Clarence Bark joined the Montgomery Plan Commission in 1979.
He’s been there ever since, participating in some of the most momentous decisions in recent village history. During Bark’s tenure, the Orchard Road business corridor truly took off, with , , Aldi, and other stores opening up.
The Ogden Hill shopping center also broke ground, sprung up and opened its doors during Bark’s time. The village also built its two flagship buildings, the new on River Street and the new on Civic Center Drive. Those landmarks are in addition to the hundreds of smaller projects he helped shepherd through in his 32 years on the commission.
Last month, at age 88, Bark retired from the plan commission, taking with him his record as the board’s longest-serving member. On Monday, the Village Board honored him for his service with a plaque, some cake, and a lot of applause. As he posed for pictures, Bark was clearly delighted.
“Like anything, you come to a point where you decide you have to make a change,” Bark said in an with Patch last week. “Like I told the mayor when I turned in my resignation, ‘It’s time for some younger people to come in.’”
“I’m pleased to honor Clarence Bark and his 32 years of service,” said Village President Marilyn Michelini on Monday night. “I think that’s pretty phenomenal.”