Monday afternoon’s oath of office ceremony featured 11 of the county’s newest elected officials, all of whom, save one, are veterans of the county’s political scene.
So leave it to the new guy to draw the crowd.
El Dorado County Sheriff John D’Agostini headlined the swearing-in of the 2011 elected officials, which took place at the Board of Supervisors’ chambers in Placerville.
Before the ceremony began, D’Agostini met and mingled with the dozens of supporters and well-wishers who packed the room and spilled out into the hall. The sheriff was all smiles as he made his way to his seat, surrounded by his family.
The ceremony started with a brief welcome from Terri Daly, the county’s new Chief Administrative Officer. District I Supervisor John Knight led the invocation, which was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
William Schultz, who was recently re-elected as Recorder-Clerk, then addressed the audience.
“As elected officials… we understand the responsibilities that come with reach office,” he said.
Elected officials, said Schultz, are “expected to set the standard” of conduct, ethics and behavior.
“By electing us you have placed your faith in us,” he said.
The official swearing-in was conducted by Presiding Superior Court Judge Suzanne N. Kingsbury, who had each official recite the oath of office one-at-a-time.
The first two officials sworn-in were Judges Nelson K. Brooks and Kenneth J. Melikian, of departments nine and two, respectively.
Each official was called up individually to take the oath of office.
Supervisors Ron Briggs and Norma Santiago followed the judges.
The next officials sworn-in were Assessor Karl Weiland, Auditor-Controller Joe Harn, District Attorney Vern Pierson and Recorder-Clerk William Schultz.
After Schultz completed his oath, he playfully reminded the audience to vote in Tuesday’s special election to fill the vacant Senate District 1 seat.
As the officials returned to their seats, they were met with warm applause. But nothing compared to the reaction Sheriff D’Agostini received when his name was called.
A chain reaction of camera flashes was set off when the sheriff and his family took center stage. As he completed his oath, several rows of audience members stood and applauded.
D’Agostini’s badge was pinned on by Janine, his wife, which drew continued applause.
The final two officials sworn-in were Surveyor Richard Briner and Treasurer-Tax Collector Cherie Raffety.
Immediately following Monday’s ceremony, D’Agostini hosted a celebratory luncheon at Cold Springs Golf and Country Club, which was attended by local luminaries such as Supervisors Ray Nutting and Jack Sweeney, Judge Kingsbury and Judge Warren C. Stracener, retired Sheriff’s Capt. Ernie Hillman, Beth Gaines and newly elected high school board member Todd White.
“This by far has been the biggest swearing-in I have ever witnessed,” said Nutting. “It touches me to see the results, the pinnacle of a grassroots campaign.”
Sheriff D’Agostini briefly took the podium and spoke to the room of supporters.
“I am so honored and so humbled,” he said. “Today is a truly a new day for El Dorado County.”
Although the luncheon was planned to honor D’Agostini, the sheriff was quick to praise his family members for their love and support over the last two years.
“I know I have a lot to do,” he told the crowd. “I’m ready to work. I’m ready to serve you… This is an awesome county. It’s the oldest sheriff’s office in the state and it’s going to be the best one in the state.”
D’Agostini also spoke to the Mountain Democrat and discussed his first day on the job.
“The first thing I’m doing is meeting everybody, just getting to know everyone in the office; I’m shaking a lot of hands today,” he said.
During the campaign, D’Agostini continually called for a culture change within the department. On Monday, he said he can already feel it.
“I’m excited,” he said. “I came in this morning and was a bit apprehensive as to how I would be received. So far, everything has been positive. It’s just been a very positive day.”