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September 29, 2022

Rita’s fond farewell

State reps, fellow supervisors, county workers, friends and
family pay homage to the retiring four-term leader of District
3
It was Rita Bowling Day at the county Board of Supervisors’
meeting Tuesday, where the retiring four-term veteran presided over
her final meeting and received accolades from politicians from
Sacramento to Washington D.C.
State reps, fellow supervisors, county workers, friends and family pay homage to the retiring four-term leader of District 3

It was Rita Bowling Day at the county Board of Supervisors’ meeting Tuesday, where the retiring four-term veteran presided over her final meeting and received accolades from politicians from Sacramento to Washington D.C.

After 16 years representing District 3, the no-nonsense county leader has now officially retired. She relinquishes her 3 seat to Pat Loe, who will be sworn in at the next supervisors meeting Jan. 7.

On Tuesday the supervisors’ chamber was packed with friends and family watching the inimitable supervisor in action one last time. Constituents, assistants to state representatives, county employees and the extended Bowling family took to the podium at the end of the meeting to praise her devotion to the county.

Margie Riopel, head of the county’s Emergency Services Office, jumped the gun by finishing a report she gave to the board with an emotional closing.

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to work with you,” said Riopel to Bowling. “You’ve really made a difference in this county, and I’m really going to miss you.”

It was also the last meeting for District 4 Supervisor Ron Rodrigues, who lost his bid for a third term but left with little fanfare.

When it came time for presentations, Bowling received two framed resolutions, a certificate and a plaque from fellow supervisors, U.S. Rep. Sam Farr, state Senator Bruce McPherson and Assemblyman Simon Salinas.

Supervisor Richard Scagliotti made the presentation from the county saying, “I don’t know who I’m going to argue with now.”

“It’s not a matter of arguing,” Bowling responded. “It’s who’s going to keep you in place?”

When Bowling finally got a chance to say a few words, she didn’t disappoint the audience.

“On the one hand I’m glad I’m leaving because I’ve worked long enough,” she said. “But on the other hand I wish I wasn’t leaving, ’cause I’m sure gonna miss my paycheck.”

Later, many gathered at a luncheon hosted by Scagliotti, Supervisor Bob Cruz and CAO Gil Solorio at Doña Esther’s Restaurant in San Juan Bautista, where friends, family, department heads and associates – including Hollister city council members Pauline Valdivia and Robbie Scattini – roasted the supervisor known for her quick wit.

A highlight was when County Clerk and Recorder John Hodges passed giant copies of old photographs of Bowling when she first came into office. The black and white pictures showed her displaying the classic “Bowling bawling out” expression she often acquired while admonishing department heads for overspending.

Kate Woods
A staff member edited this provided article.

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