MANAGED CARE: In a profession subject to...

MANAGED CARE: In a profession subject to the whims of an ever-changing elected body, Ventura County's city managers are anomalies. . . . Typically, chief executives serve five to seven years in large cities and even less time in small towns, recruiter Norman Roberts said. "It's unusual, but Ventura County is a very unusual place," he said. "It's such a desirable place to live; that's what keeps them there longer." . . . The Ventura City Council tonight considers hiring an executive search firm to find a successor for outgoing City Manager John Baker.

JUSTICE FOR ALL: The Ventura and East County courthouses offer a glimpse today of how justice is meted out in Ventura County. . . . Officials will host Law Day USA, a nationwide program that shows the public how the courts and other law enforcement agencies operate. . . . "I think there's a lot of mystery behind these agencies, and this is one way of demystifying the whole justice system," court spokesman Vince Ordonez said.

SAFE HAVEN: Simi Valley was the safest big city in the nation last year (B1), experiencing a decrease in serious crime due in large part to increased citizen involvement. . . . Simi Valley's ranking marked the fourth time in five years that an east Ventura County community has topped the safest cities list. Thousand Oaks, which ranked first from 1989 to 1991, was third in 1993. . . . "It restores what we had," Simi Valley Mayor Greg Stratton said, a reputation "that we have a really great place to live and do business, and where you can still walk the streets at night."

CURFEW PATROL: Although Oxnard has had a curfew for years, police have embarked on an effort to crack down on teen-agers roaming the streets at night (B1). Thirty-three suspected curfew violators have been arrested so far. . . . Police say they are being careful not to abuse curfew enforcement. "We don't want to arrest a kid who is on the way home from the store," said Sgt. Chuck Hookstra, who heads the curfew patrol.

Managing Nicely

Ventura County's longest-serving city managers: (Number of Years Served) Richard Velthoen, Port Hueneme: 19 Grant Brimhall, Thousand Oaks: 16 Lin Koester, Simi Valley: 14 John Baker, Ventura: 12 Steve Kueny, Moorpark: 9 Bill Little, Camarillo: 5 Source: Ventura County cities.

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