Riverside County structure named for longtime supervisor

Board of Supervisors Chairman John Tavaglione received the “biggest honor” of his life today when his four colleagues voted to name the five-story annex situated within the County Administrative Center in downtown Riverside in his name.

“I love this county,” Tavaglione said, choking back tears. “This is amazing, the biggest honor of my life. You work your butt off in this job. It’s very difficult. I’m so honored by this.”

Supervisor Chuck Washington joined Supervisor Marion Ashley in proposing the “John F. Tavaglione County Administrative Center Annex” designation.

“Very few people in the history of this county have had a larger impact than the chairman,” Washington said. “He’s fought for so many things for so many people and showed such selfless devotion to the county.”

Ashley reminded Tavaglione that he’s “getting pretty old — old enough that it’s safe to name this after you,” eliciting laughs from the chair and audience.

“You were instrumental in the design and construction of the annex, transforming the ugliest building downtown into a beautiful building,” the supervisor said.

The annex is a circular structure that contains office space for the supervisors and some Executive Office personnel, as well as a cafe and the board chamber. It serves as the main entrance to the CAC, which includes two taller buildings that overlook the Riverside (91) Freeway.

A woman identifying herself as “Sonia” was the only public speaker ahead of the 4-0 vote — with Tavaglione abstaining — in favor of the renaming. She wondered why the building was being memorialized for Tavaglione “when we usually name buildings after people who are dead”?

Tavaglione mustered a laugh and quipped, “You want to give me a pill or something?”

Washington explained that he and Ashley believed it was important for a “person at the end of their career to experience the honor of (being recognized) for so many years of work.”

“It’s an opportunity to enjoy the blessing,” he said. “I don’t think we should wait for Supervisor Tavaglione to be gone.”

Tavaglione, who is not seeking re-election in 2018, is the longest serving member of the board, to which he was elected in November 1994. His supervisorial district, No. 2, encompasses most of the city of Riverside, as well as Corona, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Norco and surrounding unincorporated communities. The former Realtor is a Riverside native, with family roots in the area going back to the 1880s.

He spent multiple terms as a member of the Board of Directors for the California State Association of Counties, as well as the Riverside County Transportation Commission and the Local Agency Formation Commission.

Both Eastvale and Jurupa Valley incorporated, becoming stand-alone municipalities, on his watch and with his support.

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