The City of Victoria has relieved its top civil servant of his job.
Jason Johnson, who was brought in to help right the city’s ship in February 2014, including getting the Johnson Street bridge project on track, has left effective Sept. 22 to pursue other opportunities, the City announced Friday.
A news release outlining city council’s decision put a largely positive spin on the leadership change at city hall, with Mayor Lisa Helps stating that Johnson has “successfully completed his mandate,” which was to make important changes to the way the City was managed, structured and staffed.
“Mr. Johnson played a critical role in modernizing the City’s financial planning process, creating greater transparency and accountability, transforming the City’s senior leadership team, strengthening the City’s relationship with the development community and overseeing major capital projects like the Johnson Street bridge replacement,” Helps stated.
Longtime City staffer Jocelyn Jenkins, who had been working as Johnson’s deputy, was named acting city manager effective immediately. No word was given on whether the City will undertake a search for a permanent replacement for Johnson.
As part of a standard severance package for senior managers, the City will pay a year’s salary and benefits for Johnson, which in July 2016 was listed as $223,459 plus $51,518 in taxable benefits, a total of $274,977.
“It has been a pleasure and an honour to serve the City of Victoria during my time here,” Johnson wrote. “I am grateful to all the many talented and dedicated people I got to work with and very proud of the work that we accomplished under my leadership. The City remains in good hands with Jocelyn.”