Don’t Stop Dreaming, Rancho Cordova!Nov 08, 2023 01:39PM ● By Margaret Snider
Rancho Cordova Mayor Linda Budge gave the State of the City report on November 1. Photo by Rick Sloan
RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - The reception for the Fall Fine Arts Show (open themed) at City Hall, was immediately followed on November 1 by the State of the City report. The State of the City program featuring Mayor Linda Budge began with a rousing performance by the Cordova High School drumline. This was followed by the presentation of colors by Cordova ROTC. After that, Shelly Blanchard took the mic.
Cordova High School drumline opens the State of the City report at Rancho Cordova City Hall on Wednesday, November 1. Photo by Rick Sloan
“It’s hard to believe that 20 years have passed since the brand-new City of Rancho Cordova opened its doors,” said Blanchard, executive director of Cordova Community Council. She asked everyone to imagine that beginning. Everything was a dream, a million dreams.
After her introduction by Blanchard, Budge summarized the area’s history, then detailed what Rancho Cordova has done as a City, in the last 20 years. Awards and recognitions over the years testify to the success of City departments and staff, with the all-important help of the faithful citizens.
The All-America City Award is a community recognition program in the United States given by the National Civic League. Nationwide, only 500 cities have received this honor since its inception in 1949. The League has awarded this to Rancho Cordova twice in its short 20 years of existence, in 2010 and 2019.
The City received the Playful City USA Award for 2012-2013; Bicycle Friendly Community Award for 2015 through 2022; Crown Communities Award for Mather Veterans Village, 2018; Tree City USA designation and growth award from 2020-2022.
Also in 2022, the City received the Clean Air Award, Government Experience awards, Tyler Technologies Public Sector Excellence Award, and was ranked #12 in “Top Boomtowns in America” by SmartAsset. In 2022-2023 the City received Influence Awards in five categories from California Capital Chapter of Public Relations Society of America.
From 2020-2023 the Public Works Department has been awarded Infrastructure Project Awards for the quality and creativity of their work for at least 11 projects including American River storm drain outfall four repair project. “Even the Finance Department has won an award,” Budge said, referring to its receiving the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from 2007 to 2022.
This year the Rancho City Council, after due process, voted to transition from at-large to District-based elections to City Council. Councilmember Garrett Gatewood during the process suggested that the mayor should be determined by election, as well. Currently, the Council members take turns being mayor, one after the other, for a year at a time each, then repeat. “I tried to switch to (mayor by election) while we were doing the transition to Districts, but I wasn’t able to get the vote,” Gatewood said. “. . . I think that’s kind of a cool thing for a City of our size, as we’re growing.”
Gatewood and Siri Pulipati are the two newest members of the City Council, the latter up for re-election in 2024. Gatewood was elected four years before Pulipati, after his appointment to complete the term left vacant by the passing of Dan Skoglund.
Pulipati thinks the current mayoral system works well. “There’s no in-fighting because it’s a process that we follow . . . I think we get along really well, and a lot of us are in agreement on most of the topics, because we do look at the data, and we look at all the information that is given . . . the mayor runs the meetings and the agenda, but I think all of us get the same information.”
City Manager Micah Runner thinks the present mayoral system “allows for consistency, camaraderie, and team building amongst the Council.” Runner said it is always exciting to see Rancho Cordova grow and transition as a community, and at the same time as an organization.”
“We began this journey, as Shelly said, with a million dreams,” said Budge in closing. “There are still a million more out there. Don’t stop dreaming, Rancho Cordova!”