Strong words, no action at scrapbook meeting

TIJERAS, NM (KRQE) – The war of words that has divided the Village of Tijeras continued Monday, but remains unresolved.

It all surrounds a pair of scrapbooks and the village’s senior center.

Earlier this year, Floy Watson and Doris Lark were banned from the senior center and criminally charged, accused of stealing scrapbooks.

Lark, who passed away in April, maintained the materials used to create the scrapbooks were hers and the only reason she took them home was to keep them from being stolen.

A judge dismissed the charges against the pair last month, but Watson is still banned from the senior center.

The village council now has the choice of whether to withdraw the ban or press charges once again.

“I cannot help but wonder if the mayor’s time would be better spent conducting village business rather than carry on this childish vendetta,” Watson said at the meeting.

Other supporters of Watson’s who spoke at the meeting accused Mayor Gloria Chavez of orchestrating the whole situation because Watson and Lark disagreed with her. But Chavez had supporters of her own, one of whom told the council to “put on their big boy pants” and continue pursuing the issue until Watson gave the scrapbooks or pictures back.

“They continue to hold these pictures as hostages to get what they want,” said Jimmy Chavez, the mayor’s husband.

The senior center’s manager Rita Rivera went a step further, saying Watson’s ban should stay in place so the elderly woman doesn’t run off with something else.

“If [Watson] does get to come back I just don’t want to have to search her bags because there is a lot of stuff that’s missing from the arts and crafts,” Rivera said, a remark that drew a shocked response from Watson and her supporters.

But after all the heated rhetoric, there was nothing to show for it. Councilors didn’t vote one way or the other and pushed the issue back two weeks. Watson’s attorney expressed frustration with the delay.

Tijeras fire chief Dave Bezy may have summed the situation up best.

“This should’ve been worked out in the room… just been done,” Bezy said. “This is silly.”

KRQE News 13 asked the mayor and several village councilors for an interview following the meeting but was turned down.

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