County treasurer announces retirement

PRINCETON — After 20 years of serving as Bureau County Treasurer — and 40 years total in the treasurer’s office, Nina Cattani-Urbanowski has announced she will not be seeking re-election in 2014.

Urbanowski has plans to retire at the end of her current term next December.

“I’m very thankful to the voters of Bureau County for their vote of confidence over the years and for allowing me to serve the public at a job that I have always enjoyed,” she said.

Urbanowski began working in the treasurer’s office the day after she finished classes at Illinois Valley Community College.

“Forty years ago, they didn’t have computers or anything. So they had these big books and hired people to credit payments of real estate taxes in the books,” she said.

She had only worked that position a few months, when one of the employees in the office left, and she was promoted to work with payroll and appropriations.

A few years later, the chief deputy working under county treasurer Madge Noble left the office, and Urbanowski was promoted to chief deputy.

In 1994, Noble retired, and Urbanowski ran for treasurer.

She admits holding an elected position was something she never imagined she’d ever do in life.

“I just really wanted to work in an office, but I had no idea this is where it would go. It’s been a great job, and I’ve really enjoyed it,” she said.

Looking back on the past 40 years, Urbanowski has seen plenty of changes come and go within the treasurer’s office, however, the most significant change she has faced throughout the years is the advancements in technology.

“When I started working here, we had no computers, and I remember there was great big calculators that were really just adding machines. They weren’t even calculators,” she laughed.

Today, the treasurer’s office processes tax bills simply by scanning a barcode and using a system on the computer to keep track of the numbers.

“You hold them under a scanner and process them, and that’s it,” Urbanowski said.

As she spends the next year prepping for the new phase in her life, she admits it will be a big change.

“I don’t know what it’s like to not work,” she laughed.

Perhaps, it may not be the last time Bureau County voters see her name on a ballot. She admits there maybe some future political interest she’s looking to pursue.

“I have a few things in mind, but none of them full time,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to just doing things spur of the moment. Now that I have made my decision, I can’t wait.”

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