First Miss Rio Linda’s Crown Being Threatened

Special to 

Hello, my name is Taylor Barrett.

On March 10th, 2012 I was crowned Miss Rio Linda 2012 by my community; On March 11th, 2012, I received a call from Mary Harris, Pageant Director, stating that there a problem with the on-stage question portion of the pageant. She request that my mom and I come to her house to an informal meeting. Present was Mike Grandinetti, Centennial Committee member, Mary Harris, Pageant Chair/Director, Stacy Bastian, photographer, and Samantha Harris (granddaughter of Mary Harris), Pageant Coach/Contestant Mentor; I arrived to a private
meeting with those mentioned. I was asked if I remembered being asked and then answering the onstage question during the pageant? I answered yes. I was told that after the pageant Samantha Harris went to her grandmother, The Pageant Director and told her that during the on-stage question that she gave me the answer to my question.

(During the on-stage portion a question was to be read by Samantha Harris (Pageant coach/mentor) which I had drawn from a bowl and handed to Samantha. She read my question which was, “Which Constitutional Amendment means the most to you?” I stumbled and said I do not know this one, Samantha and people in the audience said “Freedom of Speech”, I was so nervous I repeated the answer that Samantha had said; She was our coach and mentor and she was the one we were supposed to rely on for any of our trials, heartaches, or troubles during the pageant)

During the meeting, I was then told by Mary, Mike, and Stacy, (Samantha remained silent throughout the meeting, until my mom asked her if she had anything to say, she then said that she felt like we were friends and she needed to help me), that I should write a letter to the judges of the pageant, Trustees of the Twin Rivers School District, Bob Bastian, Linda Fowler, Michelle Rivas, and Janis Green explaining what had happened and it would be a plus if I had a resolution in my letter. My resolution was for the judges to refigure the results without
the question. I turned in my letter the very next day to Mary Harris; However, Samantha Harris is not being held accountable for anything; I was told that my letter would be forwarded to the judges for a decision on what was the best possible resolution. We received a phone call the next day, from Mike Grandinetti, saying that he had spoken with the judges and their recommendation was to have it forwarded back to the committee for a final decision; He said there was one judge that said the question should be thrown out; He also said that there were
three possible out comes;

1) for me to give my crown to the first runner up and they would make me a new position as Ambassador of Rio Linda and I would participate in the many functions, stating that I could not fulfill my responsibilities and no one would know what really happened,

2) Take away my score to the question and leave the scores for the other contestants which would make me, maybe 1st runner up, or

3) They could just take the crown from me.

There is a meeting scheduled for Sunday @3 pm and I would like all parties involved to attend.

This is my first year entering a pageant of any kind, this is the first year for the Miss Rio Linda pageant, and there is no precedence for anything of this nature, I consider this to be trial and error. During the whole pageant there were no rules only that they were following the Miss Sacramento County by-laws; I contacted the Director of this pageant who helped in some of the preparations with this pageant and she said that she had never heard of this happening, before there was no rule, But thought that our solution was fair. I have since, talked with the other
contestants the majority think that dismissing the question all together and refiguring the result, is the best outcome for all.

I am releasing this statement to the community and public, because I know that in the end it should be known what happened after the pageant. I feel what I did was in response to the on-stage question was simply looking to my coach/mentor for guidance. It was Samantha’s error in judgment to say an answer;

I love Rio Linda, and will always know where I belong!

Thank you,
Taylor Barrett

They don’t want me to tell the town.


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  • Oh, but tell the whole town is exactly what should be done! How was it that sooooo many people KNEW anything run by Mary Harris would be a huge problem! Boo! DO NOT TAKE THIS GIRL’S CROWN!!!!!!!

    • Mary Harris had noting to do with it. She planned a beautiful event. Anyone who posts otherwise is just a hater and Rio Linda has no room for haters.

      • So why was all the meetings @ her house and why was she in attendance in all the meetings?

      • I was at the Centennial Celebration meeting when Mary Harris pulled the rules out of thin air… which is the sole reason I decided not to continue to be involved… How can anyone say she’s not involved? She’s the organizer.

      • Mabaker1960,

        Maybe the meetings where at her house and she was in attendance because she is CHAIRMAN!

        Common Sense ?

      • Common sense? yes that’s why I don’t understand why they say she had nothing to do with it from citizen. Thank you

  • go ahead and take her crown so that the commitee can look incompetent. why punish this young lady for the error caused by a group of adults who were supposed to have the rules in order. what happened is in the past, in the future now you know what to look for let the young lady keep her crown and fulfill her duties, and don’t crush her dreams.

  • It’s my understanding now that it’s been done- Taylor Barrett has been stripped of the title and it’s been given to Samantha Moore.

    I don’t care which girl is crowned, one way or the other. It’s yet another example of something that’s gone sideways under Mary Harris’ supervision. For whatever reason, everything Ms. Harris touches ends in controversy.

    I hope this community remembers this come election time.

    • I do believe there are many ways this can remain in the forefront of the true Rio Linda community who would like to see a true member of this town be crowned and named Miss Rio Linda. I find it sad to all the girls who competed to have to go through such a drama enriched experience. I truly hope the decision of this committee allows each one of them to sleep well at night. Just to think someone who this pagent was meant for did not actually win the crown but obtained it in default…… SO SAD

      • TrueRioLindian:
        What is so sad, in my opinion, is the “pettiness” that shows the outside world what goes on in Rio Linda. Rush Limbaugh has plenty of fuel for his flames toward Rio Linda.

      • I so agree, this entire event led to “pettiness” starting with judges who announced a winner of the pagent then a committee rejecting the judges decision due to the winner not being the one they wanted to begin with….in my opinion this whole thing was scandaless and a scam in the effort to prove one young lady is better than the other….

