expect tourist to understand the internal problems of Santa Fe. Further as a city that depends on tourism Santa Fe needs to work on making tourists feel safe. Sidewalks should be clean downtown. The homeless is a problem here. However is should not be a problem that tourists should be expected to deal with. I did feel the writer was a bit harsh especially since like all cites Santa Fe has gone through Covid. However, this is how Santa Fe derives most of its income. The internal problems of Santa Fe have to be dealt with. If that means a new mayor or new people in city government so be it. However, its not exactly fair to lay this on to tourism.

John Gomez

Todd Bernstien? I am a local hispanic and do not understand why people care about the Obelisk at all. It was plane and boring. It was just a stone and people act like they lost a mother over it. Who cares about a plane rock? We should build something cool there but we won't. It will be another lame southwestern art thing.

Amber Garner

It’s too bad your phone didn’t die while you were writing this post. Name one city in the world who cares about someone’s phone dying or it being left in your hotel room. If you are so concerned by our water shortage, don’t suggest that we use such a precious resource to hose down streets, sidewalks and storefronts. Every business in town should have you on our 86 list.


She's right but on the wrong points. As a former city employee crime has skyrocketed, violent crime has sky rocketed...there is no police presence because they're short 40 + officers, and the mayor? He handed downtown to criminals when he tore down the statues himself....oh and basically telling police not to arrest or charge homeless or drug users is appalling...santa fe is only going to get worse...I mean the police did just kill a homeless guy in front of loretto, who had a gun after shooting a woman...bishops lodge there was a murder suicide by deputies...deputies shot a car thief of Siler....sfpd Is up to what? 10 homicides this year and its only halfway over...its unprecedented and unfortunate, but make sure you tear down your statues and heritage to comply with the woke mob....

Stefanie Beninato

Kyle I don't believe the Santa Fe police force is down 40 officers. Where did you get this information? And Webber is not responsible for the rise in crime-- I would look to the pandemic and the income inequality in this town. We have entitled residents who leave their cars unlocked with wallets inside and then alert others to the break-in in their cars.... If you go to the plaza, you will see the location of the obelisk is a square brown box that has plants/trees around it and on the south side you see a frame structure that has a copy of the CHARTS proclamation....and flowers that need to be watered daily of course.

Bill Flesner

My goodness, what denial! Saddest is the racism on display in the rebuttals to Claudia’s letter. One of Santa Fe’s strengths has always been that everyone gets along and appreciates the beauty of each culture. Dissing anyone, including pale people, based on color of skin or culture is unAmerican and certainly not worthy of our City Different. And perhaps we should take a hard look at the centerpiece of our city, the Plaza. It was once a jewel set in the high desert. I loved seeing the low-riders prowl the Plaza, the Summer days with music on the bandstand, peaceful early winter evenings strolling under the lighted trees. All magical for locals and tourists alike. Compare that with the scene today of a graffiti laden plywood boxing around a previously handsome obelisk. Could not a compromise have been reached on the offensive wording without totally destroying the gentle beauty of the Plaza?

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RJ Laino

Amen brother.

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Stefanie Beninato

How long have you been holding that anger allowing it to poison you?

John Gomez

Bill Flesner you are so wrong about Santa Fe. That is a myth you are buying. Older white people have never respected anyone. Their kids are better. A lot better but Santa Fe has always been about old white people kicking everyone else down

John Gomez

The plaza is the jewel of the southwest? That small little nik nak shop? Wow the southwest most suck than. Glad when I went on holiday it was overseas cause the plaza is a joke not the pride of anything. It is just a dinky little town sqaure. Go to Mexico they got real plazas

Elisabeth Wooster

Dear Claudia,

Thank you for pointing out the many, many, things you see wrong with our city, and for offering your solutions to make it less of a pesthole for tourists like you. It must be incredibly disappointing to discover that your hard-earned tourist dollars have been spent on a vacation that doesn't live up to your Disney-like standards. Unfortunately, Santa Fe is, at the end of the day, just like many other small cities in the Southwest, full of real people, with real lives. Some are young and boisterous, some are homeless, some are struggling to keep their businesses afloat. All are coping with a pandemic coupled with a historic drought. So if we aren't quite as "sparkly" as you expect for your money, all I can say is, we're sorry, and we'll try to make your next live up to your fantasy of Santa Fe. Please let us know when you'll be arriving so that we can hose off the sidewalks and hide the homeless people.

Al Chavez

"....a vacation that doesn't live up to your Disney-like standards."

You hit the nail on the head.

