Known for: Illa Collin served the longest tenure -- 28 years -- on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors before stepping down in 2006.
Background: A Rock Springs, Wyo., native, Collin was the daughter of a coal miner and homemaker. Her father was killed in a mining accident when she was 10. She married her husband, Don, in 1957 and they and their three daughters moved to Sacramento in 1967. Collin joined the League of Women Voters and eventually became its president. She was also served on the state Reclamation Board, the city Planning Commission and two county advisory panels. When the 2nd District supervisorial seat opened in 1978, Collin was set to support Sacramento City Councilman Robert T. Matsui. When he opted to run for Congress, Collin ran for the seat herself. Finishing second among 12 candidates in the primary race, she won a runoff to become the second woman elected to the board. During her tenure, Collin played an integral role in defining the shape and feel of suburban development.
A highlight: Collin holds the board's record for longest-serving supervisor, ahead of James R. Garlick (1941-1960) and Sandra Smoley (1971-1992).
-- Anthony Sorci