A year ago, when the city of Jacksonville was formulating its budget, there was a different State Attorney in Florida’s 4th Circuit.
Angela Corey was running for her third term, facing a challenge from the woman who destroyed her in the GOP Primary months later: Melissa Nelson.
Nelson ran on a platform of “smart justice,” a reversal in philosophy from the retro atavism of the Corey era. Among the reforms Nelson campaigned on: an increase in civil citations for youth, institution of a conviction integrity unit, and other reforms designed to move beyond a model that eroded Corey’s credibility with even Republican Primary voters.
The hagiography of the campaign has faded, into the more messy narratives of reality, which included firing a former Clay County Sheriff Nelson had hired as an investigator, and dealing with the messy aftermath of a protest in Hemming Park where police and protesters mixed it up.
On Friday, Nelson noted before the budget hearing that the major enhancement request of the budget process this year is in IT, where Nelson seeks upgrades: specifically, a half a million dollar cost for a case management system is also in the budget.
The Mayor’s Office urged Nelson to spread the money out over three years; Nelson’s office didn’t expect to get the money all at once, for the CMS that is expected to have a five-year life.
Nelson said the goal was a “more sophisticated document management system that will allow our office to coordinate better with JSO and the Public Defender’s Office.”
The IT system holistically “can use improvement, and that’s what we’re seeking to do.”
“Enhancements,” said Nelson, “will allow us to extract and report data. That’s important to be able to track and measure what we’re doing to make sure we’re doing things as effectively and efficiently as possible … to manage data in a better way.”