Listen! “Ungoverned” with Joan Cergol

"Ungoverned" podcast logo provided by Joan Cergol

Logo provided by Joan Cergol

I love what Joan Cergol is doing! Check out her new podcast, UnGoverned. You can find it on platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts. I like to just head over to her website, www.joancergol.com.

Grateful to Have Met Her

I first met Joan in 2002, when she left the private sector to work for The Town of Huntington. I was with the nonprofit Vision Huntington, which, at the time was rapidly becoming Vision Long Island.

Our organization had engaged with the Town in a novel concept, “The Smart Growth Steering Committee,” which brought various department heads around a table monthly, together with diverse local stakeholders ranging from the local chamber and BID, to environmental leaders, to housing folks, to youth and community development interests, historical societies, and more.

Some got frustrated that this group didn’t “DO” many things, but I thought what was happening was even more important. People were regularly talking to each other across party, department, and interest, building understanding and relationships…and people WERE doing things with each other and the ideas they shared, just not generally as a group…and we did do some turnkey things as a group…

Anyway, what I soon learned was that anytime anything really good and sensible got done with the Town, Joan Cergol seemed to be there. I was never sure what her party was, but her boss seemed to be then-Republican Supervisor Frank Petrone, who had been campaigning with then-Councilman Steve Israel on the slogan of “Worst to First,” touting their bond rating achievements and the power of bipartisan collaboration.

People Over Party

I recently found out that Joan was actually something of a kindred spirit, having been unaffiliated with any political party (as I have been for life) until she became a Democrat in 2008. Whether or what party Joan was a part of didn’t really matter to me. What I appreciated was the way she seemed to listen, to connect with folks, and to offer the best she could in terms of good solutions.

Eventually, as a Democrat, Joan was elected to the Huntington Town Council where she served for six years. In that, she never lost her independent-minded spirit, nor her thoughtful, inclusive approach to solving government and community problems.

She just liked working in service to the people of the Town.

A New Way to Serve

In 2023, Joan decided to stop running and to serve in a very different way. She is now applying her smart charisma to craft a sweet, thoughtful podcast that she describes as “snackable stories from a recovering politician.” Hopefully, she says, it won’t be too much about politics!

She is missed by many in the Town. It’s nice to see she’s found this new way to engage. It’s an enriching and entertaining listen that I look forward to watching develop. Check it out!

You can also read a recent article about Joan and her podast in this Huntington Now article by Layne Groom.

Photo of Joan Cergol at her podcast desk
Photo of Joan Cergol provided by Joan Cergol