    • Shame on you, for being so vile. You live in Rio Linda, yet everything that comes out of your mouth seems to be nothing but gossip, and negativity. Where were you to when it came to volunteering for the event. The only time it seems you gossipers want to get involved, is when something unfortunate happens and you can’t help yourself but spread ugly lies. Last time I checked, you weren’t at the event. So to put your two cents in, is not wanted.

      John Todd, If only you had enough integrity as Mary Harris! She is a wonderful lady who speaks the truth, and you obviously can’t handle that. Instead of beating people down, why don’t you put in a hand. Your comments only show your true colors.

      People need to grow up!

      Is this really over politics?

      • Samantha Harris:
        This is the Swiss Businessman (Indiana based as well)and I am proud of you. Right now, my corporation and our corporate partners are rethinking whether or not we want to get involved with any community projects in Rio Linda, if the “petty in-fighting” does not stop. I hope you understand that we are all very proud of you for wanting to “do the right thing”. I FEAR FOR THE FUTURE OF RIO LINDA!!!!!

      • I would like to know where this event was posted for community attendence. I dont recall seeing any advertisment for this event.

      • Samantha – It is understandable that you would want to respect and honor your Grandmother. It is a natural emotional response in favor of those who have raised and cared for you in your youth, and Mary should be honored for that. However, as we mature and acquire more experience in life, sometimes we come to realize that parents and family members are not the paragons of virtue that we would like to view them as. There is no need to rush this process, however it is unhealthy psychologically to deny a realistic view. You know no one is perfect. The healthy view is to recognize both the virtues and the failings. The rigid personality that can’t love without perfection is doomed to a sad life.

    • JohnTood916:
      What good comes from slanderous comments without all of the facts and an unbiased view?

      • I’ll let history and the public record validate the accuracy of my statements. It’s no secret in Rio Linda. From the water district, to the Visions task force, to this event… where Harris goes, controversy and trouble follows.

    • Oh…..election time.

      When I heard Mary Harris was running a pageant, I was relieved. Finally, I thought, she was getting involved in something that couldn’t continue to jeopardize the community’s health and safety.

      And now I’m wondering if this was all just an opportunity for her to generate some publicity for herself and try to repair her reputation prior to November.

      I was so hoping that maybe things had changed.

      • “When Does The Struggle With Tedium Subside?……..Never, That Is What Gives Me Hope”!

      • Make no mistake, Harris began her re-election campaign within days of being voted out of office.

      • Sometimes when we catch a glimpse of a “forked tongue”, we are not certain if it a “poisonous snake” or a struggling comedian.

      • Ah, I get it now — you’re pageant guru Donald Trump, correct?

        This is not the Miss California pageant and Taylor Barrett is not Carrie Prejean.

        It’s unfortunate that cooler heads did not prevail and that this has devolved into such a brouhaha.

        From where I sit — and I admit I did not attend the pageant — Ms. Barrett appears to be an innocent victim of circumstances. Circumstances created by adults who should have known better.

  • Thank you to whoever put this online and getting this out more. I was demanded to give my crown back today at three.

    • Taylor, there are several pageants in the area you can participate in if you’d like to compete again after this awful experience.

    • Taylor,
      Is this what you really wanted? A community divided? Look and what your beloved Rio Linda has been reduced to. A true Queen would call for peace not fuel the fire.

      • If she had stayed quite people would have questioned why she is no longer Miss Rio Linda since she was crowned in front of her communiity and family and friends. One thing this girl is an courageous girl

      • If “due process” is observed and respected, proper notification would have had a chance to work.

      • Oh, please, a community divided? Only because of adults who think they KNOW everything! You can be sure this will be the one and only pageant! Who would want to destroy another younger woman NEXT year!

      • Oh Please is right. It’s enough to make one think that “Citizen” is a misguided pageant organizer suffering from delusions of grandeur.

      • So she should just sit back and let herself be called a liar by people like you (see your post below)?

        I think whatever you perceive Rio Linda has been reduced to was what was in existence long before this pageant. This controversy is merely symptomatic of what has plagued Rio Linda for some time.

        Miss Barrett is not fueling the fire. The fire was set by whomever decided to start contacting other contestants and stirring up trouble, and further fueled by the supposed adults who let this get out of hand.

        I respect Ms. Barrett for taking a stand against bullying.

      • Actually “Citizen”
        A true Queen would let her kingdom know about what is being done behind closed doors and not keep it away from the people who should look up to her. Also, by the way, you have to remember that I am no longer your Queen thanks to their decision. So Just so everyone knows I didn’t write this to be put on the internet, and I didn’t write this for it to be getting so many back and forth comments of all of you just arguing with each other. I was wrong in my decision to repeat what she had said, However, their actions of telling me the answer, calling in secret meetings and swearing people to secrecy is wrong and I believe everyone should know how you people work. Thank you.

  • I to am very shocked at this it was my understanding that the person asking the question was also the coach and mentor that prepare the girls for those question so if Taylor said to the person giving the question was also her the girls coach and mentor.( I don’t know this) and the mentor said an answer then I think the girl was just looking for guides from here coach so repeating what her coach said was not wrong what was wrong is the coach saying that Answer. Now the commettee should be ashamed of themselves to take her crown away. I think no matter how they do the recount she would still win and that’s why they didn’t go that route I even heard she rocked it and put alot into her talent portion and interview shame on the school board judges also if they allowed this to happen. GIVE BACK HER CROWN

      • Anamattjoseph,

        Taylor is only six months younger, that is not much at all! If I choose to, I could have participated in the pageant myself. Either way it does not make a difference.

      • You are correct. Also, please keep in mind that 18 years olds are sent into combat, but cannot drink legally in some states.

      • What on earth does drinking have anything to do with this subject EXCEPT it sounds like someone in a decision making position might have been drinking!!!! Why else would the crown have been taken when it should have been left alone!