John Gomez

Al Chavez plus their vacation is so boring who would spend money to come to downtown Santa Fe full of fake culture and no nightlife? I understand others parts of New Mexico being worth it but not downtown Santa Fe

I will also say Downtown Santa Fe is one of the cleanest places I have ever been so she is tripping

Paul Grant

Elisabeth-Tourism like or not is the life blood of how this cities derives its income. People come for the art, the culture, the food, the Spanish architecture, the weather etc. They come here to get away from the internal strive where they live. As a "tourist town" there is more pressure on it to look like its in its Sunday School clothes. The writer was a bit harsh about the loss of sparkle especially since Santa Fe has been through a pandemic(like many cities). However, as a tourist town we have no choice but to be mindful of how we have to cater to them. They bring in the bucks. Do not expect them to understand nor care about the internal problems of Santa Fe

John Gomez

The Spanish articlture downtown i fake remade in the 1920's you know that right?

Celeste Mann

I googled Santa Fe and Covid and this opinion article came up. I'm supposed to visit your city in September for a week, and this opinion and the comments are very disconcerting. I'm watching the COVID situation to see if I will be able to make the trip, but this opinion and the comments are discouraging to me as a tourist. I visited decades ago but only stayed for a day or two, and just remember the Loretto Chapel. I'll read the article in TIME, which I assume is a more positive view.

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Celeste Mann

Thank you for your comment. I’m not old—I visited Santa Fe with my mom years ago but I’m definitely rethinking my trip. Hopefully, for the city you are just a troll and not how most feel. I’d rather save my money, or spend it somewhere else, especially during a pandemic when it is risky to travel anyway, if as a visitor, I’d be made to feel unwelcome. I also live in a city which has a lot of tourism customarily, and as many problems as we have, the attitude is the opposite. As for the Loreto Chapel, it’s an interesting phenomenon, fake or not.

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Celeste Mann

Thank you for your response. I’m not old by the way, but to those that depend on tourism, the money is more important than the age of the visitor, so it’s irrelevant. I’ll continue to investigate and based on that and COVID will decide whether or not I cancel my trip. I’m also a blogger on arts in Latin America and Latino culture, but if everything is fake, nothing to write about. Time is also precious, so I’d rather not spend my time in a place openly hostile to visitors. Life is too short.

Sam El

There still an abundance of these folks who will come through from drab and boring Texas, tons of tourists will still come, if you don’t like it don’t I really don’t think anyone in this town will give much of a dam. Nice try though. You’re about to see a lot of the country start to get dirty and unsafe. Welcome to the new age, where the cities you go don’t cater to you.

John Gomez

Celeste Mann you also view us like the old people do. I am guessing you are 40 which is old. It's ok I am 40 too so I am old but

You can also be 20 and be awful like you or 40 and be awesome it's all who you are on the inside

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Stefanie Beninato

Your hatred has really warped you. The staircase at the Loretto Chapel is considered special because it has two 360 degree turns--almost not found in any other spiral staircase and all the weight is on the first step and structurally should have failed shortly after day one. Doesn't matter if you believe St Joseph built it or not. It is so sad that you, John, do not appreciate these incongruous jewels in our midst.

Mary Kyle

I am a little disappointed, though not surprised by the hostility towards the author of this letter. In the last year, I have literally said to myself many many times how I wished someone would take hold of the responsibility of making this exceptionally unique town REFLECT its uniqueness. Medians are full of dead things, streets are filthy... Why is this a badge of honor? Why is this person being told "If you don't like it go away"? Maybe it has been made clear that we really do not need the tourist dollars, or the second home owners in this town, but does that mean it has to reflect an uglier view of life for US? I grew up here, I own a small business here, that actually survived Covid- I have no intention of leaving. Maybe we can get together as a COMMUNITY and clean it up and figure out how to HELP the homeless, etc????????? Just saying....

John Gomez

This town is not any more unique than so many other places. Stop that silly lie. We are just another place. A very boring one on top of that.

John Gomez

The spiral staircase has been falling apart for years why do you think you can't walk on it? Go over seas please and you will see really cool staircases and building the staircase is a joke a tourist trap

John Gomez

This lady is the epitome of downtown Santa Fe. Downtown Santa Fe is the least New Mexican place in the state.

It's only for old people who think stucco abode is culture and would hate real New Mexican culture.

She thinks the streets are dirty? She should see where me and my family come from. Horses and dirt everywhere

She thinks the homeless downtown are rough? Has she never been to a real city?

Maybe when she says rowdyness she means the local youth skateboarding? Playing Hispanic Music EDM and Metal on the plaza? Those kids rock and are the only reason downtown has any style

She wants to cut the rowdiness and that says it all. Santa Fe used to be rowdy until old people came here because of the myth of this place and ruined it. What kind of city shuts down at 5 pm on a Friday night?

