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Meet Granite Shoals’ new money man

Kevin Rule

New Granite Shoals Finance Director Kevin Rule poses for a photo at City Hall. He was hired on May 22, 2024. The city had been without a finance director since June 2022. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

Granite Shoals has a finance director for the first time in nearly two years. Kevin Rule was hired May 22 and is already deep into preparations for the coming budget season. 

“I just feel it’s prudent to have somebody who is dedicating full-time attention to the city’s finances,” said City Manager Sarah Novo in an interview with after Rule was brought on board.

Rule’s hiring was one of the first things Novo did in her initial 90 days as interim city manager. She was given the permanent job on May 28

Granite Shoals had been without a finance director since June 2022, when Russel Martin resigned from the position. Former City Manager Peggy Smith chose not to hire a finance director throughout her tenure as interim city manager and full-time city manager in 2022 and 2023. 

The position was in the city’s 2022-23 fiscal year budget but removed in 2023-24 from a budget proposed by Smith and approved by the City Council. 

Rule will be paid his $108,500 annual salary from the existing assistant city manager salary budget line item of $115,000. Granite Shoals does not currently have an official assistant city manager, making the derelict salary available.

Granite Shoals’ finances and the 2023-24 budget cycle were fraught with controversy. Smith’s management of the budget led to the resignations of Mayor Kiel Arnone and Councilor Kevin Flack, and the city almost missed its state-mandated window to submit a budget in 2023. A financial consultant had to be brought in to straighten out the numbers.

As finance director, Rule will ensure the budget is balanced and that city leaders have a clear understanding of Granite Shoals’ financial standing.

“Any money that comes in and out of the city, I’m responsible for,” he told “I’m used to doing the budget at this size of organization.”

Rule has eight years of experience as a municipal finance director, coming to Granite Shoals from the city of Bulverde, which has a population of roughly 6,500. Prior to civil service, he spent two decades in the private sector, working in banking and brokerage.

“Granite Shoals is a great town with a lot of potential. It’s not a big city, but it’s not a small city,” he said of the town of around 5,300 people. “There’s no lack of growth going on (in the area), so why can’t we be part of that?”

Rule is aware of the city’s financial struggles prior to his arrival but is confident in his ability to help right the ship.

“I think we can overcome any challenge,” he said. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Now, how you get there is a different story. It depends a lot on the council, since they are the true decision-making body.”

The city plans to hold its first budget meeting of the year on June 20, during which Rule will present his initial findings on Granite Shoals’ financial situation and begin working with leadership on developing the 2024-25 fiscal year budget.