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Know Your Neighbor: Toni Cordell
know your neighbor
Toni Cordell developed the Go Green Program to help facilitate education and outreach efforts for City of Turlock's various environmental programs. - photo by Photo Contributed

Toni Cordell has been employed as Staff Services Technician in the Regulatory Affairs Division of the City of Turlock Municipal Services Department for the last 10 years. She developed the Go Green Program to help facilitate education and outreach efforts for City’s various environmental programs. The regulatory aspect of her position covers numerous State and Federal compliance and reporting mandates for a range of different environmental branches.  She also chairs the department’s Safety Program, which involves conducting employee training, safety compliance and policy development and implementation.

Prior to coming to the City in 2007, I was previously employed for eight years with the Turlock Chamber of Commerce, with the last four serving as the Turlock Convention & Visitors Bureau Director. As the CVB Director, I managed all aspects of the organization from Board development and management, operations, communications and marketing programs, including the design and production of all of the organizations publications.

Cordell attended San Diego State University and Union Institute & University, and is a graduate of the W.A.C.E. (Western Association of Chamber Executives) Academy and Academy-Plus accreditation programs.  She holds a Water Use Efficiency Practitioner Grade 1 certification from the CA-NV American Water Works Association and is a 2003 Leadership Turlock graduate.  

Her hobbies include softball, snow and water skiing, gardening and she is an avid reader. She’s also been active in the community serving on the Turlock Community Theatre Board of Directors, Kiwanis Club of Turlock member, Pi Beta Phi Sorority- San Diego State University, Carnegie Arts Center Community Advisory Committee, Turlock Centennial Committee and the City of Turlock Community Charities Committee in previous years.

She has one son, Andrew, who will be 16 in March and she shares a home with her boyfriend Josh.


Q. As one of the City of Turlock's water efficiency experts, what advice do you have for residents looking to lower their water bills?

There are many ways for residents to reduce their water consumption both in and outside the home.  However, for those who are looking to make a significant reduction, it’s important to address the activities that utilize the largest portion of your consumption.  For most homes, the largest application of water is used for outdoor landscape irrigation, or simply- your sprinklers.  It is extremely common for residents to water their lawns far longer than necessary.  Fortunately, even cutting back 5 minutes (or more, depending on how long your cycles are set for) per station can save hundreds of gallons of water per month towards your usage. 

The other issue commonly found is water leaks.  You would be surprised to learn how many gallons of water a leaky faucet, or even more so- a leaky toilet can waste.  Many times, a toilet leak can easily be detected by the sound of constant running water, but not always.  Small leaks can go undetected unless they are checked.  The City has a Home Water Survey Kit that residents can get free of charge that shows users how to read their water meter and detect for leaks, as well as numerous tips to identify water saving opportunities.  The kits also come with free water conservation devices such as low-flow shower heads, faucet aerators, toilet dye tabs to detect for leaks, and more.  The City now also offers customers (upon request) hose water flow meters or a programmable hose faucet timers to help prevent overuse in the yard for customers without sprinkler systems.


What is one thing that people would be surprised to learn about the City of Turlock Municipal Services Division? I think people would be surprised learn all of the different City services that are under the Municipal Services umbrella.  Municipal Services divisions serve a broad range of areas including Water Quality Control and the treatment facility operations, Electrical Division responsible for everything from street lights to well pump generators and everything in between, the Utilities Division that installs and maintains the water and sewer lines and much more.  The Department also houses the Fleet Division that maintains the entire City Fleet of vehicles including the heavy equipment and the Utility Billing Division, with which a staff of less than ten is able to maintain services to nearly 19,000 customer accounts!  Also included is the Regulatory Affairs Division, which includes the Administrative Staff and Regulatory and Safety programs, and of course the Go Green Program.


Q. In previous years, Cordell was a driver in the Turlock Lions Club’s demolition derby events at the Stanislaus County Fair. How did you get involved in the demolition derby?

A.  I always went to the demolition derby growing up and it looked like fun. So, I got a car and worked with a buddy from the City and got third place that first year. I learned how to strip a car down, and put it back together. I learned a lot.


Q. What do you like to do for fun in Turlock?

A. I enjoy spending time with friends, having fun and barbecuing.


Q. What was the last book, movie or TV show that captivated you and why?

A. The TV show “This is Us.” It gets you; it’s a heart-wrencher. The characters have real issues and it digs deep.


Q. What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?

A. I used to do roller derby. I started in Merced with the Rolling Roulettes and then skated a little with a Modesto team.