VANCOUVER City Manager Sadhu Johnston on Tuesday informed Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Vancouver City Council that he will step down from his position in January 2021.
“This job has been the most rewarding of my career. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to lead such an amazing organization with so many creative and passionate people, all working to make the community better,” said Johnston. “While we have made progress on many important issues during the past 11 years, there is so much more to be done and I have confidence in the commitment and professionalism of the City staff to meet those challenges.”
Johnston has been City Manager for five years, and prior to that held the position of Deputy City Manager for six years. He has led major city-altering projects including addressing the housing crisis with temporary modular housing and new housing policies including the launch of the Empty Homes Tax to help fund affordable housing; the implementation of the Greenest City Action Plan with carbon emission reductions; major capital projects such as the Burrard Bridge upgrade; creation of the Arbutus Greenway and other active transportation initiatives such as MOBI bike share; and new childcare projects.
Under Johnston’s leadership, and to address critical social issues in the city, Vancouver also advanced its work on resilience and emergency planning with the Resilient Vancouver strategy, and he also worked to address the opioid crisis that has been so deadly in Vancouver.
Johnston also put significant focus on creating a healthy and supportive culture for the more than 7,000 City staff across the organization and successfully oversaw the last round of collective agreement negotiations in 2015-16. More recently, he oversaw the City’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including shifting City resources to support the restart of City services and facilities and to increase support for local businesses, the community and the economy with the City’s RestartSmartVancouver plan.
“On behalf of Vancouver City Council, I would like to thank Sadhu Johnston for his incredible service to the residents of Vancouver over the last 11 years,” said Stewart. “Sadhu has helped the City of Vancouver push forward many innovative and challenging initiatives that have helped Vancouver tackle issues such as housing affordability, homelessness, climate change, and transportation. Thanks to his work, the City has a strong senior leadership team that is ready to help us transition to a new City Manager, a process I will be helping lead and one that will be exhaustive.”