Becky Parraz-Mondragon: A Lifetime of Memories Retires!

By: Bill Whaley
6 December, 2018

On Friday at 12 noon, Taos County will hold what promises to be a memorable retirement party for Becky Parraz-Mondragon. No doubt the elected and unelected serve up a lifetime of testimonials about Taos County’s first female county commissioner. The sister of Taos County’s last patron, Francisco “El Skitte” Trujillo, Ms. Parraz back then (1999—2000) steered her two rambunctious colleagues Virgil “I Feel Sorry For Taos County” Martinez, the man from Cerro and the “Chairmun,” Manuel “Pablito Red” Trujillo of Ranchos through the stations of the cross at Taos County Government, leaving the 19th century behind while bumping into the 20th and 21st Century in only two short years.

Activists like Arthur Yellen (Dark Skies and Clean Government), the Brujas (Fabi, Butchie, Trudy), speed bump/garbage fee resistor Neal Thielke, as well as the “Horse Fly—Healy” machine all engaged with elected and appointed officials then, like “Lifetime,” Pablito Red, the Man from Cerro, Lovely Lorraine, Sheriff Charlie, Slash Morrison, Robert “Jerry Garcia Pineda, Darlene “The incredible Shrinking Woman” Vigil, and who can forget calendar girl, Jeanna Elam.

Those were the days of “High Times” and “Misdemeanors” as Taos County emerged from the politics of patronage to the politics of Chaos, which birth pangs ultimately bore the progeny of paradigmatic good government.

From laughing stock Taos County transformed itself into a model of alert and progressive government, especially in contrast to the deep dive diktats at the “top-down” and alienating Town of Taos. The transformation from a forward-looking entity to a cover up Fascist culture at the local Coop, in comparison to Taos County, does not deserve mention.

Becky sacrificed her political career to the forces of modernism. As one of three commissioners, she voted to expand the commission to five members, the single most influential element in transforming the county from irresponsible to responsible government. In the process, a wider more mixed constituency meant she lost her next race. But she continued to work for the county after her defeat, most notably in the Planning Department, where her sharp wit and sharper tongue kept citizens and journalists alert.

Here’s to Becky, who saw the best and worst of Taos County: a Legend occurs once in a Lifetime.