It was an unlikely group of activists that gathered on the edge of the Mountain View Apartment parking lot. Few of the group were younger than 60 years old and canes, walkers and even a wheelchair were clearly necessary modes of transportation.
Yet that did not stop the passion of the group that numbered over 20 people at times. According to members of the group, they had perceived an unfairness and they wanted something to be done about it. What was happening was that the manager of the Mountain View apartment complex, Mary Olguin was in the process of losing her job in the office of apartment complex at 800 W. Hancock Ave. According to Olguin she was fired because the management of the apartment complex, Monarch Properties of Albuquerque had determined that the percentage of occupancy at the complex was too low.
Of the 40 residences available 32 are currently occupied.
“I don’t know what to say. I am in shock,” said Olguin about her firing. “I have done my best to make this as nice a place as possible for the people who live here. I do whatever I can to help the elderly and the handicapped here.” The majority of the residents of Mountain View are either elderly or handicapped or both. Residents echo Olguin statement about how she had tried to help the residents whenever possible. “She’s made this a nice place, a quiet place, a place you can feel safe,” said Mountain View Apartment resident Sharon Cox who has lived in the complex since August of 2003. “She has made this a wonderful place. I don’t see any reason for this to happen.”
Cox said if the decision to fire Olguin stands she would be looking for another place to live because she is worried that it would revert to the problems that existed before Olguin took over. Another resident of Mountain View, Ollie Nadeau said she too could not understand the decision by management of Albuquerque firm that owns Mountain View Apartments. She said that since she moved into Mountain View there have been four different managers at the apartment complex and the three who preceded Olguin turned a blind eye to such things as drugs and alcohol being abused on the premises. “Since she’s been in charge, I feel safe,” said Nadeau. “Since she’s been here we’re neighbors. We take care of each other.”
Leroy Olguin, Mary Olguin’s husband has worked as the apartment complex’s maintenance supervisor said he too will be leaving with his wife even though he is not being fired. but he feels that the treatment of his wife was unforgivable. The representative of Monarch Properties who fired Olguin refused to give her name and said that she had nothing more to say on the subject of letting Olguin go other than her firm had the right to fire her as manager.
“This is a right to work state. That’s all I have to say.”
Former Quay County Manager and current candidate for the Tucumcari City Commission Paula Chacon appealed to the representative of Monarch Properties on behalf of the Olguins but said she found no middle ground available.