Rancho Cordova turns 10, but looks 48

Does this hat make me look AWESOME?

Having your birthday fall on the same date as a national holiday is sometimes a recipe for tantrums and self-pity. I know 30-something adults who still resent sharing their birthdays with Jesus.

So maybe it’s a sign of maturity that Rancho Cordova is so freaking excited about celebrating its 10th year as an incorporated city this week. The festivities, which began June 30 with a controversial, faith-oriented “celebration of community” at Village Green Park, culminate on July 3, when a free concert gives way to a paid screening at 9:30 p.m. of something called the “10th Anniversary Lip Dub Video,” featuring 200 local residents.

From the title and my experience with city governments trying to be hip, I’m envisioning an unfortunate rendition of PSY’s enough-already! “Gangam Style,” with the chorus redubbed to say: “Oppan, Rancho style.”

Shudder.

Anyway, what a difference a decade makes. Residents voted for their independence “way” back in 2003, the same year Californians elected a funny-sounding movie star, iTunes premiered and Lance Armstrong was still leading pelotons and winning hearts. In the years since, housing slumps and job losses have contributed to mini-migrations in Rancho Cordova, as well as incorporation cousins Elk Grove and Citrus Heights, which emancipated themselves from Sacramento County in 2000 and 1996, respectively.

Today, Rancho is arguably more known for its many motels, boxy warehouse sector and strip clubs than, um, not those things. It may only be 10, but those have been 10 hard years.

(The city is demolishing one of those eyesore motels on Tuesday to make way for a Folsom Lake College satellite campus.)

But the city does boast some of the cheeriest spokespeople I’ve come across. I remember calling with questions about how code enforcement handles motel complaints, and being jauntily referred to a press release about some listicle naming Rancho Cordova a top city for local government employees. Had nothing to do with my request, but the folks over at City Hall were really excited about it.

Maybe that’s something city leaders will consider dropping into a time capsule to be buried this week at Kilgore Cemetery. The press release, that is, not the buoyant civic optimism. The 10-year-old city needs all of the latter it can get. As do we all.