What I Am with Kristina Ashton, White Settlement, TX

Posted on June 12, 2015

Link: ELGL Spreads Across the Country

“Cross between The Atlantic magazine and Buzzfeed”

Welcome to our new member feature. We’ve all heard the excuse “I’m too busy” too many times so we’ve simplified our new member feature to illicit short, meaningful responses.

Kristina Ashton (LinkedIn) is an Assistant Customer Service Manager at the City of White Settlement, Texas. She is responsible for reviewing and revising outdated procedure manuals and helping to launch an auto-draft payment option to better serve municipal customers. Her future career goal is to work in local government in the area of special projects/budgeting.

I started working in local government when…

An entry-level opening popped up in my hometown city hall.  I applied and interviewed that day and then went back to work at my other job even though I was terribly sick.
My most frustrating experience in local government was…
When the person who was supposed to be training me at that first municipal job couldn’t quite do the job or work the software and I ended up getting into trouble a couple times because I wanted explanations for my customers that no one could give me.
customer service meme
My top three career accomplishments are…
1. Organizing and analyzing a citizen survey for an upcoming, in-house, curb-side recycling pick-up pilot program and then getting the program passed by the council and saving the city roughly $1000 per month in the first few months of implementation.
2. Creating a research-based bike lane plan and proposal with phased project budget.
bike gif
3. Creating a comprehensive procedure and policy manual for the Utility Billing department at my last city (to ward against the possibility of the aforementioned frustrating experience ever happening to anyone else).
When no one else is in the car, I…
Listen to NPR, drink a Starbucks Refresher, and pluck my eyebrows (they’re blonde, so I can only see them in the sunlight)
NPR meme
Right now I am working on…
Convincing my boss that the auto draft is working properly and we can start another project.  Please, pretty please, let’s start another project…
Here are three tips for interviewing…
1. Duck into the restroom and stand like Superman for 5 minutes before the interview.
joey friends superman
2. Always answer the interview questions with stories whenever you can – not just whenever they ask you to.
3. Smile!
In terms of telling the local government story, I think local government…
Doesn’t always know it has a story to tell.  Every city should outline its goals (and let’s drop the phrase “embracing the past” for something more specific and proactive), and make its story from its goals.  Once that is done, the story will start to come out through the actions of the city.  Until the city has done that much, trying to tell a story is too difficult.
My Super Bowl pick is…
two football teams and some really good commercials.
I aspire to…
make any place I work more family-friendly and to mentor other women. #13Percent
You should have asked me…my favorite municipal department. (It’s planning and zoning)

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