Former Council President Solomon joining Mayor Elorza’s staff

Democratic candidates for Providence mayor Jorge Elorza, left, and Michael Solomon listen during a debate on WPRI 12's Newsmakers in August 2014.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former City Council President Michael Solomon is joining the Elorza administration.

Solomon, a Democrat who ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2014, will be Mayor Jorge Elorza’s senior advisor on intergovernmental and municipal affairs, according to Emily Crowell, a spokesperson for the city.

Solomon, 60, will start his new job Aug. 7. He will earn $120,000 a year, Crowell said.

The addition of Solomon – who served two terms on the City Council and has spent his life around Rhode Island politics as the son of a former state treasurer – gives Elorza the political experience his administration has lacked during the mayor’s first two-and-a-half years in office. It also means Solomon is unlikely to challenge Elorza in next year’s Democratic primary.

At the same time, Solomon has clashed with City Council Finance Committee Chairman John Igliozzi since 2012 and actively opposed the leadership team put together by then-Council President Luis Aponte and then-Majority Leader Kevin Jackson in 2015. Aponte resigned his leadership post on May 19 and Jackson was recalled from office on May 2 as both face legal trouble.

Solomon still owns Wes’ Rib House in Olneyville and a catering business in Warwick. He is also a minority owner in a property at 385 Westminster Street, which is part of the Conrad Building. The ownership group received a $500,000 loan with a favorable interest rate from the city in 1987 and still owes the Providence Business Loan Fund (PBLF) more than $300,000.

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Dan McGowan ( dmcgowan@wpri.com ) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @danmcgowan