Ventura County is one of 58 counties in the State of California. It has a beautiful, temperate climate and its landmass rises from sea level to 8,831 feet at Mt. Pinos in the Los Padres National Forest. At certain times of the year, it is possible to stand on the beach and see snow in the mountains.
The county’s coastline stretches a stunning 42 miles and the peaks of the Los Padres National Forest account for 46 percent of the landmass in the northern portion of the county. Fertile valleys in the southern half of the county make Ventura County a leading agricultural producer. Together, farming and the Los Padres National Forest occupy half of the county’s 1.2 million acres.
The mild Mediterranean climate, along with scenic geography, makes the area attractive to the more than 900,000 culturally and ethnically diverse people who call Ventura County home. The unincorporated areas – along with the ten incorporated cities of Camarillo, Fillmore, Moorpark, Ojai, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Santa Paula, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, and San Buenaventura (Ventura) – rank Ventura as the 11th most populous county in the State.
Ventura County has a strong economic base that includes major industries such as biotechnology, health care, education, agriculture, advanced technologies, oil production, military testing and development, and tourism.
Naval Base Ventura County at Point Mugu is the largest employer in the county with more than 16,000 employees. The County of Ventura (government) is the next largest employer more than 8,000 employees located throughout the county. The Port of Hueneme is California’s smallest, but only deep-water port between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and plays a major role in the local economy.
Home to two universities (California State University Channel Islands and California Lutheran University), a small private college and three community colleges (Oxnard, Ventura, and Moorpark), multiple university extensions, institutes, and adult schools, the county is an educational center and enjoys a strong structure for workforce development.
The County of Ventura was formed January 1, 1873, when it separated from Santa Barbara County. It is a general law county, governed by a five-member Board of Supervisors, elected at-large for a staggered four-year term in their respective districts, and the chairmanship rotates annually. The Board of Supervisors is responsible for providing policy direction, approving the County budget, and representing the County in a number of areas including special districts. Board actions can apply countywide or only in unincorporated areas.
Other County elected officials include the Auditor-Controller, Assessor, Clerk/Recorder, District Attorney, Treasurer-Tax Collector, and Sheriff. The County Executive Officer advises, assists, and acts as an agent for the Board of Supervisors in all matters under the Board’s jurisdiction.
Under the guidance of the Board of Supervisors, the approved County annual budget of more than $2 billion serves to assist vulnerable adults and children, provide public safety, ensure justice, protect public health, and improve the quality of life for the county’s residents. In alignment with key focus areas established in the County Strategic Plan, services are provided to residents by over 8,000 dedicated public servants working in 23 different agencies, departments and special districts.