Fiesta Council Vote Tied: “La Reina’s” Status In Limbo


Fiesta Council Vote Tied: “La Reina’s” Status In Limbo

ESPANOLA – In a surprise tie vote, the Espanola Fiesta Council failed to make a decision on the fate of Angelina Vigil, the current La Reina de Española. The Espanola Fiesta Council  met in a special meeting Friday evening to discuss and vote on the status of the 2015 La Reina de Española but an unreadable ballot led to a surprise 11-11 tie vote. A special executive session of the Fiesta Council Executive Board has been scheduled for Saturday at 8 p.m. to attempt to resolve the situation.  The Executive Board may take another vote or opt to forward the decision to the City Council which meets Tuesday.

This unusual story began Tuesday evening when, as previously reported HERE, The Vigil home was burglarized. The thieves stole several items including the Fiesta crown and scepter. According to police reports the home was ransacked, in particular Vigil’s bedroom.

The crown and scepter were recovered Thursday (see story HERE) but that burglary triggered a series of other events. On Wednesday Vigil purportedly made some comments on Facebook venting anger at those who robbed her home, and also some harsh statements that included profanity that were critical of the community. Several community members who viewed the comments were offended, triggering a social media backlash.

Vigil removed her original comments Wednesday and apologized but the damage appeared to be done. On Thursday morning the Fiesta Council called a meeting to discuss the status of Vigil as the 2015 La Reina de Española. Many felt her statements reflected poorly on the community and damaged her ability to serve as the Reina.

At the Friday meeting the Fiesta Council Executive Board and regular Board members reviewing the bylaws of the Fiesta Council and the pledge all members of the Fiesta Council sign when they join.

Board President Bernadette Jaramillo then said that if the Reina is removed that she would like the Board to not appoint a replacement but leave the spot vacant this year.

Angelina Vigil was then given the opportunity to address the Fiesta Council. Fighting tears the entire time, Vigil read a prepared statement in which she apologized for inappropriate comments she made on Facebook following the break-in at her home, and ask the community and Fiesta Council for forgiveness and the opportunity to continue to serve as the Reina. Vigil said she has spent the last few days in prayer and meditation and wishes to forgive the people who broke into her home, the people who attacked her on social media and those whose actions over the last few days hurt her.

Members of the public were also given 30 seconds each to address the council members. Several friends and former teachers stood up and spoke on Vigil’s behalf, while one person stroke in favor of removing her from the position.

The Fiesta Council then conducted a vote using secret ballots on the motion of whether they approved keeping Vigil in the position of Reina or removing her. One ballot was decided to be unreadable because both the YES and NO options were filled in.

In cases such as this, the Fiesta Council rules allow Executive Board to meet in executive session to decide a course of action. The Board then adjourned and City Clerk Anna Squires posted notices that a special executive board meeting will be held Saturday at 8:00 at the Beatrice Martinez Senior Center.