On Tuesday, Sept. 13, the Antioch City Council will again discuss the appointment of a City Manager. This will occur in closed session.
Although no details are provided in the agenda due to closed session, this is the second time the council will meet on the item in less than a month after Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe held a press conference announcing he was appointing Cornelius Johnson officially city manager calling him the “perfect fit”.
The mayor explained that the city was working on a process of how they hire the police chief, but given the circumstances of the day they couldn’t wait for the process as the Antioch Police Department needed stability.
However, during the August 26 special meeting, the council took no action on the appointment of Johnson.
For Tuesday, its unclear if the council will appoint Johnson, who has yet to answer questions regarding his past including the misleading the public on his resume at the time of his interim appointment, his past bankruptcy, foreclosure and judgment against him—its also come to light that three employee complaints have been filed against him. Or, if the council will announce they will move to a formal hiring process with a national search.
Johnson was appointed City of Antioch interim city manager in November of 2021 in a 3-2 vote after the retirement of then City Manager Ron Bernal.
Antioch Council Takes No Action on Hiring Con Johnson as City Manager
At the August 26 special meeting of the Antioch City Council, the Antioch City Council opted to take no action in appointing interim city manager Con Johnson as its permanent city manager. The move came less than a week after Mayor Lamar Thorpe held a press conference with the media announcing the appointment.
No reasoning was given for the “no action” but at least two councilmembers are on record stating they want to vote on a process for hiring the next city manager while all four new candidates running for election have opposed the hiring at this time–this publication also supports an open and fair process in the hiring of a city manager.
During public comments, three residents spoke with 2 against the hiring and 1 in favor.
Mark Jordan blasted the mayor and told the council they should be ashamed of themselves.
“I cannot believe what is going on down here at the city council. It is clown car on fire. It is as bad as Trump be president for four years. You would propose to hire a man who is absolutely unqualified and to have a non-transparent, non-open process. If the room were full, I would probably be the only person who actually applied to be the city manager and who went through the open process. That person right there (pointing at Assistant City Manager Rosanna Bayon Moore) should be prompted to be city manager.
But maybe she is not black enough for you. Like Tammany Brooks was not black enough for you. It is unconscionable what you are doing to the city. I had dinner with Tammany and his wife in March in Idaho, and I bemoaned what was going on here in the city. He looked at me and said you have to understand sometimes a person will burn the entire kingdom just so they can rule over the ashes. And that is what is going on with the mayor. He is a narcissistic sociopath. No different than Trump. And you should be ashamed for following his lead. It is reprehensible what is going on.
I don’t know about Steven Ford other than I met him the other night and I offered to take him to lunch and we will have lunch in the next couple of weeks.
As for Con Johnson, I ran the background report, you overlooked the bankruptcy, the foreclosure, the judgements and the city attorney says well we are not going to talk about any of that. That is all public record, what is not public record is the employee complaints that currently is facing. So you are going to promote a man who has employee complaints. That is what you are going to do? You should all be ashamed if you vote to do this. Open the process or hire that person.”
Antioch City Attorney Thomas Lloyd Smith reported no reportable action on the appointment of the city manager after the council met for approximently 30 minutes in closed session.
City Manager Background:
- May 2017: City of Antioch Names Ron Bernal New City Manager
- Sept. 7, 2021: Antioch City Manager to Retire at End of 2021
- Nov 5, 2021: Antioch Set to Hire Former San Francisco Police Captain as Interim City Manager
- Nov. 10, 2021: Antioch City Council Agrees to Hire Cornelius Johnson as Interim City Manager in 3-2 Vote
- Dec. 16, 2021: Antioch Mayor Announces Hiring of Interim City Manager
Antioch City Council Meeting
Date: Tuesday, September 13, 2022
Time: 6:15 P.M. – Closed Session
7:00 P.M. – Regular Meeting
Place: Council Chambers
200 ‘H’ Street, Antioch, CA 94509
WRITTEN PUBLIC COMMENT – If you wish to provide a written public comment, you may do so in one of the following ways by 3:00 p.m. the day of the City Council Meeting:
- Fill out an online speaker card, located at https://www.antiochca.gov/speaker_card Or,
- Email the City Clerk’s Department at [email protected]
Full Agenda: Click here