I hated being young here and most young people hate this city today and this lady is the perfect example of why

Also she thinks the grafiti is gang realted ha ha ha. It's just kids. I traveled and looked for grafiti cause that was the real culture of the place.

A museum will never be a real part of the culture all these fancy resturants and Native American paintings aren't real

If you aren't being rowdy you aren't really seeing the culture.

Brad Doubles

Being a rowdy jerk off isn't culture bro

John Gomez

Brad Doubles who said anything about being a jerk? You ever party with us Hispanics or any body? You can be rowdy and be the nicest people on Earth

People just like to get loud and get proud like a Hank Williams jr song.

These people come here and get all scared of the teens cause they look different or have skate boards

They get scared and mad at the bikers for playing metal and New Mexican music on the plaza but go talk to those vatos they are family men super nice.

If you are't being rowdy you aren't in the real culture.

I haven't traveled as much as I like but I have gotten rowdy with some cool people in other countries and they all agree with me.

Todd Bernstein

As a young person born here, I couldn't agree more. Being young here seriously sucks and its ageist to want to remove young people from the plaza just because they're doing what they love and having a little fun in a city where there's NOTHING to do here for that age group. The 5 pm closing time is ridiculous.

When I was a kid I was constantly scolded by old Karens for just being a kid and it sucked.

They are ruining this place and erasing our culture because it doesn't look the way they want it to when they come here.

John Gomez

Todd you nailed it expect you defended a ugly little rock. That obelisk is nothing and means nothing no one should fight over it at all.

Eric Allin

She's not far off base. The town does look dumpy and telling people to not come back, really? Tourism is the only thing that drives this city. Without the tourism dollars, could you imagine how much shoddier the city would look? Her suggestions may not fly but in the interest of making "the square" a more welcoming place, what's wrong with that? I for one am definitely up for having a better police presence; being accosted by people, who wants that? And please spare me the "My family has been here for 20 generations...." I too, have lived here all my life, as did my parents. The city could definitely use a "sprucing up".

John Gomez

I really want to know what other cities you have been to that are cleaner than downtown Santa Fe? Every other place I have been to has been rougher and grimmer and to be fair a lottttt!!!!! more fun.

Richard Reinders

Salt Lake City, Scottsdale, there are many cities cleaner than Santa Fe

John Gomez

I like salt lake. Maybe it's just me. I have been to india mexico parts of africa and europe so I have seen dirty also san fransico and i love that city but it's dirty to the core

William Mee

Yeah, I understand the blowback to her comments, but you all are missing the point. She is expressing what visitors are actually seeing in real time. Then expressing why they may not come back or give a bad reputation about us to their friends. We are a tourist town and any perception like this MUST be reversed or we are in trouble economically. Remember we will never have a river that barges can use, a seaport, or an intersection of Interstate Highways to support manufacturing or an Amazon Distribution center. We have history, and it is best served on a platter of clean destinations.

John Gomez

Willam Mee. Every place has a history. We need to stop acting like we are the only place with history and we need to become way more modern. This place is beyond boring for under 30's and part of that is this omg history blah blah blah nonsense

Karsten Figueroa

Hey Claudia, If you want it to look like Frisco, TX... Staying Texas. This town has nothing to apologize for. You're obviously privileged and no nothing about life outside your white suburban bubble.

William Mee

Since when are teachers part of the privileged class? They are usually so poor that no-one wants to get in that field. But teachers are observant---and see is seeing where the City's leadership has failed.

Karsten Figueroa

Check out her Linkedin page. She does more than teach and at the very least she underrepresented herself. But, the point here is our economy is in no danger and neither is our reputation. Time magazine just listed us as one of the "worlds greatest places"! People that come here from around the world are much more tolerant and open minded than the entitled few that send opinions to this paper.

Jeff clark

So you notice we're running out of water yet want us to hose down our sidewalks and streets.

Santa Fe is a real city with actual people who live here. Do you think we should kick people out who don't meet your esthetic standards? Maybe you should go to DisneyLand.

I'm not sure why the New Mexican even published this idiotic letter.

Mike Johnson

"I'm not sure why the New Mexican even published this idiotic letter." Seriously? Look at all the comments, and the pride some people take in this "city" and how they treat outsiders making any negative comments. It speaks volumes.

Mike Hawk

Honestly, y'all gonna have to get used to it and get over it. To wax poetic about the old days is all nice and good, but those days are gone. People are moving here, and they'll continue to do so. Buildings are going up, and they'll continue to do so. These tourists who b*tch about how "dirty" Fe is now can f*ck off to Scottsdale or something, there's no signs of tourism slowing and the complainers won't be missed.

Tiffany Thomas

Then don’t come here. Like we’re supposed to bow down to some entitled Karen. How did the anew Mexican even print this garbage?