    • that being said, would it not be respectable for Taylor to give her crown up to the girl who did not have the answer given to her? This is not about Taylor, it is about who should have won fair and square…you all are wrapped up and looking at it through the wrong paradigm, think outside the box…but what do you expect from Rio Linda….yeeeeeha. Who is the winner?

  • Taylor, I am so very sorry you have been put through this. That the adults involved are clearly unable to take the responsibly for their actions and part in this. I thank you for your courage in bringing this to the community so that we can ALL know what is going on.
    I am sad to say that as long as these people head the committee, there should be no pageant. You should not have lost your crown, they should have lost their seats.

    • Pam Lake:
      Shouldn’t you have all of the facts before making an “earthshattering decision”?

      • Well, since the committee didn’t have rules in place, how is it they are “busting” her for breaking them. Besides, you have no idea what I may know. I guess it really comes down to who we decide to believe.

      • You are correct about who we choose to believe as well as if we believe in “heresay or facts”.

  • I find it really sad that this young girl is being asked or rather forced to take full responsibility for this unfortunate circumstance, but yet no adult has step forward for their part. If the fact that by Samantha Harris (the coach and mentor of the pageant) providing an answer to this young lady is the sole reason for taken the crown away, then she should also have a consequence. I feel as the coach and mentor she should have known that what she was doing was wrong. As adults it is important that we are good role models for child not the other way around.

    • If the Miss Rio Linda pagent continues, I believe RLPR should host it and put it together….it seems everything they do becomes successful for our community….not the other way around

      • TrueRioLindian;
        Is that why all of the corporations are “beating down the door” to help Rio Linda grow and prosper?

      • Corporations may not be “beating down the door” to assist in the growth of this community, but with this event which didnt do much for the community either but continued the petty dramatic activities this community has been apart of for years does not help much. The Rio Lind Parks and Rec definately has proven they are committed to the growth and prosperity of this community. I am saying if events such as the Miss RL pagent continues maybe we might consider Rio Linda Parks and Rec host the pagent and announce the rules of the pagent up front since it seems obvious the rules were made on an “as we go” basis. It is up to the community to prove worthiness to Corporations. The way this community pagent went was definately not a light I am proud of. I dont believe a Corporation would be proud of this either.

      • By the way TrueRioLindian, I represent an interested corporation and you are not gaining any points making Rio Linda’s case by joining the “blame game”. “FIX ANY PROBLEMS AND MOVE ON!!!!

      • With comments such as yours, I’m not sure RL would be smart to accept any “help” from your “corporation”. Are you representing Florida Power and Light? They wanted to help too, until we ran them out of town.

      • No, I do not represent Florida Power and Light. As a matter of fact, you may be right a second time. It is more than likely that the corporation I represent would not want to get involved. Friday will be the “tell”.

      • Tavillucky5208, it is interesting that you are so active in defense of the Pagent committee, and profess to represent a company wanting to come to Rio Linda. Were you a member of the committee or a close friend of Mary Harris? And, have you been in this community a long time? I am aquainted with many of the folks involved in this activity, and wondered about Ms. Harris efforts and motivation based on my prior experience with her community involvements. Folks have good reason to doubt her beczuse she has, in the past, lacked integrity, had problems with the truth, and was profoundly inadequate in her alleged service to the community. And she does attack others with vile intent. However, I do agree the pagent can be an excellent event for Rio Linda-Elverta, and as an asset. And, should be treated as a learing experience, not a negative one.
        We just need different people managing it.

        Mel G.

      • Corporation? I have seen what Corporations have done to small home towns such as the one I am proud to be raised in….. It really isnt pretty… Corporations who want to take over for their own gain does not impress me one bit…..

      • Grow and prosper…..hmmmm if that means tear down historic buildings and cause over growth in a small town……. There arent very many small towns left….. I dont know about everyone else but I dont live here for over growth…..I live here because this is where I grew up and experienced many things in my life one being good people. I personally would not like to see that go to waste by huge corporations coming in with over growth…..Part of working things out is getting everything on the table and coming to a conclusion which suits all parties….Once that is done then we can move on; however, just from reading the comments on here it doesnt look like the adults involved are able to work with each other. It is clear the ones who put on this pagent had an agenda and the agenda was not met to their satisfaction….The winner of the competition was unable to make the meetings offered by the committee; however, the committee was unwilling to work with the mother of the winner on time constraints……Think outside the box here Tavilucky….You are an only parent whose daughter made a great accomplishment in her life. One she will remember for the rest of her life; however with being an only parent you must work HARD to raise your children in becoming the best they can be….Then you have a committee of adults which some are politicians who demand you meet their timelines…..What would you do? I am sure you have experienced something similar in your life. How else did you become involved in Corporate America? Think about it would you please?

    • trish:
      Wake up and get ALL of the facts. That was not “the sole reason”. When a person takes on the responsibility of representing a community, they must be held to a much higher standard and present themselves to the public in a highly ehtical manner at all times. No More, No Less!!!!

      • And those organizing the pageant need to be held to the highest standard of all, and ensure that they avoid even the slightest appearance of impropriety.

    • For you to say, that Taylor is being forced to take “full responsibility” is an outright lie. I have owned up to my part regarding this issue. Matter of fact, I’m the one that brought this to the attention of the committee, not Taylor. Taylor knew what had happened, and she made that choice. For clarification I’m not a pageant coach and mentor, please check your facts. There are things that transpired during the onstage segment, and if you were not there, please make no judgement.

      Thank you.

      • Then where is your official statement owning up to your part? Where is the official statement from the committee? There are three sides to every story, yours, theirs, and the truth. Due to the history of those on the committee, most tend to NOT believe what they have to say, and if you are telling the truth, then guilt by association. Fact is most of us believe that you all threw this girl under the bus!

