Chagrin Falls has a hybrid Mayor/Village Administrator/Council form of government. Council forms the legislative branch of government whose sole administrative function is approving variances to the zoning code. The administrative branch consists of a part time Mayor as the Chief Executive who oversees all departments.
The Mayor sets policy to guide the general operation of the Village while the Village’s Chief Administrator (CAO) is responsible for the day to day operations of the Village. The street department, building department and the two Village owned utilities report to the CAO. The Law Director, Engineer, Finance Director, Police and Fire Chiefs and the CAO report to the Mayor. In addition to the supervisory responsibilities, the CAO is responsible for overseeing the preparation of legislation for council action, all village contract bidding and purchasing and initial determination of application of the village zoning and building codes. Last year the building inspector conducted 50 investigations of complaints of zoning and property maintenance, 364 building inspections and oversaw 75 ARB submissions.
The Village Administrator’s major jobs include analyzing the operations of the municipally-owned utilities, and making recommendations to Council and the Mayor concerning all charges and rates for these services. He works closely with the Village Engineer to make recommendations concerning all new construction, maintenance and replacement of existing facilities and equipment, and planning of future operations of the utilities. Service-related responsibilities include overseeing the construction, improvement, repair and maintenance of all public streets and alleys, public buildings, drains, ditches, storm sewer facilities, parks, playgrounds, and public places.
The CAO is also responsible for overseeing all village purchases and providing back office support for all the village’s various departments. All contracts in excess of $50,000 are competitively bid and all purchases over $5000 are based upon competitive quotes. This system recently saved the Village $140,000.00 in garbage collection fees alone. As a practical matter almost all of the villages purchases are price shopped or acquired via state or county master purchasing agreements. In addition the CAO is responsible for the economic analysis of whether it is more economical for the village to provide a service directly or to purchase the service from a third party. This process has resulted in the village contracting out the grass cutting in the cemetery vs. assigning this job to village employees. This resulted in the elimination of one full-time village employee and a net savings of $ 63,000 per year. The village’s administrative staff consists of a staff of five: Mayor, CAO, building inspector, administrative assistant and utilities billing and support person. The budget of all the village administrative functions is $300,000.
The Finance Department is headed by a Director of Finance and one full time and one part time employee. The Director of Finance is responsible for all finance, payroll and accounting matters of the Village, including health care administration. In addition the Finance Director works closely with other departments and prepares any financial analysis requested by the departments or the council. The budget for the village finance department is $258,000.