Someone To Look Up To


I had been dreading last night’s Village Board meeting for months, because my favorite Trustee was retiring after 25 years of public service.  But then I realized yesterday, I had actually been given a gift.  Because out of the four different Village Presidents that Joe Barry has served under, I was the one who got the privilege of honoring him.

Joe started his Long Grove service as a member of the Ecology subcommittee of the Plan Commission in 1987.  He then moved on to serve as a Plan Commissioner, Village Clerk, and Trustee, an office he has held since 1995.  Joe has been instrumental in establishing so many great things in our Village over the years:  our Tree Preservation Ordinance, many new subdivisions (including my neighborhood, Stonehaven), the Menards development, and Sunset Plaza just to name a few.  But his real passion is for environmental concerns, with a special interest in seeing our Village Pathway system expanded.  I first met Joe over 10 years ago when I joined the Pathways committee, and he relentlessly recruited me to join the Village Board.  He has become my “elder statesman” not because of his age, but because of his wisdom and experience in all Long Grove matters.  Whenever I need advice, I know that Joe is always willing to hit a local trail to walk and talk it out with me.

We all wish Joe the best in his retirement, and realize that he has left us with some very big shoes to fill.  I know that I can count on seeing him around our open spaces for years to come, sporting his teasel backpack, spraying invasive species.  Joe Barry is one of those special people who just enriches your life by being a part of it.  And we are so grateful that he has chosen to enrich the lives of everyone in Long Grove for the past 25 years!