Huntington’s records center and archives was named in honor of the town’s longest serving town clerk on Wednesday.
From now on Huntington's documents will be housed in the Jo-Ann Raia Records Center and Archives in town hall. Raia retired in 2019 after working as town clerk for 38 years.
"I was so humbled by the remarks," said Raia on Thursday, a day after the dedication ceremony. "At one point I was even embarrassed, I thought, ‘my God they are saying that about me.’"
Numerous elected officials from across the Long Island came to town hall to pay homage to Raia.
Establishing the archives was 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 took no for an answer and it paid off.
"We were in operation before it even became a law to develop a program," Raia said. "I look back and I’m just so thrilled that this is named after me."
In April 2019 a resolution to rename the archives and records center for Raia was proposed by town board member Joan Cergol and co-sponsored by Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci and town board member Eugene Cook. It was approved 5 to 0.
Cergol said it was important to her that Raia’s crowning achievements bear her name.
"Jo-Ann Raia is the mother ship of town clerks, with her name, legendary vision, accomplishments and work ethic recognized throughout the State of New York and beyond," Cergol said.
Lupinacci said Raia deserved recognition because she built the records center and archives from the ground up.
"Her achievements in 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 charge to preserve the history of Huntington, by improving the system in the records center," Cook said. "She takes great pride in Huntington."