[UPDATE: Nick received a response from one of the commissioners, Suzanne Gunzberger. It’s after the jump.]

Blender Nick passed on this letter that he sent to the City Commission in regards to Mayor Jim Naugle’s defiant homophobia that is roiling the region’s tourism industry. It hits the mark on why officials there need to step up the pressure on the Mayor.

Honorable Commissioners:

I am  a Fort Lauderdale resident, home-owner, tax-payer and, most importantly, a booster of Fort Lauderdale.

I am also a gay man.

I am writing to urge you publicly to disassociate yourselves from the small-minded, ignorant, homophobic and, frankly, reckless public remarks which continue to issue forth from the mouth of this profoundly foolish person, Jim Naugle. Please follow the example of the County Commissioners who have NOT sat idly by, and have voted publicly to condemn the Mayor.

As you are no doubt aware, there is a national effort to censure the mayor for his stupid, insulting and low-minded comments:

http://www.flushnaugle.org/action.html

Additionally, I don’t need to remind you that a very significant portion of the population of this city and county are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Trans-gendered workers, homeowners and taxpayers, and the financial and civic contributions of that sizeable group of people is what has led, in no small part, to the general improvement in the quality of life in this City over the last 10-15 years. Does the commission wish to reverse these advances? Perhaps they yearn for the Fort Lauderdale of the mid-80’s — or better, the Miami Beach of the mid-80’s?

The Mayor’s ignorant and hate-filled comments not only aimed at folks like me,  but also at other groups like teachers, the poor, people living with HIV/AIDS, environmentalists, and others, have a tremendously deleterious effect on the City and its reputation. He continues to obsess over a problem that the police have repeatedly said is not an issue, while ignoring the true problems our city faces, like affordable housing, budget cuts, and rising crime.

He has even gone so far as to say that we should not welcome gay tourists to our city, despite the fact that they are responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue every year. As a resident of this city and this county, I am concerned that the current effort to censure the mayor will, if nothing is done to muzzle ‘his honor’, escalate into a full-fledged campaign to boycott the City, with disastrous consequences for those of us who live and work here, depending as we do, upon the spending of our many guests, while they visit our fine city, and stay in our hotels – many of them gay owned & operated, eat in our restaurants – many of them gay owned & operated, and shop in our stores – many of them gay owned & operated.

Mayor Naugle is both an embarrassment and a fool. But he is a dangerous fool. While he is certainly entitled to subscribe in private to whatever ignorant & unsound ideas he may choose, when he speaks for the City, he speaks for me and others like me. He may think that serving the interests of a small group of ultra far-right fundamentalist ‘religious’ and ‘political’ figures – most of whom neither live nor work here – is somehow going to benefit this city.

He is wrong.

Please tell him so.

Now, before he damages the reputation of this beautiful City any further.

Very sincerely yours,
[Nick in Fort Lauderdale]

For a look at some of the emails/letters of support that Naugle is receiving, check out Brian’s diary.

[UPDATE: Nick received a response from one of the commissioners, Suzanne Gunzberger. It’s after the jump.]

A response received today:

From: Gunzburger, Suzanne [SGUNZBURGER@broward.org]
Sent: Sunday, 26 August 2007 12:30 PM
To: Nick
Subject: RE: Please do something about the ignorant comments and
behavior of Mayor Jim Naugle

We have told him so, and will be voting on an action to remove him from the Tourist Development Council on Tuesday, if we are legally allowed to do so.  To remove him from office can only be done through a recall petition that cites misfeasance or malfiscene by the residents of Ft. Lauderdale.
Sue Gunzburger 

Related:
* Naugle’s Still At It
* Robo-potty Naugle: “I have longtime friends in the homosexual community.”
* Letter from the Fort Lauderdale CVB disowning Naugle
* Shock jock robo-potty Mayor Naugle torched by FL newspaper editorial
* Images of beach restroom sex vex Ft. Lauderdale mayor, calls for robojohns
* Naugle: is he looking to keep the straight men out of the potty?
* Flushing Naugle
* The ‘Flush Naugle’ campaign escalates
* Fundie defends homophobic robo-potty mayor Naugle
* Pro-diversity rally in Ft. Lauderdale today to counter the $250K robo-potty mayor.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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