Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia News
The Town Clerk, as Secretary to the Town Board and Board of Trustees, attends all Town Board Meetings and is responsible for Town Board and Board of Trustees minutes, legal notices, certifications of town records and filing of change of zone applications. The Town Clerk is Commissioner of Licenses for New York State for the issuing of Sporting (hunting and fishing) licenses, Marriage Licenses, Disability Parking Permits, and authority for issuance of Bingo and Games of Chance Licenses. This office also issues various Local Licenses: Shellfish, Vehicles for Hire, Tow Truck, Peddlers and Solicitors, Refuse, Dogs, Automobile Junk Yard and Commuter Parking Permits. The Town Clerk serves as Registrar of Vital Statistics for the issuance and recording of Birth and Death Certificates, Commissioner of Elections for Special Elections held within the Town, and is Records Management Officer as the Records Center and Archives are also under the jurisdiction of the Town Clerk. As Marriage Officer for the Town of Huntington, the Town Clerk has legal authority to perform Civil Marriage Ceremonies.
JO-ANN RAIA, Town Clerk, Town of Huntington, is an Elected Official. First elected in November 1981 to a term commencing January 1982, her current four year term expires December 31, 2019. Jo-Ann has the distinction of being the longest serving Town Clerk in the history of the Town of Huntington. Jo-Ann has also received the designation of Registered Municipal Clerk (RMC) and Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC).
For many years as Town Clerk, Jo-Ann has represented Nassau and Suffolk Counties as District Director of the New York State Town Clerks’ Association (NYSTCA), liaison to NYS Department of Health (Division of Vital Statistics) and liaison to the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles (Disability Parking Permit Division).
Jo-Ann has received praise, honors and accolades over the years, from a variety of groups. Most recently, in 2019, she was awarded a Recognition of Appreciation from the Cold Spring Harbor Fire Department, the “Spirit of Halesite Award” for outstanding service to the community by the Halesite Fire Department and was named a Woman of Distinction for the New York State 5th Senatorial District. Jo-Ann received Leadership Huntington’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018, the 2017 Certificate of Appreciation from the Huntington Town Fire Police Association and in 2016 was named an Honorary Board Member for The Townwide Fund of Huntington. Other awards and recognitions include the Huntington Historical Society’s 2014 “Evening Under the Stars” Honoree, the Fire Chief’s Council presentation of “In Grateful Appreciation for Your Continued Support of the Fire Departments and EMS Services of Huntington” in 2012 and the Nassau-Suffolk Town Clerks’ Association – Town Clerk of the Year Award, as well as numerous others. She was also named Town Clerk of the Year by the New York State Town Clerks’ Association, recognizing her for promoting the role of Town Clerks through her professionalism and thorough knowledge of the office. Her involvement in the Huntington Community has been recognized by various groups, including the Clara Barton Award presented by the American Red Cross, the American Cancer Society’s Silver Sword Award, the Good Deed Award from the Suffolk County Boy Scout Council, the Silver Award from the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County and All Around Woman of the Year by the Times of Huntington.
Along with many of her recognitions and awards, Jo-Ann has donated her time to many various Not-For-Profit Organizations, including various positions ranging from President to Board member, and most recently as a trustee of the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association.
Since 1995 Jo-Ann has been conducting her Valentine’s Day Wedding Ceremonies here in Town Hall, where she hosts a reception for the couples and guests which is supported by the generosity of the numerous local Huntington businesses.
One of her most notable achievements as Town Clerk was developing a first class Records Management Program in 1986, which includes a Records Center & Archives for the Town of Huntington. This included implementation of the Content DM program, which scans historical documents and manuscripts related to the Town of Huntington, for public access worldwide as a contribution to education and research. Her efforts in this field have been recognized by the State of New York, as well as other professional organizations. She has received a MARAC (Mid-Atlantic Region Archives Conference) Award for “The Guide to the Archival Records and Manuscripts of the Town of Huntington”. In addition, the New York State Archives & Records Administration has awarded Jo-Ann with the “Archives Week Award for Excellence in Local Government Archival Program Development.” The American Association of State & Local History awarded a “Certificate of Commendation for the Preservation and Access to Huntington, New York, History” to Jo-Ann. She also has been able to secure funding through Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund Grants and the Documentary Heritage Program Grant for the Town of Huntington totaling more than $251,245.00.
During her tenure as Town Clerk, Jo-Ann oversaw the modernization of the office-centered advancements in the interest of cost efficiency and streamlining of governmental processes. This list of achievements is extensive, but the most prominent accomplishments include cross department access with the Town Attorney’s Office for electronically processed contracts, completion of back-file scanning of existing birth and death certificates back to 1975, marriage records back to 1984, and back-file scanning of Town Board, Community Development and Board of Trustees meetings and their corresponding Resolutions, Agendas, Minutes from 1983 onward. Further technological advances include online access through the Town’s website of Agendas, Resolutions and Minutes for each of the most recent Town Board meetings, accessible on the day of each meeting and streamlining through use of email and online downloaded forms of Freedom of Information Requests, numerous licenses and vital statistics requests.
Upon request, Jo-Ann has conducted many educational tours of Town Hall. Numerous civic, community, school and scouting organizations have benefited from these tours, which Jo-Ann coordinates with other departments in Town Hall.
As a resident of Huntington since 1958 and Town Clerk since 1982, Jo-Ann stands along as someone in tune with her community and its needs. Her two children, Diane and Andrew, were born and raised in Huntington and are graduates of the Town of Huntington schools.