A Cooper City commissioner under fire for a recent Facebook post apologized to people he may have offended at a scheduled workshop meeting, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.
John Sims has been the District 1 Commissioner since March of 2007, according to the city’s website. He apologized Tuesday for his Nov. 30 post about Social Security stimulus packages.
"To those of you who were genuinely offended, I offer my deepest apology," Sims was quoted as saying by the newspaper. "Rest assured that I will continue to serve our city well and continue to work equally for all people in Cooper City regardless of religion, ethnicity or social status.”
Sims' post, which caused angry emails to Mayor Greg Ross, read as follows:
"Just wanted to let you know ... today I received my 2013 Social Security Stimulus Package. It 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 a** and a 'Blame it on Bush' poster for the front yard. The directions were in Spanish. Yours should arrive soon."
Resident Gabriel De Gedeon was clearly upset.
"Those comments are 100 percent bitter and ignorant," he was quoted as saying. "I'm shocked that those offensive comments were written by a Cooper City commissioner."
Commissioner Lisa Mallozzi said the post was inappropriate.
"The comment was vile, offensive — it reminds me of a Neanderthal comment because it's very backward. It was not in good taste," Mallozzi was quoted as saying. "But I accept his apology and we're going to move forward."
Sims continued to say he regretted the post.
"The post was done as a humorous commentary," he was quoted as saying by the Sentinel. "I deeply regret that I failed to consider that some might find it offensive."
But he was backed by Christine Timmons, who defended Sims' based on freedom of speech.
"Every time a white person opens his mouth, people say, 'Oh, he's a racist,'" Timmons was quoted as saying. "He can say what he wants to say. He's got a right to free speech like anyone else."
Ross, who said Sims would benefit from "sensitivity training," said the future of the mayor's position was up to the voters, the Sentinel reported.
"The residents' phone calls asked me to please ask him to resign or to fire him," he was quoted as saying. "I don't have the right to do that. It's the citizens who vote him in and the citizens' right to vote him out."