On Tuesday, the Antioch City Council will vote on whether or not to appoint Cornelius Johnson as Interim City Manager. They will vote on approving an employment agreement.
Johnson would replace Antioch City Manager Ron Bernal who announced in September the intent to retire at the close of 2021, ending a thirty-six (36) year career in public service. The staff report did not disclose a start date nor a salary for Johnson if approved.
For Johnson, he has been working with Thorpe since November when it was announced he was apart of the Mayors transition team. This group was comprised of city council members, city staff, private citizens and advocates. Johnson and City Attorney Thomas Lloyd Smith with co-chairs of his police reform effort.
During the 2020 election, Johnson offered three campaign donations to Mayor Thorpe’s election campaign. In 2016, he also hosted a campaign fundraiser at his home for Monica Wilson who was running for Contra Costa County Board of Supervisor.
Johnson was also with Mayor Thorpe and Mayor Pro Tem Monica Wilson when Thorpe unveiled his police reform proposals back on February 22 at a press conference.
According to the Staff Report
Although the City Manager position is an existing budgeted full-time position and funding is available in the current budget, with the impending retirement of Ron Bernal, the current City Manager, the cost of the Interim City Manager position will be $xxx,xxx of this amount, $xxx,xxx will be the cost to the General Fund
With the impending retirement of City Manager Ron Bernal at the end of this calendar year, City Council began taking steps to initiate a search for a new City Manager and to maintain continuity of leadership by appointing an Interim City Manager to serve in that role until a permanent City Manager is selected.
The City has significant current and ongoing projects and initiatives. Obtaining a transfer of organizational knowledge from the current City Manager to the Interim City Manager is paramount to maintaining momentum and continuity.
Mr. Johnson has extensive managerial experience. He is a former San Francisco Police Captain. Some of his career accomplishments include:
- Collaborating with various departments in creating the first African American Community Police Relations Oversight Board, San Francisco Police Department.
- Developing and implementing Cultural Awareness, Cultural Competency and Racial Bias in police training for staff
- Providing monthly updates to the Board of Supervisors, and Police Commission relating to San Francisco Police Department community-policing strategies and efforts
- Collaborating with the Department of Health, Department of Youth Services and Juvenile Hall Center developing, planning, administering, overseeing the San Francisco Police Department city-wide Violence Intervention Program with a budget of $20 million and a staff of 60 mid managers and supervisor.
- Collaborating with criminologists to develop, implement, and manage the first of its kind gun violence reduction initiative “Operation Cease Fire”.
Mr. Johnson possesses a Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Public Administration from the University of San Francisco. He also possesses a POST Management Certificate.
- Tuesday, November 9
- 7:00 pm
- If you wish to provide a written public comment, you may do so any of the following ways by 3:00 p.m. the day of the Council Meeting: (1) Fill out an online speaker card, located at https://www.antiochca.gov/speaker_card , or (2) Email the City Clerk’s Department at
[email protected] .
- Full Agenda
Antioch Mayor Releases Statement
Antioch, Calif., (November 5, 2021) – Today, the City of Antioch has announced that Cornelius Johnson has been nominated to serve as Interim City Manager.
Having 17 years of managerial experience with the City and County of San Francisco, most recently as a captain in the San Francisco Police Department’s Field Operations Bureau, Johnson managed a $300 million budget and oversaw 600 staff members
Having risen up the ranks within the San Francisco Police Department, Johnson was the architect of San Francisco’s community policing efforts having established San Francisco’s Director of Community Policing position within the police department. Throughout his career, Johnson has devoted his career to establishing strong bonds between his agencies and the residents he has served.
Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in public administration, and a Master in Public Administration from the University of San Francisco.
The City Council will vote on Johnson’s contract at their Tuesday, November 9th meeting. If appointed, Johnson will become the first African-American City Manager in the history of the city of Antioch.