Rich Lozano learned that he won the Galt City Council race a week after Election Day.
The Council had three seats up for election this year, and he was nearly at a dead-tie with candidate Lori Heuer for third place. Ballots were still being counted and Sacramento County’s elections staff reported on Nov. 16 that Lozano had a 242-lead over her.
Lozano then declared victory on his Facebook page.
“It’s a sense of relief, but you know you’ve done the right thing and you’re willing to accept the voters’ choice,” he told the Citizen.
Lozano is leaving the Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD) board on Nov. 28. His successor, Jaclyn Moreno and incumbent Rod Brewer will be sworn into office next month.
As a CSD director, Lozano has governed the Cosumnes Fire Department and Elk Grove’s parks and recreation system for eight years. He said that his departure will be bittersweet.
“It’s like leaving home for the first time,” the CSD board president said. “I’m absolutely certain that the CSD will continue to flourish under the current board and management staff.”
Lozano serves as a safety and security supervisor for the Elk Grove Unified School District. He spent a year studying the district and attending CSD board meetings before he decided to run for that board in 2010.
“There’s a unique presence at the CSD and a relationship with the community that’s longstanding,” Lozano said. “I’m going to miss that as a director.”
He recalled a favorite moment during his first year on the CSD board. The district considered an offer from T-Mobile to install a cellular tower at Feickert Park, near Ellen Feickert Elementary School in 2011. That company proposed paying the district $24,000 a year to rent the land on their park.
Neighbors protested that proposal and raised concerns over potential risks from the tower’s electromagnetic radiation.
Lozano said that was a moment when he placed his personal opinions aside and listened to community members as their elected official.
“I thought that (cellular tower) was a great opportunity to get some revenues for that Benefit Zone,” he said. “I heard from the people, and they just didn’t want it. That made it really easy to decide what we were going to do on the board.”
The CSD board unanimously rejected the proposed project.
This February, Lozano announced that he would not seek re-election and would instead run for Galt City Council. He heavily focused on public safety during his election campaign.
“One of the reasons (my family) moved to Galt is the family feel and the small town atmosphere,” Lozano said. “It’s one of the safest cities around and it’s important to keep the quality of life at the forefront.”
He noted that he gained the endorsements of the Sacramento Area Firefighters Local 522 and the Galt Police Officers Association, as well as Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert.
Lozano told the Citizen that he planned to bring his old placard to his final CSD board meeting on Nov. 28. That placard sat on the board dais at the district’s administration office until a fire devastated that historic building in 2015. Lozano’s name is still visible amid the burn marks.
The director said that he’s proud of how the CSD staff was still able to keep their district’s fire and parks departments operating, despite the great loss.
“It’s a symbol of the resilience of the organization,” he said. “I’m always reminded how things can happen and things will happen that are tragic in your time, and you will bounce back from them.”
Lozano’s final CSD board meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at Elk Grove Regional Park’s Pavilion, 9950 Elk Grove-Florin Road.