Leave taking always seems to have two faces.
The one looks back at all that has been. The other looks forward to all that will be.
The Village of Montgomery and Board of Trustees have said goodbye and good luck to Village Clerk Barbara Argo after eleven years on the job. Each time she ran for election, she ran unopposed.
She was paid $6,000 annually to attend two or three meetings a month. There could be two board meetings and a meeting of the Committee of the Whole monthly.
“Those meetings could last twenty minutes or several hours,” she said this week. “It all depended on the agenda and the Village issues at that time.”
Argo was born in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and her family relocated to Barrington about 1960. She attended college at S.I.U. and graduated from Aurora University with a business degree. She and her husband Dennis have two sons, David and Adam. David and his wife Tricia live in Montgomery, and Adam is still at home.
“I am a site buyer for Caterpillar for heavy fabrication," she said. "For example, I order heavy frames or big steel pieces for the wheel loader and excavators that are made at the Montgomery plant of Caterpillar, Inc. I have worked at Cat for fourteen years now.”
She smiled and said with a laugh, “Cat stock is sure doing well right now. It’s a good thing!”
Argo was first elected to the position of village clerk in 1998, serving with Village President Ellis Van Meter. Current Village President Marilyn Michelini was elected shortly after Argo began, and credits her for keeping accurate and comprehensive meeting minutes.
When asked what gave her the most satisfaction as clerk, Argo replied, "I think seeing the new village hall come to be, from the first design phase to its completion. I might have been the scribe, but I had a part in that process and it gives me a warm satisfaction."
Argo has seen many changes in the past decade, but she said it's the landscape in and around the village that has changed the most.
“To the west was all farm land, and now look at all the property that has been annexed to the village," she said. "Builders have made sure that the subdivisions are attractive and safe for families to live there.”
“If I ever felt frustrated, it was because I wanted to have the most accurate minutes and doing so is quite time consuming," she said. "I tend, like most everyone, to run out of steam at the end of the day. So I knew it was time for me to step down."
Village Deputy Clerk Helen Prester covers all the day-to-day matters since
she is at the hall, Argo said.
“Barbara has been a super woman and a wonderful lady," said Village Trustee Pete Heinz, himself a former Caterpillar employee. "She knows everything and has done an excellent job. I really like her. I am going to miss her.”