Abrupt and Mysterious Departure of Oxnard Development Director

By George Miller

Oxnard is abuzz this week over the mysterious, unheralded departure of Community Development Director Jeff Lambert.  We first heard about it from a city official, who professed to not know why. He later wrote me: “Staff is totalling [sic] baffled. Staff said they liked Jeff, and “everyone got along well with Jeff”. Furthermore, they came in Friday and were told Jeff no longer works for the city but no answers to questions were offered not even how staff could contact Jeff to say goodbye.”

Keith Brooks, Oxnard’s IT Director, was also added to the MIA list. No one we know seems to have any idea why- or at least they’re not telling us. 

City officials would not reveal anything about what happened, according to multiple people we talked to.  Assistant City Manger Ashley Golden wrote me:  “The City cannot comment on personnel matters.”

Lambert, who came to the position in 2019 from Ventura, where he held a similar position for years, had taken on a number of bold initiatives and seemed to be making good progress. We heard that he had tangled with a few parties on various issues, such as the downtown improvements. The location of a new homeless shelter/navigation center downtown is a huge point of contention with well over 100 city businessman opposing it. Ditto with the proposed teardown of a four story office building on Saviers, which would be replaced with a liquor-serving 7-11.

The City didn’t even have time to take down his bio, before I snatched a copy:

(Sorry about the readability, but one of Oxnard’s “improved transparency” projects was to prevent copy/pasting of its web site contents.)

Since there was no celebratory language, announcement, or mention of where he went, it doesn’t look like a voluntary move.

We heard some rumors only, so we won’t dignify them with publication.

There is a snap special council closed meeting on Wednesday evening. We don’t know if there is any connection to this.


George Miller is Publisher/Co-Founder of CitizensJournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard.

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11 Responses to Abrupt and Mysterious Departure of Oxnard Development Director

  1. VanMarr. August 9, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    This needed to be said. And it was! Thank you. Keep me posted.

  2. Dean August 8, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    Both were at will employees.

  3. Bu2 August 8, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    Just my opinion, You bring them in to do a job but I recall that 7 eleven on saviors some thought it would be bad idea of crime? I didn’t think so there are already 2 liquor stores on that corner and crime didn’t increase their job is to develop. You people want a vacant building thats been there fir 18 yrs? with homless people living by it that brings in more crime.

  4. Steven Schleder August 6, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    He left Ventura City Gov’t under the same mysterious circumstances.

    He was brought to Ventura city gov’t by past city manager Rick Cole, who now is City Manager for Santa Monica.

  5. Mark August 6, 2020 at 7:47 am

    He had a lot of large Oxnard improvement projects on the table and he leaves before signing off. Very irresponsible to the 1000’s counting on him do his job.

  6. Jose Hernández August 6, 2020 at 4:47 am

    This has interested me. Why so upset August?.

  7. Rana Emens August 5, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    Thank you for having the guts for some honest journalism. When something doesn’t look right best to speak up about it because around here it probably isn’t by what I’ve seen.

  8. Mr. Charlie August 5, 2020 at 9:23 am

    Hey August … How’s Pearly Baker?

  9. August West August 5, 2020 at 7:09 am

    Maybe you should hold off your biased and poorly written editorial until you have some facts. When will this pathetic rag hire a real journalist to report on actual news?

    • Gloria Postel August 5, 2020 at 10:14 am

      Must have hit a nerve.

    • Citizen Reporter August 5, 2020 at 1:04 pm

      We expressed no opinions in the article. We only reported what is available. Since the city would tell us nothing, we still thought it important that the public know what is available. The only opinions therein were provided by third parties.


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