Joan Cergol, the lone Democrat and only woman on the Huntington Town Board, will not seek re-election next year when her term ends.
In a letter to the Huntington Democratic Committee, Cergol cited numerous accomplishments during her years on the board and in town government. They include upgrades of town parks, including permission for leashed dogs at Heckscher Park, support for safe, affordable housing, clean water, and advocacy for better government functioning and town transparency through more use of live streaming.
But, she said, “I find it’s time to hang up my jersey in response to a longing to apply my knowledge, energy, creatvity and caring in new arenas, and also, to make room for new people and ideas to keep moving Huntington forward.”
A Democratic committee member said, “Her message is quite lovely and very classy, and I really do wish her well. She is a big, big loss for Huntington.”
From 2018 to the end of 2021, she was part of a two-member minority vote, and since January, has been the only Democrat. She has worked with Republicans Dr. Dave Bennardo and Sal Ferro on some projects, forming a three-vote majority on some issues.
She first joined the board in December 2017, to fill the term of Susan Berland, who had been elected to the Suffolk County Legislature. Before her appointment, she served in town government as director of the Huntington Community Development Agency, executive director of the Economic Development Corp. and executive director of the Local Development Corp.
She is known as an expert on housing and related issues, offering, when asked, detailed policy explanations for why certain ideas will or won’t work and proposing alternative solutions.
“I believe my body of work, actions and conduct speak for my love of Huntington and of all people, with my signature approach of always placing the higher emphasis on doing the job rather than holding onto the job,” Cergol wrote.
Her term will end in December 2023.