Jeff Lambert told the Oxnard City Council that he looks forward to the challenge in Oxnard. (Photo by Chris Frost)
Wednesday, February 6, 2019

By Chris Frost

chris@tricountysentry.com

Oxnard-- During his report to the Oxnard City Council, Feb. 5, City Manager Alex Nguyen opened with wishing everyone a happy Vietnamese New Year.

“It’s actually the Luna New Year, and there are several countries that, mostly in East Asia, that celebrate this day, and it is indeed the most significant holiday for those cultures,” he said. “As long as I’m here, it’s Vietnamese New Year.”

City Clerk Michelle Ascension said the city is accepting applications for the Citizen Advisory Groups (CAG)s for the current term.

“We have them available in hard copy at the city clerk’s office, as well as on the city’s website, www.oxnard.org,” she said. “If you scroll down a little on the page, you will see the little thumbnail that will take you to the page for the CAGs. We have a wide range of interests for the applications, from the commission on homelessness to the senior services commission, the planning commission and more. Definitely check out that page on the city’s website and contact my office if you have any questions.”

She asked people to submit applications for the upcoming term by Feb. 15.

Councilman Bert Perello asked if all members need to re-apply for a new term because of the changes to the commissions and committees and Ascension said they do.

Nguyen announced that Shiri Klima has moved up to the deputy city manager position.

“She made the brave move and left her former position as an assistant city attorney,” Nguyen said. “While it’s not unique, it’s uncommon for city attorneys to jump over to city management.”

He called her energetic and competent.

“I am pleased to have her join this side of the city team,” he said.

Klima thanked City Attorney Stephen Fischer, his team, and said it’s been her house for 2.5 years.

“I had a wonderful experience at the city attorney’s office, so it’s a little bittersweet leaving, but I am excited to join the city manager’s team,” she said. “I have the honor of working with finance, human resources, and the internet technology departments, as well as the talented communications and marketing folks.”

Perello asked Klima if she was going to keep her license.

“I am keeping my license, but I am going to defer to Mr. Fischer on all legal issues,” Klima said.

Mayor Tim Flynn said he’s worked with Klima on public works and water issues and represents the city well.

“We’re happy that’s she’s joined Mr. Nguyen and his team,” Flynn said. “We’re looking forward to bigger and greater things from Miss Klima and what she can do for the city and the people of Oxnard.”

Assistant City Manager Ashley Golden also welcomed Jeff Lambert as the new development services director for the City of Oxnard.

“I was able to have the privilege to work with him over the last few years when I was in that role, and he was serving with the City of Ventura in that role," she said. "We are happy that he has come to this side of the river and lend his expertise in the area of building, planning and code compliance,” Golden said.

Lambert said he is thrilled to be part of the team in Oxnard and said it’s his second day on the job.

“I am looking forward to the challenge, and it’s an exciting place to be,” he said.

Interim Cultural and Community Services Director Terrel Harrison addressed a couple of issues from the first subcommittee meeting.

“On our first meeting, Jan. 22, there was a question about College Park and the soccer fields," he said. "When we are not in rest periods, there was a question about whether we are open to the general public and I said yes. The staff comes in at 7 a.m. and leaves at 4:30 p.m. and the facilities are open from dawn to dusk.”

When special events occur during the week and the weekend, he said a recreational staff person comes in and opens.

“The facility can be open in the evenings and on Saturday and Sunday all day,” he said. 

Nguyen said there would be more staff announcements in the future, and quickly shared the eight contracts he signed for the city.

“There are different spending limits in the city in regards to who can spend what amount, and for the city manager last year, it was up to $175,000,” he said.