The city of Ventura has selected Stacey Zarazua to serve as the acting Parks & Recreation director. Zarazua succeeds Nancy O’Connor, who retired in September after serving as director since 2016.

Zarazua will oversee the department’s day-to-day operations while the City conducts recruitment efforts to fill the position.

“Stacey has a wealth of knowledge and experience within our Parks & Recreation Department,” said City Manager Bill Ayub. “Over the course of her more than 20-year career with Ventura, she has served in many roles within the department.

“She has a deep understanding of the department’s inner workings at every level and can seamlessly provide critical support to various work groups during this time of transition.”

Zarazua joined the Parks & Recreation Department in 2001 as a recreation coordinator in the Youth Sports section, where she was promoted to an aquatics supervisor in 2005. She has held multiple leadership roles within the department, serving in all three department divisions, including recreation, parks, and community partnerships.

Zarazua holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and a master’s degree in public administration from California State University Northridge.

“I’m thrilled to take on this role and lead our incredible team of staff members, many of whom I’ve had the privilege of working alongside for years,” said Zarazua.

“My aim is to ensure that our city staff has the support and resources they require to continue delivering high-quality programming and services to our community. After all, parks make life better,” she said.

For more about Ventura’s Parks & Recreation Department, visit