ELGL’s mission is to connect, communicate, and educate. In this ongoing series, ELGL members tell the story of why they chose a local government career.
Taylor Patton (LinkedIn) is a management analyst for the City of Richardson, TX. Taylor received an undergraduate degree from Saint Mary’s College and completed graduate courses at the University of North Texas and Indiana Unversity. Her first government experience was as a Modernization Fellow for the Bloomington Housing Authority.
My most frustrating experience in local government was….
…not unique to local government. The customer service aspect of this career is hard, and when people call and are rude, it can easily ruin your day. It took a couple of those negative interactions before I realized that everyone has a story and ultimately, if I believe what I am, and my city are doing is for the best, then I’m good.
My top three career accomplishments are…
…..finishing graduate school while working full time, moving across the country for an internship that turned into a job, and finding a job I enjoy in a field I am passionate about.
When no one else is in the car, I…..
….listen to the most random music in the world. I hate driving. Driving is boring so if I am not talking to someone I am usually flipping through every channel on the radio: from talk to classical to rap to country to pop… If it sounds good at that time, I will listen to it.
I aspire to….
…..be bold. “Be the best I can be” sounded like I was fielding the question, but I aspire to always feel good about what I’m doing. I aspire to be bold because life is too short to hold back; I want to make communities better places, and it will take being bold to make that happen.
Right now, I am working on….
….these questions, which are not easy. At work I am working on tracking state legislation that may impact our city this session. At home I am planning my wedding.
Here are three tips for interviewing……
…..Think of interviews as a conversation and an opportunity to expand your network. Not only is the person doing the interviewing getting to know you, you are getting to know them and the organization that you could be working for. Also, write a thank you note after.
In terms of telling the local government story, I think local government….
…..is way ahead of the private sector. (What?!) You will not ever see a private company do the multitude of tasks and fulfill requirements and requests like local governments. Over the course of a day local government professionals, in the same organization make decisions that range from public safety to parks to finance to land use, and together make a community a safe, fun, healthy community.
If I could start a non-profit to assist local government, I would focus on….
….communicating with stakeholders. Demographics are shifting and how residents want to be communicated with differs based on age, culture, and preference. Cities want to inform residents, businesses, and visitors, but most of the time aren’t sure how, or if we are communicating in every form available, we still get calls and e-mails later on with “I never knew that.” or “Why didn’t anyone ever tell us that?!” (Sigh). So that would be my non-profit.
For the next person that you interview, I would ask….
…..How can cities work together better?
You should have asked me….
……If I could have lunch with anyone alive or dead who would it be and what would we have?
My Story – Archives
- Brandon Turner, City of Roanoke, VA
- Cassie Tucker, City of Southlake, TX
- Jim Healy, Village of Richfield, WI
- Matt Monedero, City of Garland, TX
- Justin Tramble, State Bar of Georgia
- Aimee Kane, City of Boulder, CO
- Jessica Beise, City of Victoria, MN
- Emily Vincent, City of Olathe, KS
- Toy Beeninga, City of Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Heidi York, Person County (NC) Manager
- Barack Matite, City of Eudora, KS
- Cathy Wilson, Town of Carrboro, NC
- India Adams, Albemarle County, VA
- Derek Matheson, Kent (WA) Chief Administrative Officer
- Darwin Wade, City of Grand Prairie, TX
- Adam Lincoln, City of Lakewood, WA