“Everything will be increased,” the landlord of Pagel’s Trailer Park, Bernie Pagel, wrote tenants in Fort Morgan in an Oct. 19 letter, KUSA reported. “Like paying ALOT more in taxes, utilities, gasoline, groceries, new permits, fees and regulations … everything! This also means YOUR RENT will be increased to cover these expenses. Most likely, rent would DOUBLE in price!”
The letter, which some residents said amounted to voter intimidation, also claimed rent at the trailer park would not be raised for at least two years if President Trump is reelected.
“Voting is your choice and we are not telling you how to vote,” Pagel’s letter continued. “We are just informing our tenants what WE will do according to the election results. If Trump wins, we all win. If Biden wins, we all lose.”
A phone number listed for Pagel in Fort Morgan had been disconnected as of early Friday and he did not immediately return a Facebook message seeking comment.
Tenant Cindy Marquez told KUSA she got the letter Tuesday. She’s now concerned her family, who has lived there for 20 years, may need to start looking for a new place to live if Biden wins on Nov. 3.
“I mean, everybody was pretty shocked, honestly,” Marquez told the station. “It was mainly hurtful, you know? How could someone say something like that or basically threaten us according to something that we can’t control?”
Juana Hernandez, whose parents live at the trailer park after immigrating from Mexico, told the New York Times the notice was stuck in a fence at their lot, which they rent for $280 monthly.
“It’s just really infuriating because most of the people who live in the trailer park are Hispanic,” Hernandez said. “A lot of them, they don’t even have the right to vote. I do think that is intimidation.”
State Sen. Julie Gonzales has reported the letter to the state attorney general, she told the Times.
“Two weeks before such a terribly consequential election, that type of intimidation has no place in Colorado,” Gonzales said.
The Colorado Secretary of State also received a complaint about the letter and forwarded it onto the state attorney general, according to KUSA.
A spokesperson for the Colorado Attorney General’s Office declined to indicate whether an investigation into the matter is ongoing, the Times reported.
Pagel, meanwhile, could not be reached for comment to confirm the authenticity of the letter. No one answered his office during a visit to the trailer park Thursday, KMGH reported.