OTTAWA — La Salle County’s Central Services Director Cheryl Vatland is retiring after 37 years.
She’s held the post longer than anyone before her and received a standing ovation from the county board this week.
“You’ve been a pleasure to work with and you’ve come to the meetings very prepared,” said La Salle County Chairman Jim Olson.
“And I don’t think anyone has saved us as much money as you have,” he said.
Vatland began her work with the county in 1982 in the commissary and eventually began working in the Central Services department with director Jim Trent before being promoted to director in 1994.
Her work, which supports the internal departments in the county, began without the use of computers. Everything was handwritten or produced on a typewriter.
“There’s been a lot of changes in the county. Paperclips to staples, going to computers. They said we’d save all this paper but someone’s nose is growing on that one,” she said to laughs from the board.
Vatland helped introduce the process of scanning files onto the server for archival purposes and made locating files more efficient.
She thanked the current and past board members and staff for their support and said she would miss routinely coming to work.
Still, she’s excited for retirement with her husband, Roger, who was in attendance.
“We’ve been planning our retirement probably since we got married,” she said with a smile.