Huntington’s Records Center and Archives will be named for longtime Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia who is retiring after 38 years in the job.
Councilwoman Joan Cergol, who led the move, said, “Jo-Ann has been a diligent custodian of the Town’s documents on behalf of the people of Huntington. So in looking for a fitting tribute for a woman who is a Huntington institution, the answer, at least to me, was obvious. The records center and archives, which Jo-Ann worked so hard to create and manage, should carry her name.”
Cergol noted that among Town Clerk Raia’s most notable achievements was development of a world-class records management program, including the Records Center, which opened in 1987, and the Archives, which opened in 1993. The Records Center tracks, stores and retrieves over 7,000 cubic foot boxes of inactive records from all the town departments until their state-mandated date of disposition.
The Archives currently houses 1,295 linear feet of permanent records documenting the Town’s establishment and growth, including a manuscript collection consisting of over 193 volumes, 200 maps/drawings and 55 linear feet of material dating back to 1653, the founding date of the Town.
Her work has gained state, regional and national recognition and awards for Huntington’s widely acclaimed program.
Town historian Robert Hughes spoke on behalf of the renaming, saying, “The job is 336 years old. She’s been town clerk for more than 10 percent of that time. Before Jo-Ann Raia, we were lucky that the town records survived. But don’t have to rely on luck anymore.”
Dr. Al Sforza said, “We appreciate your accomplishments and your dedication to serving the the people of Huntington.You’ll always be town clerk of the year.”
Others stepped forward to support the resolution, including her son, State Assemblyman Andrew Raia and Democrat Simon Saks, who are competing to succeed her after she retires at the end of the year.
The resolution was approved unanimously.