      • I must remember to tell Samantha that I would be happy to see her “faulty” behavior for Taylor losing her crown is printed in the paper!

  • To all of Rio Linda my daughter was stripped of her title and crown today @ 3:00pm; We returned it to Mike Grandinetti @ Mary Harris’ house…Please continue to get this out to the community! I love Rio Linda and always thought of it as home… I feel really let down by this experience…In the email received by me the reasons were that she announced that she was Miss Rio Linda w/o permission, that she posted a goofy pic on facebook, and that her family broke confidence by saying things out in the community…this was grounds to disqualify her….


    Taylor’s Mom

    • Taylor Barrett’s mom;
      I am from out of state, “have no dog in the fight” and I have seen all of the information. I think you need to rethink your position and what was been in emails, informal conversations, on Facebook, etc….

      • Really? You are from out of state? Right? Question do you have my personal email? Do ou know my password? then I guess you must have been either the person typing the email or the one who got CC on it? Out of state my ass.

  • Her crown was not taken because of the on stage question alone. Taylor knows this. It was because of her actions and attitude the week after. She posted pictures and comments on facebook and also told the other girls of the pageant to sign some paper to have the question tossed out. Which she had no right to do. Samantha Harris told everyone she had done that and said she was very sorry for doing it. She took responsibility for what she did. Taylor has not. Taylor keeps telling lies to anyone who will listen.
    None of you were at any meetings so none of you have the ability to tell the truth. It was her actions, and her actions alone that caused the commitee to take the crown from her. None of the girls who were in the pageant had anything to do with the decisions.
    Also, I was in the audience and the only thing I heard, after she had said her answer on stage, was the right to bare arms. Nothing was said before that, and a few people agreed with whoever said it.
    Taylor needs to be mature about this and take responsibility for her actions, posts, pictures and comments the week following the pageant.
    So due to the actions of Miss Barrett, she was told to turn in her crown and sash and take responsibility for her actions.
    An apology to everyone involved would be the right thing to do. Also one to each of the girls for having to hear the lies and comments being said about everyone.
    I am all for telling the town what happened. But it needs to be the truth. From both sides. Not just from one side.

    • Lie I think you should be ashamed of your self this young girl could have easly said she didn’t take the answer of here mentor that would have been her word against hers she even went a step further and wrote the letter of what she did so calling her a lire is untrue people should be commending her. The truth be told they had to find away to take her crown so they went searching. I also don’t understand why all the other girls were at the last meeting and Taylor wasn’t that sounds underhanded.

      • Mabaker1960,

        To my knownledge, the committee had tried several times, making an effort to meet with Taylor and her mother on different occasions, they refused.

        Please check your facts.

      • The meetings was always on there time and the meeting she asked was with the committee and judges to clear this matter up and they refused it was always the judges can’t meet but we talked to them and the said! !!!!!. Also this is a single working mom so 5 on Friday must not have worked for her

    • you cant blame ANYONE for announcing to her friends and family of her achievment at any time she wishes or how she does it. I am sure if you achieved something amazing when you were her age you would have done the same thing. Her family and friends are very proud of her achievment along with her understanding of the injustice which she went through. Get over it….What has been done is done….In my opinion all the adults in this should move on and remember the outlash this has caused a young lady with a true accomplishment in her life, her right to spread the word of her accomplishment along with the injustice she went through because of this accomplishment….. she was stripped of her achievements from adults who wanted another young lady to be Miss Rio Linda and for what reason……Because the other young lady is well known? Maybe because the other yound ladies family believes they are of a higher class than Taylor? If this is the case the entire committee needs to step down and hand off to others who are fair about this competition. Being proud of her accomplishments and announcing it is not a crime.

    • Was there a contestant contract that explained how you can be stripped from your crown? In every pageant I have ever won or put on, we had a contestant contract. This was developed by the pageant committee or the state organization if it was a sanctioned pageant (like part of Miss USA or America). The contract laid out all the official rules (which I believe were apparently on the application) and THEN listed all the requirements of the winner. These included items like 1) behavior; 2) expectations; 3) attendance at events; 4) reimbursement of prizes and scholarships if stripped of title; 5) appeal process if one existed; 6) any other terms of reign.

      Each contestant, PRIOR to running, was given this to review with themself, their parents, and an attorney should they feel necessary to go to that length. Nothing was implied. It was all written out for all to see.

      Had this pageant had a contestant contract that clearly described was behavior was “inappropriate” to the extent that title could be stripped for engaging in such “inappropriate” behavior, then this whole situation would have also been avoided.

      To date, it is still not clear why the title was stripped. I have heard three different stories. 1) Because she was given the answer to the question and the Assistant felt bad afterwards; 2) Because once told she was being stripped or could be stripped she acted “inappropriately” by voicing her opinion publically in relationship to the incident; and 3) Because the families of the other women were upset about the situation.

      It is probably very likely that this woman had high enough scores even without the best score on the question, she would have won. Did anyone look at her on stage question score to see where she finished? Did she win that portion of the contest or did she get the lowest score in that section. If she got the lowest score in that section, then this is a moot point on haaving been given an answer.

  • She has not come forward with the truth. She only wants people to see her side of the story. She’s not tell anyone what she did in the week that followed. I have not seen anything on that. Nor has she made mention of anything to was told to every girl at the meetings. Because she refused to show up. She has been telling lies so people will be sad for her. Sorry, but you do not lie and expect to get what you want.
    Samantha Harris does have punishment coming to her. That is between her and the members of the board. If you have further questions, please contact Mike. He will be more than happy to tell you the very same thing I just did.

  • Kathy Miller Smith:
    Not being in the audience, how can you be sure what actually took place?

