Antioch City Manager to retire at end of 2021

By Allen Payton

Ron Bernal. Photo: City of Antioch

Antioch City Manager Ron Bernal has announced his intent to retire at the close of 2021, ending a 36-career in public service.  With single and combined roles that span 23 years in Antioch as Assistant City Engineer, Public Works Director, City Engineer, Assistant City Manager and City Manager, Mr. Bernal will depart with great appreciation for the organization, the community and how pursuits larger than oneself are a collective achievement.

“I’m living proof that opportunity lives in Antioch. I’m proud to call Antioch my home and want to see it continue to be a place where everyone can live a life of purpose and opportunity in peace, safety and community,” stated Ron Bernal.

He shared his plans with the organization late last week, noting “if I could do it all over again, I’d choose Antioch.”

His departure was expected following his hiring of Rosanna Bayon Moore, last year, for the Assistant City Manager position which had gone vacant for several years.

Mayor Lamar Thorpe shared his thoughts on Bernal’s retirement saying, “Ron is an impeccable human being, filled with compassion, understanding, and love. This has been demonstrated time after time in his relentless support and desire to house our unhoused neighbors, provide Antioch youth with new paths filled with opportunity, and much, much more.  Ron has been a friend, confidant, and advisor.  While Ron will be missed in his capacity as city manager, he and his wife will continue to be Antioch residents and neighbors to many of us.”

District 2 Councilman Mike Barbanica posted on his official Facebook page, last Thursday, the day of Bernal’s announcement, “Another BIG LOSS for the City of Antioch. Ron Bernal, the City Manager has announced his retirement. Ron, you really will be missed.”

District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock offered her thoughts on Bernal’s retirement writing, “Mr. Bernal has given our beautiful city 36 years. He thought outside the box, such as with our desalination plant and so many other ideas. It takes a very dedicated individual such as Ron to be able to accomplish all that he has. Ron will be missed as the city manager, but not as a life-long friend. Thank you to the Bernal family for sharing Ron.”

Ogorchock expects that Bernal will remain living in Antioch. “Oh, he’s not going anywhere,” she added.

According to his bio on the city’s website, “Ron has a degree in Civil Engineering from UC Davis and is a registered Civil Engineer in California. Before his role as City Manager, Ron served as the City of Antioch Assistant City Manager since 2016, Public Works Director since 2009 and Assistant City Engineer since 1998. When not at City Hall, Ron enjoys spending time with his fantastic wife, Irma, their children, two incredible grandsons Jaxon and Isaiah and granddaughter Kinsley.”

The Antioch City Council will consider its transition plans in the coming weeks, whether to have a search for a new city manager or hire Bayon Moore.

Efforts to reach Bernal, asking if that gives him enough time to be the one to hire a new police chief and if he plans to remain living in Antioch, and the other two councilmembers for comment prior to publication were unsuccessful. Please check back later for any updates to this report.

Rolando Bonilla, PIO, City of Antioch contributed to this report.


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