Huntington Archives Center named for oldest city clerk
The Huntington Archives and Archives were named Wednesday in honor of the city’s oldest clerk.
From now on, the Huntington documents will be kept at the Jo-Ann Raia Records Center and Archives at the town hall. Raia retired in 2019 after working as a clerk for 38 years.
“I was so touched by these remarks,” Raia said Thursday, a day after the dedication ceremony. “At one point I was even embarrassed, I thought, ‘my God, they say that about me.'”
Many elected officials from all over Long Island came to the town hall to pay homage to Raïa.
Creating the archives has been a struggle and a lot of hard work, she said, between a lack of funding and training on how to do it.
She said she never accepted a response and it paid off.
“We were in operation even before it became law to develop a program,” Raia said. “I look back and I am so glad that it bears my name.”
In April 2019, a resolution to rename the Archives and Archives of Raia was proposed by Joan Cergol, member of the city’s board of directors, and co-sponsored by supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci and member of the City Council, Eugene Cook. It was approved 5-0.
Cergol said it was important to her that Raia’s major achievements bear her name.
“Jo-Ann Raia is the mother ship of the city’s employees, with her name, legendary vision, accomplishments and work ethic recognized throughout New York State and beyond,” said Cergol.
Lupinacci said Raia deserved recognition because she built the archives center and archives from scratch.
“His achievements in the area of records management have won countless awards and serve as a model for other municipalities,” he said.
Cook called it a fitting honor.
“Jo-Ann was a leader who took responsibility for preserving the history of Huntington by improving the system in the archives center,” said Cook. “She is very proud of Huntington.”