While I have been discussing the lack of planners in Oxnard…the real issue is Economic Development. Oxnard cannot develop economically without enough qualified planners to carry the workload.
Oxnard needs 20 to 25 planners but currently has only 7 or 8 staff planners. How can Oxnard deal with its heavy current workload as well as properly plan for the future with a large planning staff deficit? In September of 2017, I did an informal survey of Ventura County cities. I asked, “How many planners does your city have?” The results showed that Oxnard has 1/3 the number of planners per capita than other VC cities larger than 30K people.
The Oxnard City Council must immediately double the number of Oxnard staff planners. It is essential that all future budgets reflect the need for 20 to 25 staff planners, and that the Oxnard City Council make sure that these new and necessary planners be fully funded and hired.
The same is true for Oxnard’s Economic Development department. The number of staff will be different than for planners. But the need is just as important.
The City of Oxnard must take this seriously. It simply is not possible for Oxnard to properly plan and develop economically without a full complement of city planners and economic development staff.