Departed Oxnard Development Director Talks To Citizens Journal

By George Miller

No, he still wouldn’t discuss the circumstances of his departure as Oxnard’s Community Development Director. But Jeff Lambert did tell us “whether or not it was my decision, I’m happy with it” and has started his own consulting firm.

Lambert, who did similar work for Ventura before that for ten years, left Oxnard in less than two years, But it was a very busy time packed with challenges and accomplishments. When I asked him what he had done for Oxnard, he easily rattled off a resume of headliners including:

  1. He regards his greatest accomplishment as “building the right team to get the work done and serve the customer.”
  2. Moving forward to clear at least some of the bureaucracy to get things done.
  3. Getting the Sakioka Farms office/industrial park deal done. This was the largest undeveloped parcel remaining in Oxnard and it should be able to help bring in a large amount of economic activity/jobs. A previous Amazon fulfillment center had fallen through,which he said was “before my time.”
  4. He and department played a major role in the development of compromise short-term rental regulations, which had to satisfy a myriad of resident, landlord, rental agent and jurisdictional demands for the city, county, state and Coastal Commission.
  5. He is also very proud of his work in helping to move the downtown development plan forward. This had been bogged down for years before. He now sees it moving forward and ticked off a few items, including a new 5 story 55 unit multi-use building at 8th and A Street. He didn’t mention the highly controversial $34 million downtown homeless center being pushed by Housing Director Emilio Ramirez. At least 125 downtown businessmen/women oppose this. The City voted unanimously to allow exclusive negotiations with a developer.
  6. Developing rules for the cannabis industry and administering them, which is now moving along.
  7. Dealing with the COVID-19 Crisis.


City Query Response

We did ask the city for info on Lambert’s departure, as follows:

On Thu, Aug 6, 2020 at 5:48 PM [email protected] <[email protected]> wrote:
Hi Michelle:
We heard over the weekend that Jeff Lambert had left, then we heard Keith Brooks also left too. What can you tell us about who is replacing them and what other managerial organizational changes have taken place?
Did any this have anything to do with hacking of the city’s web site? What was the outcome of that?
We heard the following back from City Clerk Michelle Ascencion:
Hi George, here’s the response from Deputy City Manager Shiri Klima:
Raja Bamrungpong is stepping in as Interim Director of I.T., and Jeff Pengilley is stepping in as Interim Director of Community Development. We of course cannot comment on personnel matters regarding Jeff Lambert or Keith Brooks.  
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Abrupt and Mysterious Departure of Oxnard Development Director

Abrupt and Mysterious Departure of Oxnard Development DirectorBy 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”. […]

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

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