  • For all of you out there,
    This is Samantha Harris!
    For those who do not know the situation, and cannot help themselves but make judgment on those they do not know, I’m sorry. I, as well as the pageant committee have put in so much time and effort for this event to take place. I personally, have stayed up till hours on end in the early morning, so that this pageant could come together, and be a positive outlet for young woman to represent this community. In my opinion, out of all the negatives that Rio Linda has its name associated with, I thought that I could change people’s views on what Rio Linda is all about. I’ve been born and raised here in this town, and have seen people tear it apart with their petty, negative attitutudes, and gossip. To me, it’s absolutely ridiculous!
    Now, with what took place during the pageant, I take full responsibility on my part. For those who want to judge me, you go ahead and do that! I brought this to the attention of the pageant committee, because I did indeed make a mistake, but I had enough integrity to admit my mistake. I by no means am a pageant coach, mentor etc. I was a PAGEANT ASSISTANT. No where will you find my name, under anything else. If you beg to differ, how can I coach pageants, when I’ve never been in one? And the only thing that was mentoring these girls was their morals. By no means does that remove myself from doing wrong, but it does not give Taylor Barrett a reason to justify what she did either. She had the option to say another answer, and if she did have one, which I believe she is now saying she did. Why didn’t she just say it? Taylor went into panic mode during the on stage question portion of the competition, started backing away stating several times “I do not know the answer”, upon witnessing Taylors fear and pleading look, I felt sorry for Taylor and thought she was going to faint, I became panicked and whispered Freedom of Speech. Taylor then calmed down and stated “my Constitutional Organization is Freedom of Speech”. She panicked plain and simple. I helped her because in that moment, that is the first thing I felt I had to do. Not to help her win, not to help her lose. I did it to give her a lifeline, and it just happened to be at the wrong time.
    Some people think that Taylor shouldn’t have consequences, But that decision is not up to you, me or Taylor to decide. That is up to the Pageant Committee. They are taking actions on what they believe is the right thing to do, and one that is fair to all the contestants.
    Example; if a teacher gave the whole class a test and my neighbor didn’t know the answers, so I handed my test to them to copy. Would it be right to let her retake the test? Or would it be right to give everyone an “F” on the test? Or would it be right to give both of us an “F” and we suffer the consequences?
    Anyone that thinks that I’m not owning responsibility for my actions, let me tell you.. You’re wrong! I’ve lost my privileges with participating in any event that has to do with the pageant. I have lost my title of being a Pageant Assistant. All the hard work I put into this pageant, went down the drain. So for those who say I haven’t suffered consequences, why don’t you tell me what I need to do then? I have put my name on the chopping block, because morally, I made a mistake which I’m trying to fix.
    I guess everyone that’s posted below, and you know who you are, think that my grandmother should have just left this alone. WELL SHAME ON YOU! She had enough integrity to do what was right, by bringing this to the attention of the committee, and staying fair to the contestants, and to Taylor. What would you all have said if Mary Harris had just left this alone? If you say yes, I would question your integrety. Taylor had an unfair advantage, Point blank and if she did win based on that question it was unfair to the other contestant. I don’t regret speaking out to the committee, because morally I think I’m doing what is right. I made a mistake, no doubt, but I’m trying to correct this. I’m only 18 years old, I’m still growing and maturing and trying to find my way in this world.
    Now with all that being said, the contestants left in this pageant need some support from their community. With all this negativity going around, they are still holding their heads high, and want to show everyone that there is some good left in this town. Time will tell.

    • Samantha:
      For what it is worth, if you ever need a job as a spokesperson, public relations officer or even an IT person let me know. I could probably find an appropriate position worthy of your high moral standards and talents (if you don’t mind working side by side with a “Hoosier”). John P. Anderson – JLECEILLC

      • I agree… Samantha, your awesome for stepping up to the plate and owning your “mistake”, which was just having a kind heart. And Mary stepped up knowing that this would create a problem for you, but she did what was right.

    • From my understanding this is not the only reason given for the injustice of the pagent.

      • informed decisions are based on researching all avenues. So since you know the facts how about letting everyone in on them.

    • If You were trying to do the right thing why didnt you stop the pageant and tell the judges right then and there that you gave Taylor the answer but noooo you let it go on and did nothing!

  • I am curious if this pageant was sanctioned under the miss ca America program such as miss Sacramento county? If it was, there are specific rules that must be followed and rules for figuring out issues such as these.

    • No, it was not sanctioned Miss CA America. There was informal input from a representitive. No More, No Less.

      • Thank you. I am good friends with April and was a contestant for the America Program. I also have been a volunteer since aging out, in 2004, so I was just wondering because there are guidelines for all of these problems in the Miss CA rules handbook for local pageants.

  • Does anyone know if this was a Miss America sanctioned pageant? If it was there is a strict rule book. The crown looks similar and Miss Sacramento County is part of Miss America.

    • The Miss Rio Linda Pageant was not sanctioned by Miss America or Miss Sacramento County Pageants.

  • John and Kathy said it best. Whether it’s the demise of the water district or a beauty pageant, Mary Harris seems to be the common denominator in so many local controversies over the years. I don’t believe it’s coincidental. It’s unfortunate that she can’t devote her energy to something that will bring the community together instead of constantly creating drama that tears it apart.

    Good for Taylor for speaking out. Appears as if she’s learned a real lesson regarding freedom of speech. Sadly, she’s also had to learn about injustice and extortion. I hope she can draw on this experience to better herself.

    I feel for both the young ladies involved. Taylor, because I’ve seen what happens to people who incur the wrath of the local bullies. Samantha, because from what she’s written, she sounds intelligent and well intentioned, but lacks a good role model.

    • I would like to know if the pageant emcee or whomever was conducting the question and answer session specifically requested silence from the audience prior to commencing with the questioning.

