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Get to Know a Public Official: Recreation and Park District Administrator Maureen Zamarripa

The Fair Oaks Recreation and Park District Administrator believes she is helping to build a community with the community.

Maureen Zamarripa is the district administrator responsible for operations within the . She, along with superintendents, Katy Albers in recreation and Robert Matthews in parks and facilities operate a team of coordinators for the maintenance and promotion of Fair Oaks parks programs and (you guessed it) recreational activities.

"It's important to me and important to our board that we provide the absolute best product that we can," Zamarripa said. "I want people to feel there is a good investment of their tax dollars in the things we do for them."

Zamarripa is a California State University, Sacramento alum, holding a bachelor of science degree in public administration and a masters in public policy and administration. Before she applied for the district administrator position, Zamarripa worked in Sacramento County's landscape and municipal financing services, most notably in sanitation and sewage.

The administrator believes the district's board made the decision to hire her based in part on her management skills.

As her four-year anniversary (it's August 2012) as the Fair Oaks Recreation and Park District Administrator, Zamarripa talks about her accomplishments, challenges and what she sees in store for the district's future:

Fair Oaks Patch: Why do you think the board decided you were best fit to be the district's administrator?

Zamarripa: They brought me in to help develop staff and to help bring the district forward. The board had made an operational adjustment of where they thought they were and the areas they thought they wanted to address as they worked forward and that's where we started.

FOP: Can you talk about some of the tasks you'd like the district to accomplish?

MZ: I think one of the high priorities for the board is finding a way to implement the master plan that we just finished for the Village and Plaza Park. That would be a huge, huge thing and not just an accomplishment for me, but such a great thing for Fair Oaks.

FOP: What are some of the challenges the district faces in fullfilling that master plan?

MZ: We, like every other public agency, I would guess, have limited resources, so we do the best we can with what we have. So we end up doing it in phases, likely. It is a large amount of money, but one of the things I find gratifying, people in Fair Oaks don't want you to start from scratch; they don't to just overhaul the whole thing and many of the traditions that exist here. It's a question of phasing and choices and you do the best with what you have.

FOP: Why was it important for you to be the district's administrator?

MZ: The things the board wanted to work on were things I knew how to work on and had a good skill set for. Developing staff and looking at ways to improve the services that we provide, I think what I found was Fair Oaks is a pretty unique place and the nice people who live here, the interested people who live here - it was an opportunity to help build a community with them, not for them, but with them. The fact we're doing it with them, I think, is what makes all the difference.

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How's the district doing in your opinion? What topics would you like it to address? Are there questions you have for Zamarripa? Post your thoughts below.

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