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Serving Her City: New Folsom Vice Mayor talks life in Folsom

By: Rachel Zirin, Senior Reporter
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Fun Facts:

Favorite food: Italian

Favorite vacation spot: Sunriver, Oregon

Favorite holiday: Fourth of July

Favorite book: The Pride and Prejudice

Favorite color: Navy blue

Influencer: Her parents, Maggie and Dave Cox

 

Folsom’s newest Vice Mayor Sarah Aquino is excited about the next four years of her term and is ready to get to work. The Telegraph sat down with Aquino to get to know her a little better.

A 15-year Folsom resident, politics somewhat run in Aquino’s family, as her late father, Dave Cox, served in elected office in California for 22 years, including the SMUD Board, Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, the Assembly and Senate.

When asked if her father’s political history influenced her in any way, she said yes.

“I think my dad was a really good example of what an elected official should be,” she said. “Ever since I was a kid, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have told you the President of the United States.”

Aquino, 46, recently finished a four-year term on the Folsom Cordova Unified School District Board, right before taking her seat at the City Council’s dais.

During her election campaign, one thing Aquino wanted to implement was a handbook each council member would serve by.

“I have been emailing with the city manager about this, and I did find the city adopted a code of ethics and conduct in 2006,” she said. “I think it might be good to make some adjustments, especially since social media has changed a lot since 2006. I don’t think we need to reinvent the wheel; if the city has something; let’s use that as a starting point.”

So far, Aquino has a few things she hopes to accomplish during her term, which includes making sure development south of Highway 50 is built the way residents intended and making sure Folsom stays fiscally sound.

Currently, Aquino sits on three boards: Association of California Cities Allied with Public Safety, which is for cities with prisons; Folsom Retirement Board Authority, which is for retiree benefits for city employees; and Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo).

Aquino said since being elected, she has enjoyed getting to know the City of Folsom departments better.

“I had a tour of the Public Works Department and got to see the screen where they are monitoring 30 traffic signals right now. That was neat to see,” she said. “I spent about five hours with Fire Station 35. We only got two calls, and both were false alarms. It was interesting to see how they operate and how quickly they get on scene.”
Aquino said she also received a tour of the Folsom Corporation Yard to see the current operations happening.

“I went to see the property as well, for if and when the Corporation Yard does move south of White Rock Road, what would be some possible uses for that land,” she said.

When asked what she is looking forward to most, Aquino said understanding how the city works and helping influence policy. She said she is currently working on getting up to speed on the regional committees she is sitting on and has enjoyed the process of learning more.

Aside from serving as Folsom’s newest vice mayor, Aquino has been a life and health insurance broker for her parent’s company, helping individuals and groups of all sizes get health insurance.

In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, reading, playing tennis, planning parties and spending time with her family. Aquino has been married to her husband, John, for nearly 20 years, and together they have two children, Ellie and Andrew, who both attend Vista del Lago High School. The Aquino family has a 2-year-old Labradoodle named Theo.

Aquino said while there are many things she enjoys about Folsom, one is all of the recreation available.

“I grew up rowing on Lake Natoma, and I would love to see a boathouse at this end of the lake,” she said. “I love to come shopping, have lunch and dinner on Sutter Street; I love the schools; and honestly, I don’t have to leave Folsom very much.”

Something unique about Aquino is she can say the alphabet backwards.

“I can say the alphabet backwards very quickly. When my sister was in the fourth grade, her teacher taught them how to do it, and my sister taught me,” she said. “It’s helpful when you’re driving downtown and you’re going from Z to B, and you’re trying to figure out how many streets until you have to turn. It’s helpful.”

Something special is Aquino’s father loved Hop Sing on Sutter Street and ate there regularly, so it is always a reminder when she comes down to the Historic District. Aquino’s favorite shops include Not Too Shabby, Snook’s Candies, Karen’s Bakery and Café, and Manderes.