Spotlight on Mike Aho, Member of Fair Oaks Village Enhancement Committee and Director of Fair Oaks Parks and Rec
We're pleased to introduce Mike Aho, Director of the Fair Oaks Recreation & Park District, in our Business Spotlight Series.
We're spotlighting various merchants in the Fair Oaks Village, as well as individuals who support what FOVEC does, all while giving you a little insight into our history and what we do for the Village. We encourage you to share these local stories and visit with merchants to get to know them firsthand.
We connected with Mike Aho to learn more about his work with FOVEC and the Fairs Oaks Recreation and Park District.
Where did you live before moving to the Village?
I lived in Eagle, Idaho which, like Fair Oaks Village, is a small community with a well-defined Village Center (I lived right behind the park that was in the middle of the Village).
Having experienced the connections that I made with the businesses in that area, I purposefully looked for a similar living arrangement in Fair Oaks.
What in particular attracted you to the Village? Why did you choose to be here?
After living in the middle of the Village in Eagle, I wanted that same experience here in Fair Oaks.
Here in Fair Oaks, I especially enjoy being able to sit on my porch and see the activities and events going on in the Village. I like that I can walk to the festivities and still be able to get home for a snack or just to relax.
I love being able to walk to work, the Brew Pub, and to the other restaurants in the Village. I have also gotten to know many of the business owners and I feel like I am part of the overall Village vibe.
I chose to work in Fair Oaks because of all of the great staff, beautiful parks, and the amazing programs that the District offers.
As a resident of the Village, what made you become a FOVEC member?
I felt like my involvement could help with future planning. Local advisory groups like FOVEC provide the County Government a more detailed view for the future direction of the Village.
How does the Parks and Rec district fit in with the FOVEC vision?
Fair Oaks Recreation and Park District is the single largest property owner in the Village. Village Park, Plaza Park, The Community Clubhouse, Administration Office, and The Old Library are all publicly owned facilities.
As the largest property holder, I believe it is critical that we as a Parks and Recreation District have a seat at the table. Any change we make to any of the facilities and any changes made to the Village directly effect each other.
As the Director of Parks and Rec, what is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the job is knowing that each and every day the work we do is making a difference in our community and providing healthy recreational opportunities to the public.
As far as actual tasks that I find most enjoyable, I like creating the financial plans for future development and operations.
How would you describe the Parks and Rec District to a friend?
Our job as Parks and Recreation professionals is actually very easy to define:
We provide opportunities for people to play.
Play should not be taken lightly since it is one of the most important parts of a happy and healthy life.
I have a quote above my desk from The Education of Man written by Fredrick Froebel in 1887:
Play is the purest, most spiritual activity of man....It gives therefore joy, freedom, contentment, inner and outer rest, peace with the world. It holds the source of all that is good.
What's something you wish people knew about the Parks and Rec District?
I wish people knew that their voice and ideas are incredibly important and help guide us into the future.
The Fair Oaks Recreation and Park District belongs to THEM. If they want new programs and services, it is our job to try and make that happen.
What is a common question you get?
What do you do?
As the District Administrator, it is a hard question to answer, but I see my main role as being able to look toward the future and provide a vision and a path to get there.
What's the biggest compliment the Parks and Rec District has received?
The biggest compliment we have received was this last November when Measure J was approved by 68.94% by Fair Oaks voters.
Measure J is a General Obligation Bond for $26.9 million dollars that will help fund desperately needed improvements to Village Park, Plaza Park, and The Community Clubhouse as well as build new sports fields at Phoenix Park all while improving the parking and building a new recreation center for all ages.
Are you involved with or do you support any local nonprofits, community organizations or causes?
I volunteer my time for Sacramento CASA, a program for youth that are in the foster care system.
I've also supported the Sacramento Valley Conservancy.
Are you a member of the chamber or any other networking organizations?
I am a member of Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce.
Does the Parks and Rec District have any upcoming events that people should know about?
On Friday, January 25 from 6-9pm there will be a Silent Movie Night with live theatre organ accompaniment in The Community Clubhouse.
On Friday, February 1 & Saturday, February 2 from 6:30-8:30 pm there will be a Father Daughter Dance at The Community Clubhouse.
On Saturday, April 20 from 9am to 1pm we have our Easter Eggstravaganza at Fair Oaks Park.
Event information can be found on our web site.