Rolling Back the Red Tape

darla_littonKeeping a positive and helpful attitude in the workplace is a small thing, but something easily forgotten. Soon after beginning a career in public service, Darla Litton realized that people who call on their local government were just like her – sometimes confused by the bureaucracy and looking for someone who could help. Applying a little consideration and understanding, Litton developed a new and enthusiastic attitude, one she now brings each day to her job as risk manager for the City of Altamonte Springs.

“I attempt to approach my daily dealings with the public by keeping a positive, helpful attitude. It has been my great pleasure on many occasions to help guide a citizen through situations and bring a positive outcome to their needs,” Litton said. “Some of my ‘customers’ are not only citizens, but colleagues and employees from other governmental agencies.”

A dedicated public servant, Litton recognizes that the upcoming Local Works Day – being celebrated by local government employees around the state on Oct. 3 – is a great opportunity to showcase how residents and visitors alike benefit from public servants.

One of the major parts of Litton’s job is assisting coworkers through the legal maze of workers’ compensation claims, as employees who are injured on the job can become quickly frustrated and confused by the complex regulations. Litton prides herself on being personally responsible to each employee, doing whatever is needed to make sure each employee receives prompt attention, medical care and help so the claim process can be as simple and painless as possible.

“While even my best efforts sometimes can’t prevent every employee from becoming frustrated with the rules, my hope is that they feel I continue to treat them with respect and dignity,” she said.

Litton’s own frustration when dealing with governmental agencies taught her that not all public agencies share an attitude of supporting one another. That’s why she has made it her personal initiative to support outside agencies and, she hopes, serve as a model for other governmental employees.

“I truly love my job, I love my city and I am grateful for every day the opportunity presents itself to assist a citizen, coworker or fellow governmental employee,” Litton said. “It’s my hope that when I am part of a positive outcome, my small efforts will begin to change the opinion most people have about government employees.”