    • The rules are on the application and the girls signed go to the website and states nothing about anything that the crown was taken

  • If the committee had let Taylor keep her crwon how should the other 6 girls, thier families and supporters feel when they found out Tayor only won becasue Sam gave her the answer? You’d be seeing these types of outcries times 6!

    • If that is the reason she won then why did the crown get stripped for something else? I do believe all the contestants need to know this is not the reason for crown being taken.

    • Why do you think she ONLY won because she was given the answer? Was the score THAT close between the first runner up and the winner? Really an easy solution to this all would be to see exactly how many points the women were apart from one another. If Taylor would still have won, then clearly the question, with a 3-4 word answer, that was given to her, would not be deemed the “winning” answer. I mean there were several other judged sections to this pageant. I have not heard if the scores were released, but in all seriousness, if she would have won anyway, because her scores were far ahead enough for her to win, then there should not be a problem with the other families.

      • The question was only worth 10%; and after winning she was only allowed one day of celebration; she has endured nights of crying herself to sleep.

  • Let’s all look for some truth in black and white. Taylor wrote a letter to the judges explaining what happened. Let’s compare that to what she has stated in her article above….

    Article: “Samantha and people in the audience said ‘Freedom of Speech’”
    Letter to Judges: “She turned her head slightly and whispered to me an answer ‘Freedom of Speech’”.

    Which was is Taylor? Did you get your answer from Sam or someone from the audience?

    Article: “My resolution was for the judges to refigure the results without the question.”
    Letter to the Judges: “In fairness to the other contestants, I could answer another question so I can show you how I can think on my feet, to prove to you I can do it.”

    Again, which is it Taylor? Who are you lying to the community or the judges?

    If you can’t get these simple facts right what else that you have posted is false, half-truths, or outright lies?

    • Nothing you have posted here supports your allegation that Ms. Barrett has lied.
      The inconsistency in her answer with regard to providing a resolution was likely a result of her thinking about it and arriving at what she thought was a better solution after being questioned by the pageant committee.
      This shows maturity, not deception.

      • WRONG! Her article clearly states above that her resolution to the judges was for the judges to refigure the results without the question. That is NOT what her resoltuion to the judges was. The inconsistency in her answer represents intent to spin her story to the public in a light that is more favorable to her.

      • I respectfully disagree with you.

        Nothing in what you’ve cited as being “false, half truths, or outright lies” by Ms. Barrett looks that way to me.

        Inconsistency notwithstanding, what is it about either of Ms. Barrett’s resolutions that suggests deception? As far as “spinning,” I don’t see how the slight difference in answers casts her in either a more or less favorable light. And I think I would be representative of the “public” to whom she is appealing.

        Anyway, seems as if I struck a nerve here, and that certainly wasn’t my intention.

    • @ citizen in the article she states she said the answer of Samantha also she never stated all she put in the letter but she did state that she went to some of the other girls and asked if throwing out the onstage question and some agreed so no she didn’t lie and sham on you citizen if your an adult and using such harsh words like lies to a child

    • I guess we now know who “citizen” is because only a limited few had access to the PRIVATE letter that was to be delivered to the judges…Hmmm and the letter was written from your suggestion for my daughter to do the right thing! and we had 24 hrs to do it.

  • I am so sorry that this pageant has turned into a 100% fiasco. I am so sorry these foolish people not only took Taylor’s crown, but how does it look for the girl who is now receiving the crown? It doesn’t appear as though the girl receiving the crown received it fairly! How will she feel wearing it to public events? She honestly cannot feel good about the controversy awarding the crown to her – she DID NOT win it!

    I am very, very sorry this has all of the aspects of one more thing not properly handled by the pageant committee (not mentioning specific names, but we know who they are) and, instead creating a HUGE, UNNECESSARY controversy over something that should have been a good thing.

    Samantha Harris has played a HUGE role in making the pageant a joke, a disaster and seriously damaging a young woman’s accomplishment which should have been positive. Now, we only have the negative side to view and it appears the beauty contest was very negative in all ways!

    It’s too bad things had to go this way, but perhaps Taylor will have learned some very valuable lessons about people who do not know what they are doing. If she learns to steer clear of people like this, that may be the positive part of the entire pageant!

  • I have read everyone’s comments below and as I see it, here are the issues.

    1. Pageant supporters are claiming that she was not stripped because she repeated an answer that was given to her my the Assistant to the pageant, but rather because her attitude was poor prior to and after being crowned. So what was her title stripped for exactly, the attitude or the on stage question?

    2. Whose fault is it that a contestant gives and answer that she is given by a person on the stage asking the question? Her fault because she responded while nervous and stressed or the pageants fault for not stopping immediately, giving her another question, and asking both the emcee and audience to quiet down?

    I have competed in local pageants sanctioned by Miss America, Miss USA, and Miss International. I have held a 3 titles in the Miss America Program (finishing in the top 10 at Miss CA and winning evening gown, 4 in the Miss International (including Miss Oregon where I then finished 3rd Runner up at Miss International winning the evening gown competition) and two titles in the Miss USA Org. I have volunteered on multiple committees for the Miss America (CA program) as well as the Miss International Program and have judged multiple pageants. I feel like my experience and success in the pageant world lends me a pretty good source of information on this topic.

    In all of my years, I have never seen a woman stripped of her title because she repeated a statement, given to her, during her question on stage. For that same matter, I have never seen an emcee give a woman an answer while answering. Generally a pre-cursor is given to the audience to quiet them.

    I have seen titles be stripped from contestants, but the behavior to do so was so outrageous and egregious that it was the only option. Reasons have included getting married when the title could only be held by a single unmarried woman, taking illegal drugs, failing to show up to appearances, dropping out of the state pageant (which was required to hold the local title), lying about being enrolled in school (sometimes required by certain pageants). I have never seen a title stripped for something like this. Facebook rants certainly were NEVER a cause. In this instance, the committee should have discussed with her what a role model is, how they should behave, and give her a warning based on her “inappropriate” behavior.

