Subscribe to our newsletter

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Four Take Oaths at 2012 Town Inaugural

At the Town of Huntington 2012 Inaugural Ceremony.

Susan Berland and Eugene Cook were sworn as Town Council Members and Jo-Ann Raia and Ester Bivona took the oaths of office as Town Clerk and Receiver of Taxes, respectively, as the Town of Huntington held its 2012 Inaugural Ceremony at Harborfields High School January 8.

Approximately 250 people attended the 90-minute ceremony, for which Supervisor Frank Petrone acted as master of ceremonies and Councilmen Mark Cuthbertson and Mark Mayoka also participated.  

In her remarks after taking the oath, Councilwoman Berland, who is beginning her 11th year in office, spoke of the need to balance the sometimes conflicting goals of holding down spending while maintaining important services. “We must not lose sight of what makes us the Town we are – what makes us the community we are – and what makes us the people that we are,’ she said. “While it is imperative that we do everything we can to minimize the burdens on our taxpayers and to grow our tax base, it is just as important to sustain the outstanding level of services that is the foundation for our quality of life.  Whether it’s providing educational programs for every age group, creating recreational opportunities for all or caring for our seniors – our Town provides so much to so many people.” 

In his remarks, newly-elected Councilman Cook cited his business experience as forming the framework for the way he will approach his job as a councilman. “As you know, I am a businessman, not a career politician. I think like a businessman, I act like a businessman, and I manage like a businessman. 

“I believe the taxpayers are my clients, and it is my responsibility to give them what they need. In these tough economic times what my clients need now is fiscal responsibility on the part of the Town Board, reduction of wasteful spending, better personnel management, and adherence to established town planning regulations that will keep the town the beautiful suburban community we all love.  I will use all of my business experience to ensure that happens.”

Before the ceremony, attendees were entertained by the Harborrfields High School Chamber Orchestra. The Huntington Choral Society performed “An American Salute” and sang “God Bless America” as part of the program. Also participating were representatives from the Town’s Veterans Organizations and Fire Departments, the Huntington Community First Aid Squad, the Suffolk county Police Department and the Huntington Militia.

Spiritual remarks were offered by Fr. Frank M. Grieco of St. Anthony of Padua R.C. Church, East Nortport; the Rev. Luone Abram Rouse of the United Methodist Church, Huntington-Cold Spring Harbor; Rabbi Marc Gellman of Temple Beth Torah, Melville; and Fr. Lawrence O’Leary, Thomas A. Judge Knights of Columbus, East Northport. 

 The oath of office were administered by Babylon Supervisor Richard Schaffer (Councilwoman Berland), State Supreme Court Justice Gerard Asher (Councilman Cook), State Supreme Court Justice John Bivona (Tax Receiver Bivona) and Assemb. Andrew Raia (Town Clerk Raia).

In her remarks, Town Clerk Raia traced the growth of her office and highlighted the functions it performs above and beyone those required by law, including the displays from the Town Archives that grace Town Hall. Receiver of Taxes Bivona thanked those who helped in her campaign and especially the workers in her department for their help over the years. She opened a display board with a large photograph of the staff.

 At the ceremony, Supervisor Petrone wore the recently-restored Chain of Office. The Chain consists of a wampum belt, four pairs of one and one-half-inch medallions and one three-inch medallion, is stored in the Town Archives vault for safekeeping and used on ceremonial occasions. The subject of wear and tear over the years, it was in need to restoration. Libutti Diamond Jewelers donated its services, valued at $3,700, to restore the chain, a task that centered remounting the medallions in sterling silver, custom-made coin holders linked to rach other by hand-fabricated silver rings. In her remarks, Town Clerk Raia, who had contacted Libutti Diamond Jewelers, thanked the Libuttis for the generous donation of their services and the materials.

Those who were unable to attend the ceremony will be able to watch it on the Town’s government access television channels, Cablevision Channel 18 and FiOS Channel 38. The broadcast schedule will be available on the Town’ website,



Read our Comment Tips & Rules

6 comments to Four Take Oaths at 2012 Town Inaugural

  • Dix Hills Observer

    Sue Berland spoke for such a long time, that it became somewhat embarrassing. She needs to learn the art of public speaking by staying on point and saying things succinctly.

    • Anonymous

      I have seen middle school students that conduct themselves more professionally than Susan Berland. Somewhat embarressing?! She is the walking epitome of unprofessionalism and embarressment (in ugly and inappropriately high heels, no less) She insists on spending tax payer dollars on RIDICULOUS programs like adopting fire hydrants (I don’t even know where to begin with that one) when there is a rampant and extremely dangerous crime epidemic in Huntington Station. She really has her finger on the pulse of our community…Not t mention that I have heard from numerous people that personally, she is a nasty, condescending and insulting person. My heart goes out to anyone that has to deal with her on a daily basis.

      I was so happy to move back to Huntington and now I sincerely regret it and I thought I would never say that.

  • Anonymous

    Susan Berland statement about building the town’s taxbase is highly ironic since she legislates to destroy it.

    Her bill to make single family houses become legal two family houses in certain zones and still remain assessed for taxes as single family houses not only destroys the town’s taxbase which includes school districts but destroys the quality of life of the community.

    There is certainly something very sinister about that piece of legislation. Maybe Rabbi Gellman who spoke eloquently at the inauguration said half kidding some of you on the dais may be indicted or will be indicted, maybe he knows something we don’t.

    • @anon

      I certainly hope so. Obviously many of The VT’S readers are aware of political wrongdoing by our elected officials (and former officials who have been given patronage positions) it certainly wouldn’t be difficult to draw a line directly as to what has been going on for years.

  • Anonymous

    same old haters spewing the devils venom. you kow who you are. such hatred. what a shame

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>