Special to RioLindaOnline.com
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!
They don’t want me to tell the town.