Jeannine Bateman started as clerk in 1984, wishes her successor well in the job
Jeannine Bateman plans to let someone else take over as Marion County treasurer when her term expires.
“I just wish whoever takes it on enjoys it as much as I have,” Bateman said.
The Marion County native started working in the treasurer’s office in 1984, beginning as a clerk and working her way up the ladder. She was sworn in as county treasurer in 1994.
Much has changed over the years.
“When I started, we were still typing tax statements,” she said. There were many, many carbons so you had to strike hard.”
Corrections were out of the question. If the typist made an error, the statement had to be redone.
“With that many carbons, there was no way you could do a clean erasure,” she said.
Other things have changed over time, too.
The office has added services as time went along, such as issuing drivers’ licenses.
“The state started closing offices,” she said. “One of the ways they could save money is to only have people one or two days a week. We didn’t want our people to have to drive to cities.”
She discovered a love for math, which turned the work from a job to an absorbing career.
She remembers the day a man stormed into the office clearly upset.
“I had a gentleman that was in who was very angry,” Bateman said. “He didn’t understand things had changed. I just explained. He went out the door still mad. And then he came back in and said, ‘I understand, and thank you.’ If you can get a smile out of your most angry customer, you’re doing something right.”
She describes her career as “wonderful, challenging, and never boring.”
“It’s been rewarding to help other treasurers,” she said.
“I went through the chairs of the Kansas county treasurers association,” she said. “I was president in 2001, and that’s the year I got my accounting degree. I think my most exciting moment was the year my peers elected me treasurer of the year.”
She was given the Betty J. McBride Outstanding Treasurer award in 2009.
She gives credit to her staff for the help they have given her.
“I have a marvelous staff,” she said. “When I was so ill they just stepped in there and did everything.”
Bateman said she has no idea what she’s going to do with her time after walking out the office door. Most of the trips she’s taken have been for conferences.
“I’ll have more time for my friends, family, gardening and dogs,” she said.