Jeffery Lambert Director of Community Development leaves Ventura

Lamber is very happy with his new position in Oxnard.

by Richard Lieberman

Director of Community Development Jeffrey Lambert has left Ventura for a post with the city of Oxnard. Lambert was offered and accepted the position of Community Development Director for the City of Oxnard. He runs a department of approximately 65 people.

“One of the proudest moments of my whole career at Ventura City was the way we handled the rebuilding part of the Thomas fire. We made this rebuild process as easy as we could. Sixty-one percent of the homes are either in reconstruction or plan check,” said Lambert. “It’s not higher because some of the people have not begun the process,” added Lambert.

He also added it was important to find that balance of respecting neighbors and at the same time giving people flexibility in building their dream home. “ I am incredibly proud of our efforts to make this happen.” He said.

There was, and still is a tremendous amount of work to be done. Lambert and his staff worked tirelessly to make victims of this catastrophe whole again. This included meeting with homeowners at their homes and working weekends for months at a time.

Rebuilding after the Thomas fire is a process that those who have not gone through it just don’t understand. Most of the homeowners who have begun or even completed rebuilding are people who never wanted to go through the process of rebuilding. The first homeowners to complete their rebuild, Sandy and Ed Fuller were more prepared. They had recently gone through a complete remodel and therefore had plans that were up-to-date. “

“Last Friday on my day off I drove around the fire zone just because it made me feel good to see all the construction happening” he added.

When asked about the difference in compensation between Ventura and Oxnard Lambert said: “ I took a good bump to come here.” Another reason he mentioned was being stripped of the economic development department in Ventura. “I thought that was a mistake,” he added.

Adding to his accomplishments in Ventura Lambert cited the continuing revitalization of downtown as one of his proudest accomplishments for the City. “I am proud that over my term there my staff were much more focused on being facilitators than regulators to help people through the process,” he said.

“After nearly 10 years with the City of Ventura with many proud moments and accomplishments, I left Ventura for Oxnard to be part of a highly professional and visionary leadership team.  Oxnard is clearly open for business and supportive of progress and meeting the demands of its citizens and economic prosperity through public and private economic investments.  I believe the future of Oxnard is bright and I am thrilled to be part of that future. I am very happy with my decision. I still live in the Ventura and call it my home, and I wish the City well, particularly the Community Development staff I left behind who are dedicated and talented professionals doing the best they can.”

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