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Rancho Cordova Independent

Our Future is Greater than Our Past

Jan 26, 2023 12:00AM ● By Story and photo by Margaret Snider

From left are Diann Rogers, president and CEO, Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce; Shelly Blanchard, executive director, Cordova Community Council; David Sander, Rancho Cordova city councilmember; Mayor Linda Budge; and Micah Runner, new City Manager.

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - The January Rancho Cordova Luncheon featuring 2023 Mayor Linda Budge broke the record for attendance - 122.  The previous record was 112. The year 2023 is especially important – it is the City’s 20th anniversary and representations of hot air balloons decorated each table. “We’re using the balloons,” said Shelly Blanchard, executive director of Cordova Community Council, “because they’re a reminder to all of us on this 20th anniversary that a citizen-driven effort was really raised by a million dreams that people had for what their city could look like.”

This is the fifth time as mayor for Linda Budge, who was one of the inaugural City Councilmembers when Rancho Cordova became a city.  Out of all the years did Budge have a favorite year?  She had two, and by happenstance she was mayor for both.  “One was in 2008 when we signed our Sister City relationship with Turrialba in Costa Rica,” Budge said.  “. . . We turned five years old that year – the city of Turrialba turned 105 years old.”  Her second favorite was 2013, when Rancho was 10 years old.  “That was a year that as mayor I went to the United States Conference of Mayors and found some really fun things, like the organization that honors veterans, and we still belong to that organization.”

Budge thanked the voters who approved the two sales tax measures since 2014 that have made possible the funding of so many special efforts the City has undertaken, proposed by people who live and work here.  “You do it,” Budge said, “because you know Rancho Cordova wants to continue to be a great place to Live, to Learn, to Work and to Play.” 

As a place to LIVE, Budge thought back to the 20 years before cityhood, Rancho had not been growing then.  “We had 65,000 people driving in to work, but so many people didn’t live here,” Budge said. “. . . Today we have not only five very significant housing projects in development and underway, but there are also another five currently in creation.  We have eight additional housing development projects in the pipeline that might have potential starts in this next fiscal year . . . There’s a unique single family for-rent neighborhood that’s been approved, very close to employment opportunities.”

Rancho is also a great place to WORK. “We have a house for everyone, we also have a job for everyone,” Budge said.  With all the growth, many employers are coming to Rancho Cordova, the newest being UC Davis and Solidigm, who are “both bringing over 1,000 jobs this year.”  Retail is expanding, as can be seen all around the area.  Chamber president and CEO Diann Rogers pointed out that 2023 is also an anniversary for the Chamber – the 60th  “We’ve got a gala planned, we’ve got a blood drive,” Rogers said. “All kinds of wonderful things just to celebrate that 60th anniversary.”

Rancho Cordova is a great place to LEARN.  There is a ten-week program offered by MBARK, the Minority Business Assistance and Recovery Kickstart that will provide intensive training for small business owners. The Rancho Cordova Youth Center is open, with the operational partners of the Boys and Girls Club. The Police Activities League will be inviting all our young people to come and see what they have to offer.  And the Folsom Lake College, Rancho Cordova, Promise Program is going to continue.

Ultimately, Rancho Cordova is a great place to PLAY.  “Nobody has an organization devoted to having fun like the Cordova Community Council,” Budge said.  Partnering with the Community Enhancement Fund, they bring almost 100 mostly free, exciting events for all of us to enjoy every year.  This year the Cordova Community Council is going to help us celebrate the City’s 20th anniversary in some very neat ways.” 

Go to to learn about the special anniversary programs planned for June 30 through July 4.  Budge ended her talk by quoting the late Dave Roberts, who was the first mayor of the City of Rancho Cordova.  He said, “Our future is greater than our past.”