PRINCETON — After 22 years of serving as Bureau County clerk and recorder, Kami Hieronymus of Princeton has hung up her hat and passed on the duties to her successor, Matt Eggers. Friday was her last day in charge.
It will be a change of pace for Hieronymus from here on out, as she’s called the Bureau County Courthouse her place of employment for 31 years total.
“It’s been a real honor to have this position. … I’ve appreciated the opportunity. I have enjoyed the job. It would have been a long, long day if I hadn’t enjoyed all this,” she said with a laugh.
Hieronymus accepted her first job in the county clerk’s office in November 1987. She was hired by then-Bureau County Clerk Tom Velon, and her first official duty was working in the vital records area.
After a couple of years, she was moved to the basement in the Election Department, where she got familiar with the board of registration and tax extensions.
Nine years later, in 1996, Velon was set to retire that July, and Hieronymus decided to try for his seat. The election rules were a little different back then, and because she would be filling an unexpired term, she had to first get approval from the Bureau County Board and the Republican Party before her name could appear on the ballot.
Hieronymus would go on to serving another five terms as county clerk.
“I’ve never been bored. I’ve always had something to do. I’ve never said, ‘What do I do next?’ … The list has always been long,” she said.
Through the years, she has overseen a number of changes in the office, the most noteworthy being the implementation of technology, which has helped streamline the office’s functions.
While change is always prone to present challenges, Hieronymus admits daily tasks are much more convenient and easy to carry out today compared to when she first stepped foot in the office.
One thing that’s stayed consistent for Hieronymus through the years is the good people she’s had the pleasure of working alongside.
“You spend a lot of time with your fellow workers, and I always looked at them as my co-workers, not I’m the boss,” she said. “That always worked better for me.”
Looking back, there are two things Hieronymus said she won’t miss: elections and county board meetings. She said she has attended well over 200 board meetings in her career.
“Those executive sessions are not fun, and the worst part is, you have to transcribe all that,” she said, laughing.
Election time always presented trying time crunches and a lot of night and weekend work. But perhaps, the silver lining of it all was getting to show appreciation for her family. On election nights, her husband, Kevin, and two daughters, Brooke and Brynn, could oftentimes be spotted at the courthouse helping out in any capacity to keep the night moving smoothly.
So, what’s next on Hieronymus’ agenda? She plans to stick around and help Eggers ease into the position. Then, she’s on the hunt for something part-time that won’t require business casual attire.
“I’m more comfortable in jeans and a sweatshirt, so hopefully I can do that at a fun job,” she said.