On Tuesday, the Antioch City Council reported out of closed session that they have named Ron Bernal as the next City Manager of Antioch.
Bernal, who had been serving as city manager on an interim basis for the past two weeks, was previously the assistant city manager/Public Works Director/City Engineer. He will now succeed Steve Duran who was placed on leave two-weeks ago.
Tuesday night, the council was set to approve Bernal’s contract as interim City Manager at an additional cost to the city budget of $13,207. This represents the cost through June 30, 2017. The cost of having to pay for two City Manager positions in Fiscal Year 2018 (the permanent replacement of the City Manager and the severance package of the prior City Manager) is being built into the preliminary budget that will be brought forth to Council next month.
With the news out of closed session, the language on the contract was changed from “interim” to “acting city manager” which will remain in effect until Bernal’s City Manager contract is approved by Council.
Bernal said Wednesday that he could not speak in great detail since he is in negotiations with the City of Antioch on the terms of a contract, but said regardless of the length and salary, the council wants to see immediate positive change for Antioch and that he was prepared to deliver quick results.
“I am an Antioch resident and I care about our community and what happens in this city,” said Bernal. “People expect to see immediate, positive changes. The public isn’t interested in excuses about staffing levels, limited funding or reasons why we can’t get things done. We have a competent, professional, hardworking staff that delivers exceptional service to this community 24/7. There are many things we don’t control but we can and will be responsive and solution oriented to our community’s problems and concerns. This will result in a positive experience for people who visit, shop and live in Antioch.”
Bernal said it’s important that Antioch work on positive things and create some “wins” for the city so that people stop focusing on only the negatives and the crime but really see the beauty and potential of Antioch as a whole.
“Antioch is a special city with so much to offer. We need to better communicate our strengths and come together as a community and work collaboratively on being the best we can be. In time, our hard work and results are going to showcase our city in a positive light,” said Bernal.
As of Wednesday afternoon, it’s unclear how soon the Council and Bernal will finalize a contract.