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Lake City Growth Management Director David Young Resigns: His departure does not look like a good thing for Lake City

Director of Growth Management David Young
Director of Growth Management David Young

LAKE CITY, FL – Lake City Growth Management Director, David Young, resigns effective October 15. While City Policy requires a 30 day notice for directors, Interim City Manager Mike Williams waived the 30 day requirement for Mr. Young.

Mr. Young’s departure leaves the City without a Growth Management director, a City building official, a certified City planner, City Code enforcement, and someone who knows Community Development Block Grant and CRA procedures. These are job functions which Mr. Young provided.

Your reporter spoke with Mr. Young on Sunday morning. His departure does not sound like a good thing for Lake City.

The Observer: “Good morning. I heard through the grape vine you are leaving. How long have you been in the building department business?”

Mr. Young, answered, “About 50 years. I started out in construction as an apprentice. I worked my way up to be a superintendent and then had a chance to go to work as an inspector in Reedy Creak. I retired from Orange County Public Schools. I was the director and building official there.”

Reedy Creek is a Special Business Improvement District which includes Disney World. The Orange County Public School System as of 2020 is the 9th largest school district in the nation and the fourth largest in Florida. It has 206,000 students.

Mr. Young had been the Director of Growth Management for almost three-and-a-half years.

The Observer:  “Why did you consider leaving?”

Mr. Young answered, “I was tired of not being able to get help. It was a big problem. We advertise for an inspector. We advertise for an intern inspector. We tried everything. We couldn't get any inspection help. We couldn't compete with the third-party companies and the central and south Florida jurisdictions. They pay way more than we do.”

City & County: Investigating Combining Planning, Zoning, Code Enforcement and Building Dept. Resources

The Observer: “Did the combining of the City and County have anything to do with you deciding to leave?”

Mr. Young answered, “No. I was for that. I am for the consolidation. It would be a benefit. Right now, I am the only City code enforcer; I’m the only planner. I am backed up on everything. I cannot go out and do proper code enforcement.”

With the recent turmoil and lack of effective leadership of the City Council, your reporter asked Mr. Young about City employee morale.

Mr. Young said, “The morale among the City employees is the lowest I have ever seen in the almost 3 1/2 years that I've been here.”

Your reporter followed up, “Have you ever seen it lower any place else?”

Mr. Young did not hesitate, “Not any place that I have worked, and I have been doing this for 50 years.”

Your reporter asked Mr. Young if he had any regrets as he departs Lake City.

Mr. Young said, “I'm sorry to leave because I haven't accomplished what I wanted to accomplish when I was hired. The airport is still not annexed into the City and we just don’t have a real good relationship with the County right now.”

Your reporter asked Mr. Young why he just doesn't retire and go fishing.

Mr. Young said, "I like to work."


Mr. Young is leaving on Friday, October 15. He is going to work as the building official for the City of Alachua: Lake City’s loss – City of Alachua’s gain.


With the departure of Growth Management’s David Young, and the previous sudden hiring of Interim City Manager Mike Williams, it is not clear if Mr. Williams has the ability and experience to apply for, manage, and monitor grants and Growth Management as the City struggles to find some direction.

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