Collier County Manager Mark Isackson to resign in a week
Collier County Manager Mark Isackson plans to step down from his role on May 13, two months earlier than he had planned.
The sudden resignation means the county will be without a manager while commissioners continue to narrow their six finalists for the job.
In a memo sent to staff Wednesday, Isackson explained that his health has continued to deteriorate while he struggles with post-COVID complications.
"With each physician’s office visit comes test results and a strong urging by my medical team to eliminate my work-related stress," he wrote. "By necessity, I have become very self-aware of my blood pressure and related issues and others around me have witnessed manifestations of its rising and expressed appreciated concern."
Isackson did not returns calls placed by the Daily News for comment.
Collier may go without an acting manager
Before becoming county manager in May 2021, Isackson had worked for the county since 2004, working with the County’s office of management and budget team for five years before serving as director of corporate financial and management services.
As county manager, he earned an annual base salary of $230,000. His contract was meant to expire in May 2024
He took a two-month absence late last year as he battled COVID-19 before returning in November.
In his absence, the county appointed one of its two deputy managers as acting county manager, a move the commissioners may consider at their next meeting on May 10.
Commissioners may also opt to go without an acting manager for the next two months, Commissioner Rick LoCastro told the Naples Daily News.
The two current deputy managers are Amy Patterson and Dan Rodriguez, both in the running for the county manager role.
Rodriguez took on the deputy manager role in March, shortly after Isackson fired former Deputy Manager Sean Callahan. Callahan was secretly working a second job as a lobbyist in Washington DC while he was deputy manager and acting county manager in Isackson's absence.
The County intends to select its next county manager in June, LoCastro said.
Isackson will stay on county payroll
Although July 1 remains his official retirement date, he will step down from his full-time duties on May 13, the memo says.
During that time, he plans to "remain in service to the Board and the appointed Acting County Manager, in a consulting capacity, on various budget and financial matters until my official retirement date."
The memo says that he will be "utilizing contractual, accumulated universal leave with any remaining post-July 1 balance being disbursed via my final paycheck."
Isackson negotiated universal leave in his contract when he became county manager, and it is not something that's offered to all employees, according to Amy Lyberg, Human Resources Division director.
"Most employees are getting vacation leave, sick leave, and a portion of personal leave days every year. That's different than a universal leave." Since becoming county manager he has earned 2.5 additional days to his universal leave account each month, or up to 30 days per year.
According to the terms of Isackson's contract, he must give a 60-day notice in advance, or else he forfeits any payment for accrued leave.
But according to Lyberg, the county will accept his original notification date for the purposes of his retirement pay.
Connect with Government Watchdog Report Rachel Heimann Mercader: @racheyy_marie (Twitter), firstname.lastname@example.org, or cell: 239-359-7948