‘The most uncomfortable conversation:’ Mount Dora mayor calls for city manager’s resignation

Mayor said employees are leaving at an “alarming” rate

MOUNT DORA, Fla. – City officials will discuss concerns surrounding the city manager brought at last week’s city council meeting at a special meeting on Monday.

“What I’m about to initiate is probably the most uncomfortable conversation I’ve ever had in my life,” Mount Dora Mayor Crissy Stile said before calling for the resignation of City Manager Patrick Comiskey.

Among several complaints, Stile said the number of employees leaving their jobs at the city is alarming.

“At this point right now, what’s happening in our city is alarming,” Stile said. “Extremely alarming.”

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Since Comiskey’s arrival back in 2021, Stile said 98 employees have left their jobs with the city.

“Fifty-four of those employees left without a reason,” Stile said. “A family relocation, a family illness, a personal illness, a better promotion to somewhere else — those 54 of 98 people left because they were not happy at their job in the city of Mount Dora.”

Out of those 54 employees who left without a reason, 16 were police officers, according to city officials.

Stile said the empty positions, including police chief, are not being reopened or advertised.

News 6 checked the city’s website for available positions. While some jobs are posted, police chief and human resources director are not.

“Chief Gibson has been our interim chief for how long?” Stiles said. “To my knowledge, that position has still not been opened. The position for H.R. director, still not open.”

While Stile called for Comiskey’s resignation, other councilmembers wanted to find alternative options.

“With all of us, there is room for improvement. With myself, there is room for improvement,” District 5 Councilmember Nate Walker said. “I would like to see us give that opportunity before we just move on.”

Councilmember Doug Bryant said he feels there are things that can be improved upon, but the allegedly rocky relationships between Comiskey and other employees is a concern for him.

“Once you’ve lost confidence, once you’ve lost the respect of the people you work with, it makes it very difficult to turn the ship,” Bryant said.

The city will hold a special meeting on Monday at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers to discuss the concerns brought at last week’s regular council meeting.

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Emily joined WKMG-TV in November 2022.