By SAMANTHA PIDDE
After 26 years serving as the City of Savanna’s comptroller and treasurer, Sheryl Sipe is retiring.
Born Sheryl Mangler, she has lived in Savanna her entire life.
Sipe, 60, began working at age 15 as a cashier at a local grocery store. During her senior year of high school, she worked through the Diversified Occupation (DO) program at Bimm's Oil Company, continuing there until 1980.
In 1980, Sipe was hired as the billing clerk for the City of Savanna. When her boss, June Myers, announced her retirement as city comptroller 26 years ago, she recommended Sipe for the position.
"I was very apprehensive in taking the position, because I didn't think I was qualified enough, but between June, Fire Chief Benny Hess and Public Works Superintendent Paul Hartman's encouragement I agreed to accept the appointment," said Sipe in an email interview with the Times-Journal.
She said Hartman provided considerable guidance to her for the first few years, for which she is very grateful.
Sipe said she has enjoyed the city comptroller/treasurer position throughout the past 26 years, noting, "The best part of my job was feeling the satisfaction of helping a fellow department head or employees with a problem or issue that they were needing help with. My door was always open if someone was in need."
Sipe said the hardest part of her job was meeting the constant weekly and monthly required deadlines. She explained that, pursuant to Illinois law, municipal officials are required to perform certain duties at specified times throughout the calendar year and the City of Savanna must always comply with these requirements. These requirements increase annually, she said, adding more work each month.
"I wore many different hats each day,” Sipe said, “with most days requiring more than eight hours to meet the deadlines.”
Having reached the maximum of 40 years needed for her retirement, Sipe is ready to leave the position.
"And, quite honestly, I'm tired of keeping up the constant high-speed pace required to do this job properly," Sipe said.
She added that her three youngest grandchildren need a sitter. She and her husband of 42 years, Ron Sipe, have two children:,Aaron (Leonda) Sipe and Megan (Justin) Ferguson. They have five grandchildren: Taylor Sipe, Kody Sipe, Delaney Ferguson, Paisley Ferguson and Emmitt Ferguson.
Sipe said she expects that "like most retirees," she will spend much of her free time with family and friends. She hopes to travel and simply enjoy life at her own pace.
"I have a to-do-list a mile long to keep me busy for quite a while," Sipe said, adding that she wants to thank the City of Savanna for an "awesome career."