Colleagues of Cooper City Commissioner John Sims took turns blasting him at a city meeting Tuesday evening over a controversial Facebook post they said led to a torrent of angry emails and phone calls aimed at city hall.
"The comment was vile offensive it reminds me of a Neanderthal comment because it's just very backwards and it was not in good taste," said Commissioner Lisa Mallozzi, who also happens to be a political foe of Sims.
Sims, who had been silent about the posting that was criticized as racist last week, offered an emotional apology for the posting.
"To those who were genuinely offended I offer my deepest and sincerest apology without reservation," said Sims. "... I will continue to work equally well for all people in Cooper City regardless of ethnicity, religion, or social status."
Sims, a Republican, reposted what he said he took as a "humorous commentary" and political satire based on a fictional President Obama "stimulus package" that contained "two tomato seeds, cornbread mix, two discount coupons to KFC, an 'Obama Hope & Change' bumper sticker, a prayer rug, a machine to blow smoke up my ass … [and] the directions were in Spanish."
"Commissioner Sims, you are stereotyping African Americans based on religion," said resident Gabriel De Gedeon. "... You shouldn't be up there."
"All of the residents of Cooper City expect better of their elected officials," said Jeff Green, the only minority member of the commission.
Mayor Greg Ross said he'd received more communications from residents about the Facebook post than he did when he won office November.
"The phone calls asked me to please ask Commissioner Sims to resign or in fact to fire him," said Ross. "I don't have the right to do that."
Some came to support Sims.
"You each live in glass houses," said Gladys Wilson, a former commissioner. "Big glass houses!"
Sims almost broke down at one point when he thanked his wife, who was in the audience.
Sims emailed an apology, writing:
"I recently re-posted and shared a parody of political satire on my personal Facebook page of which I was not the author, one which had been circulating around the internet for some time.
I did not write the words, and my hastily shared post was done simply as a humorous commentary. I deeply regret that I failed to consider that some might find it offensive.
Although political satire is not a crime, what I copied and re-posted was in poor taste and was apparently offensive to some people.
I unequivocally state that there was absolutely no intention whatsoever on my part that the re-posting would be offensive to, or directed at anyone.
To those who were genuinely offended, I offer my deepest and sincerest apology without reservation and ask for your pardon and reconciliation.
Additionally, I apologize to the citizens that I have served well in Cooper City, the city staff, my colleagues on the dais, as well as my diverse family and friends.
Rest assured that I will continue to serve our city well, working for its betterment, and I will continue to work equally well for all people in Cooper City regardless of ethnicity, religion or social status.
Commissioner John Sims"