Nancy Lockland

The town of Santa Fe us DISGUSTING. This is an opinion of a visitor, we should listen. Telling visitors not to come back is NOT the answer. Get out and do something for your community. The amount of trash on the side of the roads and parking lots is horrendous.

Marisol Ituarte

I work downtown, I’ve volunteered all my life & worked for a shelter. I have prestige background. I’ve done lots to have people WHO AREN’T FROM HERE to disrespect MY community.

Mike Hawk


Joshua Rosen

I really like your idea of getting out and doing something. As a born and raised Santa Fean, I am teaching my son to pick up trash that we encounter daily at the parks, side walks, family neighborhoods, etc. and make a difference one step at a time. I would like the city to clean up the graffiti and streets.

Andy Otto

Please do NOT hose off the dirt except with non-potable water. Sweep instead. Remember - we are so short on drinkable water.

Marisol Ituarte

Respectfully, please don’t return to our state. We are in the MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC and people don’t respect our state either. The homeless issue? Contribute instead of complaining, donate to shelters, donate your time. Homeless still = Human. As for the racing? EVERYTHING in our city is made for tourists & old folks, let the teens enjoy themselves as we would rather see them enjoying a passion fixing up their vehicles and showing them off- better then adding to the drug pandemic. As for parking? Even EMPLOYEES working downtown must pay 20 for parking DAILY. There are street cleaners however our state was closed for about a year & people didn’t have jobs, so obviously things aren’t going to be 100% perfect but EVERY New Mexican I know downtown is doing their ABSOLUTE best to make things comfortable for ungrateful tourist. If you feel things are good here please stay home & focus on your own city & stop disrespecting ours as we HELP our homeless and appreciate our youth. Please & Thank You

David Ford

I would have hoped for better from Santa Feans but expected this type of response.

So let's "dis" on the tourists because that will keep them coming back with their money.....not!

Her assessment is pretty accurate even with the lame excuse of using the pandemic.

The city has been filthy, weed infested, etc., etc., for the 15 years I have been here. Want a comparison? Go to Scottsdale, AZ and notice the perfectly cleaned streets, immaculate and manicured medians, with beautiful tall yuccas on them.

The problem as I see it is not just having the right amount of workers but inspiring them to work well and conscientiously. Every time I see a city truck or crew only half of them are working and even then mostly going through the motions. They don't care and it shows, pandemic or not....It is exactly why the city has started hiring outside landscaping companies to do the job of this city department.

So Claudia, please do not be discouraged as not all Santa Feans are contrarian just because, and many if not most agree with your observations and assessment.

Maybe something will really come from this, we can only continue to hope...

Marisol Ituarte

Make parking free for employees not tourist. They work hard FOR THE TOURIST.

Robert Novak

And then workers take up all the parking. Paying fir parking keeps the Parker’s moving.

Dennis Romero


I agree and disagree with your comment.

There is a morale problem within the City workforce. That morale problem is caused by the current administration and their lack of experience in local government and management.

I think we need to look for the root cause, and I believe the lack of leadership and direction from the current administration is something that needs to be examined more closely.

Stefanie Beninato

The lack of morale among staff was also given as a problem under Javier Gonzales.

Lee Vigil

Maybe there was a morale problem under Gonzales, but it's never been as bad as it is now - and worse it's spilling out into the open and people are talking about it ALOT.

Kathy Riley

Average income Scottsdale: $72,000

Average income Santa Fe: $32,000

Think that might have something to do w/what you want done ? ?

Richard Reinders

[thumbup] mismanagement of city budget putting too much money into feel good committees and not enough on the ground where the work needs to be done.

Charles W Rodriguez

She's only saying what I've expereinced after living here for more than 38 years. Santa Fe has lost is savoir faire. It's an upwardly mobile community populated by people that aren't from here, don't understand the indigenous culture, and bring their far east or west coast (development) ethics and values. The sweetness, the dulce that the city different once exuded is gone, or driven underground by egocentic individuals. It's a sad state. Long time residents may dispute or deny it, but it is tragic.

Paul Groh

We are must coming out of the throes of a pandemic that devastated our wonderful city. Maybe you could give us a little time to get it together before you start mouthing off about the disappearance of our “sparkle”.

Emily Koyama

The "sparkle" faded long before the pandemic.

The trash- strewn streets, weed-infested medians and roadsides, graffiti, and general filth has been a problem for decades.

Robert Novak

Someone who has supposedly visited Santa Fe for years should know the center of town is known as The P,aza, not the square.

And, those parking meters? You can also pay by credit card, as well as the ok’d fashion way by inserting coins.

Sam El

So true, man. So true.

Welcome to the discussion.

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