Small Business Leader and Cancer Survivor Marc Widger Runs for Boca Raton City Council
Marc Wigder is a Boca Raton small Business leader, investor, lawyer, and cancer survivor. After recovering, Wigder resolved that he wanted to give even more back to his community and decided to run for Boca Raton City Council.
Professionally, Widger is a business and real estate attorney, giving him an intimate knowledge of Boca Raton’s economy and inner workings. After years of involvement with Boca Raton’s business community as a lawyer, Widger switched to a career path that would allow him to have a more significant impact.
I transitioned and started doing investments. And so my company now owns and manages office parks, and some industrial parks in South Florida, where we basically focus on helping small businesses start up and grow hence game the name of the company called Greenhouse.
Widger told the Florida Jolt that this experience gave him greater insight into the challenges facing those in Boca Raton and exposed the business-hostile red tape tying up its economy.
“I’m very fortunate I went back to Yale University to get an MBA with a focus on sustainability. And of course, you know, when you’re getting the MBA, one of the business courses that you take as marketing, of course, is serving your clients. So I started serving my clients. And what I started to notice is that certain issues rose to the top and the issues that rose to the top were not the ones that you would traditionally think like, taxes, our taxes are too high or, or something like that. The issues that rose to the top for my clients were it’s too hard to get a business tax receipt. It’s too hard to get a license. There’s too many inspections. It’s too complicated. You have to go to four different places to park. I can’t find labor. This is before the pandemic. I can’t find labor. I can’t find good people to work. It’s very, very difficult.”
Widger took it upon himself to try to help his clients, not just through his business but by going to the city council.
“I started talking to people on the city council of Boca Raton and letting them know the issues that are facing my clients. And so they basically said, “hey, you know, you can get involved” and so I joined a city board, I joined the community advisory panel, and then I found that I can be a voice for citizens. And so that’s over five years ago, I joined that board, and I became interested in other city issues.”
From there, Widger became deeply involved with public service for Boca Raton. He has been the vice chair of the City of Boca Raton Community Advisory Panel, past president of the Devon Place Homeowners Association, Pine Crest School Ambassador Council member, and vice president of the Board of Trustees B’nai Torah Synagogue. Widger was also a member of the City of Boca Raton Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee, both of which are personal hobbies. This membership was his initial introduction to the political realm, and he stressed that “…making sure that the streets are safe for pedestrians and bikes is something that only improves the quality of life…”
Then, almost a year ago, Widger was diagnosed with cancer, which involved months of chemotherapy and necessitated surgery. This spurred him to increase his involvement even further.
“You know, I had cancer almost exactly a year ago, I had surgery to remove a tumor, and I had testicular cancer, and so I had to have chemo. And then when you come back from chemo, you know, it’s very eye-opening. And you’re so appreciative of what you have. And I knew, you know, at that time that if I could come back from this, I want to spend more of my time giving back to the city where I’ve been so lucky to grow a business.”
At the beginning of this year, when Widger found out a city council position had opened up, he knew it’d be the perfect way to do just that and give back to his community.
The Boca Raton Municipal Election will be held on March 14, 2023. The only other item on the ballot will be a proposal to extend the current city council terms, which Wigder is not in favor of.
I support the current two, three-year terms as previously approved by the voters of Boca Raton. If voters want me back, they can vote for me again in three years ~Marc Wigder
Widger plans to leverage all of his public and professional experience if elected, bringing his “business-minded” approach back to Boca Raton and cutting the red tape that restrains Boca Raton business owners and, by extension, the entire community. “I think it’s looking at good business judgments for the residents and the businesses that want to be here.” Widger said, “And, you know, in trying to help create an environment that’s even better for more businesses to come.”
Widger also stressed that he’d be approaching the matter carefully, given the recent massive influx of residents, to ensure no community members get trampled in a rush.
“Right now, Florida is booming. And everybody wants to be down here. So we are going to have to manage our growth carefully. And that’s going to mean looking carefully at the zoning code, updating it as appropriate …. We’re gonna have to have some smart growth to make sure traffic is not overly impacted, the grid is not overly impacted, municipal services are not overly impacted. We’re gonna manage a lot of issues carefully. And I think a good business-minded approach is going to be important addition to the council.”
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