Riverside County Supervisors John Tavaglione and Marion Ashley said their final farewells to the county staff, constituents and their own personal staff at the Tuesday, Dec. 11 board meeting.

John Tavaglione came to the board with the Class of 1994, which included Dr. S. Roy Wilson and Tom Mullen.

Amongst other things, Tavaglione ran on a ticket that promised to make Riverside County safe. That meant building a strong public safety system that initially focused on the County Fire Department and the County Sheriff’s Department.

Marion Ashley was elected in 2002 and also noted that our local economy would not thrive if we did not continue to strengthen public safety agencies. He also reasoned that businesses would not come to the 7,200-square-mile county if it was not safe to do business.

Both Supervisors Ashely and Tavaglione deserve much credit for the effort they made to make this county safer than when they entered office.

Mission accomplished. During their service in public office, Ashley and Tavaglione amassed a long list of accomplishments.

Setting policy that serves a population base of roughly 2.5 million residents is not an easy task. Since these two took office we have seen a number of economic slowdowns and even the Great Recession of 2008.

Today, Riverside County is the nation’s ninth most populous in the nation. Through it all, Ashley and Tavaglione showed leadership, made the tough calls, and did what they thought was right, even when that was not always popular.

As Ashley and Tavaglione pass the torch to The Class of 2019, they will have left behind new fire stations, sheriff stations, public defenders’ offices, district attorney offices, courthouses, parks, libraries, pools, childcare centers, new medical clinics, a dedicated staff of nearly 20,000 employees, and a strong corps of citizen volunteers.

As 2018 comes to a close, a new board of supervisors is poised to take office in January 2019. That board is constituted by Kevin Jeffries, Karen  Spiegel, Chuck Washington, V. Manuel Perez, and Jeff Hewitt.

We wish them well as they take the reigns of one of the best counties in the nation.