Flint, MI—Per a March 27 City of Flint press release, Chief Financial Officer Robert Widigan has resigned, effective April 6. He will have served as Flint’s CFO for less than two years.
Widigan began as the city’s interim CFO on Aug. 16, 2021, having taken over after former CFO Shelbi Frayer left the seat in less than six months. Widigan’s official appointment was approved in October 2021.
“I wish Mr. Widigan the very best in his new position and thank him for his service to the residents of Flint,” Mayor Sheldon Neeley said. “With every departure, I celebrate the growth of the talented individuals we’ve cultivated at the City of Flint, and I’m happy to see them advance. I’m confident that we will continue to attract top talent, based on the foundation of success laid by our current and former staff.”
The city did not release details on Widigan’s new position and employer but stated that information “will be disclosed later this week.” Widigan did not respond to Flint Beat’s request for comment by press time.
During Widigan’s tenure as CFO, the city secured $220 million in state funding to shore up Flint’s ailing pension fund. Widigan also led budget efforts to reduce the structural deficit by $12 million in fiscal year 2022-2023.
According to the city’s release, Widigan has also positioned Flint at the forefront of extensible business reporting language (XBRL) through participation in a pilot project with the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy.
“Flint is poised to be among the first local municipal governments to transition to machine-readable financial documents on XBRL…versus the unwieldy standard PDF format,” the release reads.
Among his successes Widigan also met with difficulties, particularly in dealings with Flint City Council.
The outgoing CFO filed a harassment complaint against Council in July 2022 and wrote a memorandum to then-Council President Dennis Pfeiffer effectively boycotting attending the body’s meetings in October of the same year.
However, Widigan did attend a March 8, 2023 presentation of the city’s fiscal year 2023-2024 budget.
According to the city’s press release, Widigan wrote in his resignation letter: “I leave knowing that the City of Flint is on a corrective course to financial stability, which we have established together.”
Widigan’s departure means multiple top positions in Neeley’s administration are, or are soon to be, vacant.
Atop the ongoing search for former Flint Fire Chief Raymond Barton’s permanent replacement, Department of Public Works Director Michael Brown recently retired, effective March 17, and Planning and Development Director Suzanne Wilcox is also retiring effective May 1 of this year.