Wilton Manors Commissioner Ted Galatis faced his constituents Tuesday night during a commission meeting for the first time after news broke that he used the “n-word" during a fit of road rage and the calls for his resignation were numerous, but that didn’t happen in the end.
“This is probably the hardest night Ted, but I need you to resign,” said resident Naomi Parker, who is also a candidate for office. “My kids have played at your pool. I’ve eaten food out of your house and all it took was for me to make you angry and I would have been called a n*****. It’s not the n-word. The word is n*****. It’s not the n-word.”
The issue was so sensitive during the meeting that Parker was removed from speaking after she said the racial slur in full.
“We do not allow certain words to be spoken in public,” Wilton Manors Mayor Gary Resnick said.
Most of the public discussion was about whether to remove Galatis, though a few voters did chime in saying he should be allowed to stay in office.
"In my opinion there is no reason for Commissioner Galatis to either resign from city commission or withdraw from his election campaign," one resident said.
Another resident said, "I believe you’re sorry, you know, but I also believe it’s a way of thinking."
"I do know Ted is not a bigot," Kate Donahue said. "He may be some other things, but not a bigot."
Mark Knowles said, "Actually I did vote for you Ted, and most of you up there. It is disgusting what you said. Being a black man in this town, it’s disgusting.”
After hearing everybody speak, Galatis apologized to the gathered voters.
"I am deeply, I apologize from the bottom of my heart for the use of that word," Galatis said. "That is not me."
He told residents he was going to bury the issue and told NBC 6's Jamie Guirola after the meeting he was done. When Guirola introduced himself to Galatis, the commissioner replied, “I know who you are. I made my statement Jamie and I’m gonna stand by that statement. I’ll not let, be brow beaten by you any further."
Galatis walked away as Guirola tried to ask more questions.
A resident and a commissioner both suggested Galatis take sensitivity training, but there was no concrete action taken to make him do that.