EDSO headquarters to be named for former Sheriff D’Agostini

The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office public safety facility at 200 Industrial Drive in Placerville opened in 2019.
Eric Jaramishian/Mountain Democrat

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office headquarters will be named in honor of the former Sheriff John D’Agostini and his 28 years of law enforcement service. 

District 2 Supervisor George Turnboo brought the discussion of naming the facility the Sheriff John D’Agostini Public Safety Facility to the Board of Supervisors meeting Jan. 24, which proved to be split in reception among county leaders.

The vote to rename the $68 million complex that opened in 2019 went 3-2 in favor. District 4 Supervisor Lori Parlin and District 5 Supervisor Brooke Laine cast “no,” both of whom said they were concerned about renaming county buildings without proper policy on the process. 

Turnboo kicked off the conversation, lauding D’Agostini and his leadership during his 12-year tenure as sheriff. Particularly, Turnboo praised the former sheriff for maintaining his department as one respectful of the law, opening his ranch to Caldor Fire victims while the blaze raged in the county and for his vision on the Sheriff’s Office public safety facility, which had been in the works since the 1980s. 

“Many sheriffs have attempted to get the project off the ground but it took John D’Agostini to get the job done,” Turnboo said. 

Parlin recommended putting off the discussion for a later date and instead placing a commemorative plaque for D’Agostini in front of the safety facility.

“I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve recognition … but we don’t have a policy,” Parlin said. “If we had a policy, we wouldn’t need to have this discussion.” 

District 1 Supervisor John Hidahl agreed a policy should be made regarding naming public buildings, but was willing to make an exception, recognizing the majority of those in board chambers supported the action presented. 

“I’m not adversed to moving forward today with the understanding that we would go back and create a policy and put things in order,” Hidahl said. “This would be the first step to establishing a more formal way of doing these things … I would like to see us make the effort after this.” 

District 3 Supervisor Wendy Thomas shared the same sentiments as Hidahl and supported the facility’s renaming. 

“Sheriff’s D’Agostini’s leadership has been exceptional … the voters have voted for him time and time again, and (he) has led our county through our darkest hours and has shown up in exceptional ways,” Thomas said.

Laine agreed with Parlin on not setting precedent of renaming a facility without a policy.

“I think the idea of commemorating him in a significant way at the entrance of the building is a really good idea,” Laine said. “I’m thinking we are going to let the horses out of the barn if we go ahead and do this without having guidelines around it.” 

During public comment former District 3 Supervisor Brian Veerkamp, along with many in attendance, supported renaming the facility. He said D’Agostini gave his “heart and soul” to opening the facility and recalled going through a number of meetings and processes to get it constructed during his own time as supervisor. 

“What it all came down to, whenever there was a tough decision to be made, it was John’s heart, people and ability to get the people behind him as well,” Veerkamp commented. “Having been voted in numerous times, I believe he was very well supported … this would carry on the legacy of the D’Agostini name and he is very deserving of this honor.” 

Camino resident Herve Leconte said he respected the former sheriff’s punctuality and ability to get things done and supported his name placement onto EDSO headquarters.

John’s Wife Janine D’Agostini said while the facility construction took a team effort and many years to complete, it took someone with a “driving force” to see it through.

“You all know that person — John D’Agositini was the person who could make it happen,” Janine said, adding that the facility was completed on time and under budget. 

Others remained reticent to rename the facility for D’Agostini.

“We don’t appear to have a policy for naming public buildings and until we do, I’m not in favor of naming any building for anybody regardless of how laudable their service is,” Diamond Springs resident Joseph Connolly said. “If you are going to do something in terms of the county, it should be done in accordance with policy.” 

Cameron Park resident Dawn Wolfson suggested naming the facility in honor of a fallen sheriff’s deputy. 

Representative for Rep. Kevin Kiley and representative for Congressman Tom McClintock Kimberly Pruett showed support for the facility’s renaming on behalf of their politicians. 

In addition to voting “yes” on renaming the facility, supes OK’d adding a commemorative plaque in front of the building to recognize the vision of those involved with its construction and to establish an ad hoc committee on creating a policy on renaming public buildings.

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