Building Services Updates Graphic

Johnson Named Dubuque Building Services Manager

Mike Van Milligen, City Manager

April 2, 2018 -- For Immediate Release

Dave Johnson

DUBUQUE, Iowa — Dubuque City Manager Mike Van Milligen has named Dave Johnson the building services manager for the City of Dubuque, effective immediately.  Johnson, an assistant planner in the City’s planning services department, had served as acting building services manager since January 2018.
“Over the last 12 years, Dave Johnson has demonstrated his superior work ethic and innovative attitude,” said Van Milligen.  “His recent management of the almost two-year process to develop a new comprehensive plan for the community demonstrated his keen technical skills and his ability to work with residents on a personal level.  Dave will excel as the building services manager.”
The City of Dubuque Building Services Department consists of 12 staff and is responsible for the inspection of building construction projects including structural elements, plumbing, heating and cooling, and electrical systems. The department also reviews plans for these projects before permits can be issued.
As building services manager, Johnson will manage the enforcement of building, plumbing, electrical, and mechanical codes and ordinances within the city. He will work with property owners, architects, engineers, contractors, and other stakeholders on
compliance with and changes to those codes and ordinances. He will also oversee field
inspections and enforcement. The building services department also handles code enforcement related to the readily achievable aspects of the Americans with Disabilities
Act (ADA), contractor licensing, storage trailers/containers registration, commercial
vacant and abandoned buildings (VABs), demolition by neglect in historic and
conservation districts, and the unsafe buildings ordinance. Johnson will also supervise the City’s five custodial staff who maintain City Hall, the City Hall Annex, Historic Federal Building, and Multicultural Family Center.
Johnson had served as assistant planner in the City of Dubuque Planning Services Department since October 2005.  In that role, he coordinated the City’s historic preservation program and commission and was responsible for design review for development of Dubuque’s historic districts and downtown.  Johnson also coordinated the Port of Dubuque design review committee, performing design review for buildings and public spaces in the Port of Dubuque.  He also coordinated the long-range planning advisory commission, which required developing, updating, and implementing master and comprehensive plans.  Johnson recently served as the project manager for the development of the City’s new comprehensive plan, “Imagine Dubuque 2032: A Call to Action.”
Before joining the City of Dubuque, Johnson held three positions with McHenry County, Ill.  He was a senior planner from 2002-2005, providing staff support to the zoning board of appeals and hearings officer, coordinating the staff plat review committee, and implementing the county’s comprehensive land-use plan and development ordinances. Johnson served as zoning coordinator from 2001-2002, coordinating the county’s zoning board of appeals and reviewing and processing zoning applications for variances, conditional use permits, and zoning reclassifications.  As the county’s plans examiner from 2000-2001, he reviewed site and building plans for compliance with building codes and ordinances.
Johnson holds a bachelor of science degree in geography from the University of Iowa and is nearing completion of a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Missouri.

He can be reached at 563.589.4150 or Additional information on the building services department is available at


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