Don Nottoli Imparts his Last Thoughts as SupervisorNov 22, 2022 12:00AM ● By By Patrick Larenas
In the image (left to right): Rebecca Sloan, Chief of Staff for Supervisor Don Nottoli; Diann Rogers, President and CEO for Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce; Chris Clark, FCUSD Board of Education; Supervisor Don Nottoli; Amy Hiramoto (front), Cordova Community Council; City Manager Cyrus Abhar; Vice Mayor Linda Budge; former Mayor Robert J. McGarvey; Shelly Blanchard, Cordova Community Council executive director; and Ross Johnson, Cordova Community Council. Photo by Rick Sloan
RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) – Now that the election is over, Supervisor Don Nottoli is living his remaining days in office “reminiscing and reveling” on his long service and experience with the community in Sacramento County’s District 5. The Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce scheduled the retiring supervisor for the November 18 luncheon to show the community’s gratitude and allow him some parting thoughts.
“It’s the end of an era – the Nottoli era,” said Shelly Blanchard, Cordova Community Council executive director, as she presented Supervisor Don Nottoli.
Blanchard was referring to his 28 years of representing the 650-sq-mile area containing the cities of Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove, Galt, Isleton and the rural/agricultural areas of District 5.
Supervisor Nottoli’s years of public service spanned from 1995 to 2022, plus the 1979-1994 period in which Nottoli was chief of staff to his predecessor, District 5 Supervisor Toby Johnson, who passed away in 1994. Nottoli spoke highly of him, crediting Johnson with being “a patient teacher and mentor.”
“When I arrived in the Sacramento region, Folsom Boulevard was still the main thoroughfare between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe and many of the main drives were non-existent,” retold the Supervisor, a native of Galt.
Nottoli reminded many of the older community members present that when he took office one of the prevalent, local concerns in the mid-90s was the predicament of military bases being shuttered in Sacramento County, including the Air Force Base in Mather in 1993.
Supervisor Nottoli said, “Three major military installations were going away: Mather, Army Depot and McClellan.”
Nottoli remembered meeting in those years with 600-700 people who were actively assigned to seeing the economic development of the areas affected by these former military facilities.
“My compliments to Rancho Cordova for the work that was done… as Mather would become an example of what can be done with a former military base in converting it to civilian use,” Nottoli said.
“Today, Mather stands as a shining example of former military bases… and Mather Community Campus has now been recognized nationally for its achievement… We have made good use of these facilities.”
The period of political activity Nottoli spoke about (1979-2022) straddled both unincorporated and incorporated phases of Rancho Cordova as it grew and gained its cityhood.
He praised Rancho Cordova’s efforts towards cityhood, which he witnessed first-hand during his terms.
He recognized the years and years of attempts and efforts that were poured into the struggle with Sacramento County so that the local community could control its destiny.
“And in 2002 you did it!” said Nottoli.
“But what you have done since then is really remarkable. You’ve seen this community council flourish, the chamber of commerce, your civic organizations, schools and parks… your faith communities.”
He eulogized Rancho Cordova in how the community it serves has “blossomed and flourished,” and he also praised as “unique” the unity evident in “communities of faith, education, civic leaders and the work of the Cordova Community Council.”
Nottoli turned to homelessness in Sacramento County to impart some thoughts on “the issue that dominates conversation the most.”
“We are moving on the homeless front,” said the supervisor, “A lot of money is being devoted to this problem… [but] it’s not easy to have thousands of people unhoused. In a lot of cases, we have enough funds, but we don’t have the housing… We also have tremendous challenges hiring people to get a workforce to provide services.”
“This week,” announced Nottoli, “the Board of Supervisors approved an additional $17 million to the already approved $23 million… totaling $40 million, to buy and develop 13 acres for a Stay Safe Community in North Watt, which will have 130 beds.”
He said he was proud to report to the board that the eastern part of the county has been doing a great job dealing with homelessness for 20 plus years now.
“It’s the best kept secret,” said the supervisor, referring to 500 former homeless individuals being housed at Mather, which the board had a chance to visit recently.
In many cases he said, “We have found that balance of new housing, development and private and public investment.”
Supervisor Nottoli shared, “There’s a good portion of the homeless population that, believe it or not, are working but can’t afford a home.”
He tried to impart the need for patience, perseverance and hope about homelessness and the housing crisis associated with it.
“The work of a county supervisor is slow work and it’s a lot of work,” said the retiring Nottoli.
The supervisor said he plans to visit several national parks and spend some much-needed time with his family.
“My term ends in 45 days,” said Nottoli, “It’s a little bit surreal… [since] this has been a large part of my life.”