03/03/2016 16:01 EST | Updated 03/04/2017 00:12 EST

Sadhu Johnston appointed Vancouver city manager

After a four-month international search, acting Vancouver city manager Sadhu Johnston has been selected to take on the job permanently.

Johnston took over the role in Sep. 2015, following the ousting of former city manager Penny Ballem after seven years in the job. He has been the city's deputy manager since 2009.

Johnston told CBC News that Vancouver residents shouldn't expect big changes in the type of work the city is doing, but that he does hope to bring changes to the way work gets done at the city.

"More of a collaborative leadership style, and really trying to empower our staff to work to the best of their ability," he said.

He says he wants staff to collaborate more fully with each other, and the Vancouver community, and that he's particularly interested in continuing to improve relationships between the city and First Nations partners, as well as working on homelessness and housing.

Ballem was voted out of the job in September, receiving a severance package worth $556,000.

At that time, Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson said that the decision to remove Ballem was tied to a promise to "do things differently" after the 2014 election, when his government faced criticism for a perceived lack of transparency and consultation.