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American River Messenger

44th Fair Oaks Honorary Mayor Race Underway

Jul 12, 2022 12:00AM ● By By Judy Andrews, Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce

Fair Oaks 44th Honorary Mayors candidates are (left to right) Wesley Collins, Dr. Elizabeth "Betty" Swan, and Jen Rodriguez. Photo provided by Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce

FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - Who will become the new 2023 Honorary Mayor of Fair Oaks? The race for this coveted (non-political) title is just getting started. This year there are three candidates in the running!

The Fair Oaks Honorary Mayor campaign was initially created in the late 1970s as a means to help raise money for the Fair Oaks community. The first Honorary Mayor, Bill Withrow, was elected in 1979. Since then, past Honorary Mayors have raised more than $473,000!

How it Works

Candidates in the running select a local charity of their choice. Each dollar they raise for the charity counts as one vote. Simply, the candidate who brings in the most money at the end of the campaign wins. Proceeds raised from each individual are split 50/50 between their charity and the Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce.  

The current Fair Oaks Honorary Mayor is long-time local resident Penny Howard who recently celebrated her 100th birthday. Penny was also the Fair Oaks Honorary Mayor in 2006 and has earned numerous awards and accolades over the years for her on-going involvement with the Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce.

Meet the Candidates

Wesley Collins is new to the chamber and works at Essex Mortgage. At 19-years old, he’s also one of the youngest candidates to run for Honorary Mayor. Wesley is raising money for two charities – the chamber’s Fair Oaks Youth Outreach (FOYO), a group of young and bright adults who live or attend school in the Fair Oaks community; and the Orangevale-Fair Oaks Food Bank.

Jen Rodriguez is also a new member and the owner of Skinned & Lashed facial spa in Fair Oaks. Jen is raising money for the Fair Oaks Recreation and Park District’s Fair Oaks Youth Advisory Board (FOYAB), a youth-oriented program that promotes leadership skills and provides programs and events that benefit the community.

Dr. Elizabeth “Betty” Swan is a long-time chamber member and owner of Swan Family Optometry in Fair Oaks. In 2006 she was awarded Business of the Year by the chamber. Betty is an on-going corporate sponsor of the chamber’s Concerts in the Park series. Her charity of choice is the Orangevale-Fair Oaks Food Bank.

The campaign ends on Sept. 30 and the winner will be announced and crowned at a gala event held at North Ridge Country Club on Oct. 13.

Good luck to all three!

To learn more about the chamber’s programs and upcoming events, please visit

See you in Fair Oaks!