top of page

William Mercado

Updated: Oct 3, 2021

What drew you to the Fair Oaks community?

I came here 26 years ago when I left Southern California for a job in Sacramento and was looking for a community like ours to call home. Fair Oaks Village reminded me of the small-town community in Puerto Rico from my childhood. My partner Charles Miller and I bought a home in Fair Oaks and became an integral part of Village life. I joined the FOVEC board in 2017, and Charles served on the boards of the Fair Oaks Foundation for Leisure and Art and the Fair Oaks Chamber. For years Charles was responsible for the parade portion of the Fair Oaks Village’s “Christmas in the Village” event and the two of us decorated Santa’s sleigh, while Charles’s parents volunteered as Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.

What would you say are your significant accomplishments as president?

FOVEC was up and running for ten years when I joined the board in 2017. By then, the board was ready for someone with my technology and organizational development experience to lead us to the next level. I was elected President of FOVEC in 2018.

One of the first projects I tackled as president was to build a new website after learning the old one was hijacked and converted to the Chinese language. Rather than repair the old website, I recognized it was a good time to look around at what similar communities were doing with their websites and develop a website that would better serve us. This year's website is even more dynamic and interactive and tracks visitors to our pages to help us learn more about people interested in the Village.

I also realized that according to the by-laws, chairs are supposed to submit reports, but no one had done it before me, so I began providing end-of-year reports to the committee where a summary of our goals, decisions, and accomplishment for the past year were captured. This helped us gain perspective on the accomplishments for the year and challenges moving forward. We also updated the by-laws to make it easier for members to get involved.

FOVEC’s vision document is an exciting list of well, thought-out potential projects, but they require money, and the Village cannot rely solely on Sacramento County for funding. We needed to have money to leverage investments by other funders. I knew the committee should host a fundraiser each year that FOVEC would be known for, and we settled on a barbeque. We held the first one in 2018 in the side and rear of the building for Dave Hill’s hardware store. This year’s barbeque is June 5th, but we are waiting to see how the County opens up to decide how to move forward.

Members wanted to grow FOVEC’s numbers, but I felt inviting potential members to business meetings was not the right way to introduce them. There were also members whose names were on the membership list, but they didn’t know each other. We wanted to get people interested and involved but needed a new approach. That’s when I came up with the idea of a social to connect with members and guests. The social was also a way to get the word out about what we’re doing. The first social was in 2019. We skipped 2020 and held a very successful social just a few weeks ago in April 2021.

While we had email lists when I began, we could not tell which names on the lists were members and which were not. We needed a simple way to determine who was a member. Our solution was to amend the by-laws to include a mechanism to identify members by requiring a nominal membership fee. When we decided $2.00 a month was fair, we made it a $24.00 annual fee.

What do you hope for Fair Oaks Village in the next five years?

I hope to see a trend towards a very pedestrian-focused community. One where commercial property owners regularly enhance and beautify their properties, alongside a successful and diverse merchant association that regularly collaborates with local nonprofits. Finally, nonprofit organizations looking after local needs that aren’t taken care of by the government. For a pedestrian-focused community, we need sidewalks that are ADA compliant, proper lighting, slower traffic, wide promenades, solutions to homelessness, and innovative solutions to the lack of parking for starters.

Thank you, William Mercado

This June, Mercado steps down as FOVEC’s president after three and a half years of service and feels it is essential we make a smooth, well-planned transition. If the change resembles the clarity and progress of the past years, he leaves FOVEC in good hands, and we are grateful.

208 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page