Nashville Mayor John Cooper on Friday named Saul Solomon as Metro’s interim finance director. The appointment is effective Sept. 7, pending Metro Council approval.
Most recently, Solomon served as interim executive director of Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency as the agency’s board searched for a permanent hire. MDHA selected Troy White, the former director of housing authorities at Atlanta business advisory firm Aprio, to fill the MDHA executive director role in July.
Solomon’s 35-year career includes serving as director of law for Metro government and as an assistant public defender, as well as 18 years in the private sector serving various leadership roles at Bridgestone Americas.
Four Metro Finance deputies will lead the department until Solomon assumes the role, according to mayor’s office spokesperson Chris Song.
Solomon will take the helm from former Finance Director Kevin Crumbo, whose last day was Aug. 27. Crumbo announced his intent to step down in June, stating he accomplished what he was hired to do: stabilize Nashville’s financial structure under Cooper’s administration. During his tenure, he helped navigate a property tax increase during the pandemic and a potential state takeover of the city’s finances.
Crumbo steps down:Kevin Crumbo, Nashville’s finance director, to step down from post
Upon appointing Crumbo in 2019, Cooper said the move was in line with a campaign pledge to “bring a high-level kind of private sector expertise and experience to government.”
Metro’s charter requires finance directors to have a “well founded reputation in public finance” or at least five years of “exceptional performance” as a comptroller or the financial head of a large business.
Solomon formerly served as president of Bridgestone’s North America Commercial Tire Division and Latin American operations and was a former general counsel and vice president of labor relations for Bridgestone Americas.
“Mr. Solomon has extensive experience in corporate finance with profit and loss responsibility, having run two $1B+ businesses during his 18-year tenure at Bridgestone Americas,” Song wrote in an email to The Tennessean.
In the private sector, Solomon is a member of Nashville law firm Klein Solomon Mills, PLLC. Solomon also teaches at Vanderbilt Law School and Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management.
He holds a law degree from University of North Carolina Law School and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.
“Thanks to Kevin’s leadership, the dedication of our finance staff, and the work of Metro Council, Saul will be joining Metro with a structurally balanced budget and solid financial footing,” Cooper wrote in an email to Metro’s department heads and elected officials on Aug. 27.
Metro Nashville is “talking to several highly qualified candidates to serve as permanent hires,” and hopes to announce a decision soon, Song wrote.
Reach reporter Cassandra Stephenson at [email protected] or at (731) 694-7261. Follow Cassandra on Twitter at @CStephenson731.