Chief Operating Officer

Darnell Brown, a City of Cleveland employee for more than 38 years, has executive management authority over the Operations Cluster. Brown’s extensive municipal experience includes operations, capital improvements, facilities construction and maintenance, budgeting, labor relations and organizational development. Each of these competencies is utilized in his oversight of the departments of Public Works, Public Utilities, Mayor’s Office of Capital Projects, and the Mayor’s Action Center.

In 2004, Brown was appointed Chief Operating Officer managing an operating budget of $728 million with 4,000 employees. He also served as Acting Director of the Department of Public Utilities for 11 months during 2005 overseeing a budget of $423 million representing 71% of the total enterprise fund budget—and 1,700 employees. In 2006, Mayor Jackson expanded Brown’s responsibilities to include leading the following initiatives: Operations Efficiency Task Force, 311, Citistat, and Clean Cleveland.

Brown began his career with the City of Cleveland, Division of Water as a Personnel Assistant and in 1988, elevated through the ranks to become Commissioner of Water Pollution Control.

As Commissioner, he led the operation and regulatory compliance of the sewer system of the City of Cleveland. Specific tasks included rate studies and competitive assessment initiatives resulting in provision of high quality, low cost service. Accomplishments as Commissioner include:

  • Implemented rigorous financial controls resulting in the elimination of a $10 million deficit and an increase of revenues;
  • Developed a comprehensive 5-year capital improvement program resulting in the elimination of a history of flood problems and improving quality of life for residents;
  • Implemented management best practices for the operation and maintenance of the sewer collection system resulting in significant increases in performance;
  • Implemented an IT Work Management System that significantly improved the ability to track customer complaints, schedule work orders, job cost, manage inventory control and generate management reports;
  • Introduced the Balanced Scorecard management process, allowing the division to budget and plan effectively while simultaneously identifying measurable goals and objectives.

Brown’s civic involvement includes membership on the boards of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, the Doan Brook Watershed Partnership and the Cleveland Foodbank.

A graduate of the Cleveland Public Schools, Brown attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. He has two children, Danielle and Kenneth, and is married to Terri Hamilton Brown.