Who: Moriah Medina
Office Sought: Clerk of Court
Political Party: Democrat
What makes you the best person for this role?
Clerk’s offices all over Georgia have been going digital for over a decade, but when the General Assembly passed a mandate in 2018 that required all civil actions to be filed electronically, Floyd County missed the deadline by four months. The Clerk’s office is changing drastically and new skills are needed to keep up with technological advances. I am proud to be part of the first generation to have computer skills as part of our education, but I was also part of the last generation that learned skills based solely on a pre-internet existence. Along with my previous professional experience (which has included office management, customer service, and project management), I feel confident in my ability to handle all of Floyd County’s digital and physical recordkeeping needs.
With at least two major cyberattacks affecting the Floyd County courts in the past two years — what will you do to ensure court records remain safe?
There are quite a few steps we can take to stay vigilant about cybersecurity, so I am very interested to get in and see what the current procedures are. Many aspects are probably run by an IT department (such as patching operating systems and keeping firewalls active), but in the office itself, I plan to establish and/or enforce protocol that will keep Floyd County’s records safe. Making sure employees are trained on what activity is appropriate for office computers and limiting personal use, setting guidelines for creating passwords and schedule regular password changes, and have an action plan for what to do when there is a cybersecurity threat. There should also be guidelines on appropriate encryption use, suitable web and email filters, and procedures for disposing of old equipment safely by wiping all data.
There have been talks about how to resume court operations safely in the pandemic, but there is a potential that public access could be restricted as part of those considerations. What will you do to ensure the public has access to the courts and records going forward?
Our goal at this point should be to get all criminal actions filed electronically along with civil actions. Events like the pandemic are an extreme situation that hopefully will remain rare, but I believe that we all have learned the value of digital access during this past year and we can’t afford to be, once again, behind on needed advancements. I also believe we should make sure digital access to appropriate documentation is secure and user friendly. Sometimes, trying to find what you are looking for on a government website can cause more frustration than it is worth for members of the public who don’t use this office regularly. Ease of access for those that need it should be a priority.
The clerk’s office has a lot of moving parts and responsibilities — what are your plans to make sure the office works efficiently while boosting employee retention and morale?
This is a great question because there is a lot of data available that shows that boosting employee morale can both increase efficiency and help improve employee retention. But boosting employee morale isn’t just showering the staff with praise and creating a fun working environment. It is also setting clear expectations so every employee understands what is expected of them and they can feel confident that they are providing high-quality service. I believe that one of the main roles of a leader is to be the support system for your team. An overwhelmed or stressed employee is not a productive employee, so I believe it will be my responsibility to help the team stay on task and provide any help or resources they may need to meet deadlines and accomplish goals.