Bateman is a county native who represents a third-generation living on a family farm in the Youngtown community, and has an adult daughter. She started working in the treasurer’s office in 1984, and took over as treasurer in 1994.
“When I came in we were still hand-typing tax statements and figuring everything on calculators,” she said.
Much has changed about the job over the years, and Bateman said her experience helps her keep on top of things “to the penny.”
“There’s experience, there’s knowledge, there’s knowing the back end of how things work and why they do,” she said. “If there’s an error or things don’t balance, you just know to try this or that.”
Bateman said she’s implemented several improvements that have improved customer experiences and office operations.
One of those is implementing a system for commercial vehicle registrations that eliminated the need to travel out of the county for that service.
“The ones that stay within the state of Kansas, they can all process and renew and set up their fleets in Marion,” she said.
Another benefit to taxpayers Bateman touted is a system in which ad valorem taxes can be paid on an installment basis, which allows individuals and businesses to avoid large lump sum payments twice a year.
“I could see it was becoming a burden on people,” she said. “We let people with delinquent taxes make monthly payments to catch up. Then we said ‘Let’s see how it works to let county people pay ahead.’
A new software program allows for monthly payments and automatic withdrawals.
Batman said the biggest challenge she has is allocating time and people to meet the needs of the public when they come in. Customer service is a top priority for Bateman.
“It’s the basis of the job,” she sai. “I care about Marion County, I care about its people, I care about doing the job right. That’s the reason I’m still doing the job. I like people. It makes the job interesting.”