    Did Taylor act inappropriately BEFORE she was asked to give back her crown or only after she was told to do so? Something so disappointing could cause a teenager to act out.

    If a woman has been crowned by mistake, there are appropriate ways to handle the situation. I have seen two scenarios. First, if it was a tabulation error, the woman is asked to give her crown back, shown the mistake and everyone moves on, or they award a crown to two women. These are the ONLY two ways I have ever seen it happen by a mistake with the numbers.

    Here we do not have a mistake by the numbers.

    How much was the onstage question worth? Most pageants, it is work less than 10% of the total score. My guess is that the judges liked this woman enough that despite the fact she was not certain how to answer, gave an answer that was given to her, and still judged her with a high enough score to win. Who judged this pageant? Qualified persons? Each contestant also had a personal interview. I assume that this woman performed well in her personal interview, which was NOT seen by all. That is why personal interview is often worth more than onstage question.

    The ONLY appropriate action to have taken place here, was directly following the spoon fed answer, to ask the judges if they would like to hear another answer, or simply state that out of fairness, another question should be selected. Everyone running a pageant knows you always have extra questions in the bowl just in case. The audience should have been asked to be quiet, and Taylor given another question. The emcee should also know that giving women an answer is not appropriate behavior when trying to run a fair pageant.

    If another question was not presented, then the judges should have judged the situation accordingly and if Taylor STILL had the most points, declaring her the rightful winner, then so be it. She wins.

    • Thats to much like right and the judges was the twin river school board member and yes I heard she rocked the interview this girl has done alot of community work that is proven and her talent was a slide show of her journalism she went all out even when they told her her jounalism wasn’t a talent by the people running the pageant.

      • You know I have seen some really different “talents” before. I have seen ice carving, I once say a girl paint a piece of glass; I saw a girl decorate a cake, once saw a girl walk you through how to make cookies. I have seen a girl rollerskate, I have seen a girl explain photography. I have seen more women than I can count read a poem. Who is to say what is and is not a talent. Journalism is a talent. The fact that she created a presentation to show off her talent that was not easily accessible in this type of setting also shows talent. I have always been told when judging a talent, that audience appeal and the desire to want to see more is a great way to start your score. So for a person to suggest one thing over another is not a talent is probably not appropriate because people have talents in many different forms. Not everyone has the ability or “talent” to be a journalist.

    • I like what you said. It was not revealed until later that the answer was given. The answer was only given by one person. I am sure that there is more information that is being held back, if this information was revealed, most would agree with the removal of the crown.

      • A contract is binding and will hold up in a court of law so any judge looking at this case would side with miss Barrett since that wasn’t stated for ground of disqualification and crown be taken.

      • First off you’re all wrong! The question was, if I believe so, was “what constitutional right is the most important to you”. The “right” of freedom of speech is not in the constitution, it is in the amendments known as the Bill of rights. The Bills Of Rights are just a reminder, just in case the federal government becomes too powerful and decides to try and take away our natural God given rights. The United States Constitution explains this and if you read the federalist papers, you can learn the intent of the founders. Then maybe you will realize that all your rights will be stripped from you and that this small town scandal is trivial and how pathetic that most kids are not taught about our Republic, they are told that it is a democracy, this is why you’re our USA is being destroyed before your eyes. (Taylor answered the question wrong anyway, because she said the most important is freedom of speech “organization” what?

  • 1. Samantha made a mistake in prompting Taylor.
    2. Taylor made a mistake in accepting that help.
    3. Neither of these mistakes was with evil intent.
    4. Samantha admitted to her mistake and it was brought forward AFTER the judges had awarded the crown.
    5. The adults involved bungled handling the situation.
    6. Taylor may have spoken about the situation, but that is what FREEDOM OF SPEECH is about.
    7. I believe the JUDGES should have been given the facts as soon as they became known, and decided the best course of action under the circumstances – too late now.

    (I personally believe that what Taylor may have said in addition to repeating the whispered hint should have made a telling difference in how the competition was re-evaluated. I hope that contestants were expected to say more than one sentance (or fragment) in response to this question. If contestants did speak at some length in response to this question, then the judges scored them on what they respectively said, not on the presence or absence of a whispered prompt to get them past stage fright. If the contestants only gave a one line response, then this question was an insignificant part of the competition.)

    8. As is too typically the case in Rio Linda, all the community animosities have been brought out with side issues and un-related issues. The feelings of the young ladies who were on that stage have been pushed aside.

  • Let me ask all of you this,

    Do you condone cheating ?

    Because for one, Taylor is not taking responsibililty at all. She is using Samantha “being a mentor and coach” (which is not true) as an excuse.
    Two! Her stories don’t match ( the letter to the judges, this article)
    Three! She does not think she needs to have any consequences.
    I mean what do you think she is going to do, get a slap on the wrist, for cheating in a competition. Cheating is grounds for removal, and I heard that they were going to move her to first runner up. I mean she should have been disqualified from the get go.
    Four! She is not being completely factual in her article.
    Five, SHE HAD THE OPTION TO SAY ANOTHER ANSWER, BUT INSTEAD SHE REPEATED WHAT SAM SAID. SHE DID IT! and no one in these comments are holding her accountable for that. She copied my answer, and that is cheating!

    Point blank!

    • Common “Sence”:

      If you really believe this is cheating, then, based on your logic, there should be dire consequences for those complicit in the cheating and also for those involved in the subsequent coverup (another form of “cheating”).

      A full investigation should be launched into Pageantgate.

      Everyone involved should suffer consequences. Starting with Mary Harris and Samantha Harris. Both should be kicked off the Centennial Committee immediately. Since this is not Mary Harris’s first offense, additional sanctions — such as never being allowed to participate in any community events ever again — should be imposed.

