BY JENNIFER CABRERA
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Ginger Bigbie, City Auditor for the City of Gainesville, submitted her resignation on November 8; her last day will be January 13, 2023.
Bigbie was hired in December of 2019 after the former City Auditor, Carlos Holt, was fired. The State Joint Legislative Audit Committee had voted in November of 2019 to audit the City, so Bigbie presided over that process.
Bigbie presented the results of the Auditor General’s report to the City of Gainesville Audit Committee in January of 2022 and said she would make sure the City’s remediation efforts stayed on track over the next 18 months. At the same meeting, a representative from Bigbie’s office told the committee that findings from an external audit were not corrected in FY21, for the fourth year in a row.
The City received an email on September 26, 2022, and then a letter from the State Joint Legislative Auditing Committee on November 4, stating that the City’s Annual Financial Report and Annual Financial Audit Report for FY2020-21 have not been submitted. The reports were due on June 30, 2022, but the City Commission had already been warned that they would be late because of a personnel shortage and difficulties in transitioning from the City’s previous record-keeping system to Workday. The letter warns that state revenues could be withheld from the City if the reports or a detailed written status are not submitted by December 19, 2022.
The City Commission gave Bigbie an overall performance rating of 4.89 out of 5 in April of 2022 and gave her a 2.5% raise, bringing her salary to $171,892.50.
In her resignation letter, Bigbie requested that the City Commission appoint an Interim Auditor from within her office and said she would “continue to champion strong governance as the City strives to achieve its objectives and instill public trust.” She added, “It is my hope that the timing of this announcement end of working day Tuesday, 11/8, will not affect the City Commission election process nor reflect in any way on those who may be elected to City Commission offices.”
Bigbie is one of two remaining non-interim Charter Officers for the City. Former GRU General Manager Ed Bielarski was fired on January 27, 2022, and was replaced by Interim General Manager Tony Cunningham. Former City Manager Lee Feldman resigned on September 13, 2021, and was replaced by Interim City Manager Cynthia Curry. City Clerk Omichele Gainey and City Attorney Nicolle Shalley submitted their resignations on September 8, 2021; Gainey later rescinded her resignation and is still serving as City Clerk, while Interim City Attorney Daniel Nee replaced Shalley. The Director of Equity and Inclusion Teneeshia Marshall resigned in early May 2021 and was replaced by Interim Director of Equity and Inclusion Zeriah Fulston.