Member Profile: Taylor Samuelson

Posted on September 13, 2019


Taylor_Samuelson

Taylor Samuelson

Finance Division Office Specialist, City of Laguna Beach


If you had to live in a different city, what city would you choose?

I would choose Boston, mainly because it’s got a mixture of historic and modern architecture, and the city has an awesome app called Boston 311. I want to see the public works guys text me a photo of my filled pothole.

Storytelling or innovation? Which is the most overused word in local government?

Which is the most overused word in local government? I’d have to say innovation is overused, only because it’s become commonplace often times where no real innovation is happening. I’m an advocate of disruptive innovation that breaks people out of their siloed work methods and puts employees together. I see public administration as a field where there’s much work to be done and little time to do it.

What year would the most important in your life? Why?

The most important year in my life would be when I realize that I’ve learned enough to help others become as accomplished as I would be.

(Complete this sentence) The one thing that I think is missing from local government is….

disruptive civic engagement and community outreach. Often times I think we feel like an Instagram and a hashtag will do the trick when in reality we need to be reaching our residents where they’re at, and truly understanding the culture and perspective of those we serve. As Jane Jacobs famously put it, “Conformity and monotony, even when they are embellished with a froth of novelty, are not attributes of developing and economically vigorous cities. They are attributes of stagnant settlements.”

What’s your area of expertise? This is not necessarily just your department, but something about local government work that you love learning about, implementing, and talking through with others:

This is not necessarily just your department, but something about local government work that you love learning about, implementing, and talking through with others: I currently work in  finance, processing AP, AR, journal entries, and payroll processing. I’d like to say however that I’m more of a Swiss Army knife employee. I’ve worked in the police department, community services, and assisted with special projects. Recently I even covered as deputy city clerk for a council meeting to take minutes. I always try to make myself helpful to my colleagues, and my main interest is learning all there is to learn about managing and leading a local government agency.


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