      See how ridiculous it is to kill an ant with an atom bomb?

    • @ Samantha throughout the hole pageant you were the one who coach ed them on how to conduct yourself and how to answer questions so I don’t call that cheating and why were u the emcee for that portion instead of the other emcee which was the principal of Rio linda.

  • Just out of curiosity, I wonder how much liability insurance the Pageant supervisors were carrying? It would have been good, common sense to have a liability policy on the pageant! They may even need it now that they have publicly embarrassed Taylor in this big event in her life!

  • Has Mary Harris turned the pageant money over to the Rio Linda Historical Society yet? Mary had several thousand dollars she was clenching in her tight little fists and not turning the mIf Ioney over as she should.

    Mary Harris was advised quite some time ago that IF the pageant claimed to be part and NOT separate from the Rio Linda Historical Society, then the money needed to be banked by the 501 (c) 3 organization.

    If one takes a look at the RLHS website, they will see the pageant was clearly specifying that the pageant was being put on by the Rio Linda Centennial Committee and the Rio Linda/Elverta Historical Society.

    Tsk Tsk, Mary, where is the money?

      : (

      I now hav a current accounting of Centennial money and Mary Harris has turned in all funds properly. There are no questions about pageant funds. Sorry, Mary, I thought my info was up-to-date!!

  • Taylor I am so sorry for what has happened. I don’t think at this point however pointing fingers and speaking ill of others is really going to be productive. Mistakes were made and hearts were broken. But lets not make it worse by slandering others or giving them anything to hold over our heads at a later date. Words, once spoken, cannot be taken back! Tread lightly everyone!

  • I told everyone on here once, and I’ll repeat it once again.
    I didn’t write this for people to argue or put the blame on this person or that person. WE ALL HAVE BLAME, INCLUDING ME. Please stop arguing.. It’s not making anyone’s day brighter. people agree with Samantha, Yay! people agree with me, Yay! it doesn’t matter how many bad words you type the results won’t change. just saying.

    • Then take this down if you really dont want people to argue over this! A mature person wouldnt have even posted this, so think about that the next time you decide to post something without the whole story on here!!!

      • Just to be clear, Taylor didn’t post this here. It was sent to me by someone (who is not Taylor). With Mary Harris involved in yet another scandal, and the water district elections coming up this year, I thought it was important that the situation receive a broader audience.

        There’s a lot of questions that have yet to be answered about rules, responsibility, and money. I believe this helps us gain some transparency on this event that, as far as I can see, had none at all.

      • Thank you John. I wanted the community to know what was taking place behind closed doors. There are still some other things that have happened that I havent posted. People of Rio Linda should know that out of this great town there are a few that think that they can or do run the show. And will always tarnish it.

      • John and Emma,

        Thank you both so much.

        I am still hoping for a better resolution — a compromise that will satisfy all involved parties.

        Errors in judgment were made by those in in charge. They need to admit they erred and work with everyone involved to reach a better solution. Good resolutions have been suggested here, and I’m sure there are other possible resolutions if the people in charge would only be willing to listen.

        It’s not too late to fix this. It’s never too late to make amends. It’s also a great opportunity to serve as positive role models for our children.

      • What do you think? What is a good way to solve it? For what I know, the answer to the question was given and that made the differance in winning. If the answer was not given to her, then she would have not have answered. The crown should go to the winner, but that means the crown has to be pulled from Taylor, otherwise it would not be right for the true winner. I can’t think of any other solution. Maybe tell me if there is, I would like to know.

      • To whom it may concern:


        1.Not real or true, being imaginary or having been fabricated.
        2.Of, relating to, or denoting the imaginary characters and events found in fiction.

        I used this name to mask my own.

  • Hey, I just want everyone to know that I owe Mary Harris an apology for questioning her, about where the Pageant funds are, on March 19th. I was working with very dated material. I received an updated report the day after I asked where the funds were. It appears as though every dime has been properly accounted.

  • I realize I am jumping in here extremely LATE in the game, but I just now discovered this website…almost by accident.
    I cannot comment too much on the actual pageant because like “True Riolindian” I never saw this pageant advertised and didn’t know about it until now.
    After reading Taylor’s account and all of the ensuing comments, I just have one observation to make…why was this pageant officiated by anyone in Rio Linda?
    I am not a beauty pageant expert by any means, but I would think you would want to hire a “non-interested” party to be the actual “officiant”, and by “non-interested” I mean someone who doesn’t have any kind of stake in the game.
    I do not know Mary or Samantha Harris, though I have heard of Mary, obviously because of her political activities (and because I live in Rio Linda). It just doesn’t make sense to me that a pageant or contest of this type would be run that way.
    It is bound to be fraught with problems under these circumstances. I feel very sorry for the all of the girls who were involved in this, as it appears as if it may have been poorly planned and executed, especially concerning the details of the questioning and judging.
    Maybe I do not have the right to say that, considering I did not attend, but I am just basing this on all of the above.
    I hate to think that Rio Linda cannot have a fun event like this in the future, but I would hope that if it does go forward that another system will be put in place to prevent something like this happening in the future.
    I don’t think anyone should be attacking the young lady (Taylor) for bringing this out though. She was probably just as confused as everyone else involved in this pageant and even is she was almost 18, she still was not the one in charge and if there was any doubt about whether she followed the game rules, it should have been figured out BEFORE they crowned her…not after. I realize that sometimes information can come out later that would make her ineligible, but in this case, the incident in question was something that happened right there at the pageant, in front of everyone to see! So, it just seems wrong that they went ahead and crowned her and then at some later point decided that maybe they shouldn’t have.
    I don’t know…maybe I am way off on this, but It just seems pretty messed up!

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