For Immediate Release: 1/29/2020 1:36 pm
City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. has announced that Tom Zidelis will retire as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) after serving the City for 32 years. His last day will be on or about March 9, 2020.
Zidelis joined the City in 1986, was appointed Assistant Treasurer and Collector of Taxes in 1990 and was later promoted to Treasurer. He left the City briefly in 2006 for a position at the Worcester County House of Correction, returning in 2008 as the Chief Financial Officer. He came back to City Hall with two specific tasks: 1) assist the City Administration with weathering the storm through “the Great Recession” and 2) financially strengthen the position of the City in the near term and to withstand future economic challenges.
Over the past decade, Zidelis has worked tirelessly to achieve and raise the goals of the City financial plan. At the close of 2019, the City reported an unassigned general fund balance in the amount of $48M. Additionally, under his leadership as CFO, the City has built up its excess levy capacity in excess of $19M, providing tax avoidance to the taxpayers as well as building capacity to handle future downturns in the economy.
The City has also received four bond rating increases, achieving an AA rating from Fitch, the highest in the City’s history. Most recently, Zidelis served as a key member of the team responsible for bringing the Worcester Red Sox to the city, committing countless hours to negotiations and financial planning.
“Tom is an incredibly dedicated employee. He is a true expert in municipal finance and will be greatly missed,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. “I was truly fortunate to work alongside Tom for the past six years and we wish him the best in his well-deserved retirement.”
The City will immediately begin the search for a new Chief Financial Officer. In its last budget narrative, the City outlined the importance of succession planning as it prepared for the retirement of key staff. The City has identified key strategies to train and promote from within as possible in addition to recruiting top quality candidates to fill open positions.