This matter came to our attention when we received this email from a reader:
“Mayor Val Zudans is using his political position on his Mayor Facebook page to try to shame and intimidate elected school board members that are not in Rendell/Justice’s camp. This is divisive and destructive and a mayor should not weaponize his official home page as a means to attack a nonpartisan school board. Our school district is already in disarray and Zudan’s attacks are fueling the flames.”
“It would be nice if more people stood up to these bullies that call themselves leaders of our community. It’s truly a shame. Our family has cut off all monetary support to the GOP and give to individuals now, who we feel are good, decent, honest people. They are few and far between. If you cross these people in opinion or decisions at all, you are berated, black-balled, bullied on social media. It’s horrific how these people treat others, in their own party! I can only imagine what they’d do to someone outside their party. I think their moral compass has been skewed for a long time.”
April 15, 2019
Mr. Jay Kramer
Republican National Committee
Indian River County Branch
1350 26th Street
Vero Beach, Florida 32968
Dear Mr. Kramer,
My husband and I have been residents of Indian River County for over 30 years. We have been registered Republicans for the majority of those years. We raised our five adult children in this county and they too, became registered Republicans in this county. Two of our adult children served in the US Army (one still serving). All five of our children were put through public Indian River Schools. I am an employee of the School District of Indian River County (for over 10 years). We now have grandchildren attending school in this county.
I give you background because you should know that we are deeply invested in this county as residents, parents and grandparents.
Few people are aware of the inner workings and goings on of the public school district and few care to know (even those with children in school). Very few know about problems and issues that arise because the Administration and the Board Members prefer not to air dirty laundry in public, regardless of who may be at fault. The Board prefers not to “sling mud”, so to speak.
This is why I find it extremely upsetting, disgraceful and disgusting to see a committee member of the local GOP and the city Mayor, Val Zudans, publicly humiliate, berate, and demean a longtime Republican for simply sitting down at a table for a meal at the Taxpayers Association with a few members of the opposing party!
Since when does this make one less a Republican? Should we not attempt to work together? Yes, most emphatically we should! Can we not share a public table with co-workers who happen to be at the same function? Yes! We should reach across the aisle and not be combative with our co-workers, our district constituents from the “opposite” party and try to work together, especially where the common good of our CHILDREN are concerned.
Where the school board is concerned, it should be non-partisan. Val Zudans is wielding his power as Mayor and committee member of the Indian River County GOP to influence other conservatives to turn against Laura Zorc because she has some decisions to make (very difficult decisions) that are seen as controversial but need to be made nonetheless.
The previous board should not have left this board with this mess to clean up, but they have. Now it is up to Mrs. Zorc to do what is best for taxpayers, this community, this school district and most of all, the children of the school district.
It is a tough choice. It must be made.
She, nor any other board member deserves to have their loyalty to their political party questioned on social media. That is a gross misuse of power by Val Zudans. The new board is attempting to rectify problems. They should not be slandered on social media because of it.
So, did Vero Beach, FL Mayor Val Zudans heed The CITY MAYORS Code of Ethics with his Facebook Post? In our opinion: No. Please read article 2, 10 and 11.
|The City Mayors Foundation was established in 2003 to promote, encourage and facilitate good local government. To strengthen local government further, City Mayors has instituted a Code of Ethics for city leaders who wish to perform their duties beyond all reproach|
|Code of Ethics
Good and honest local government is the foundation of any nation that strives to provide its citizens with happiness, security and prosperity. Incompetence, corruption and misconduct in local government threaten fundamental decency in a society.Article 2
Mayors shall not discriminate against individuals or groups because of their politics, race, religion, gender, disability or sexual orientation.
[Google definition of discriminate: “make an unjust or prejudicial distinction in the treatment of different categories of people or things.”]
Based on article 2, 10 and 11 above, in terms of what we italicized in blue, in our opinion, Mayor Zudans’ post was entirely inappropriate for the Mayor of this city. If a Mayor is “…to promote co-operation and good will” between cities, nationally and internationally, to us, our interpretation is that it applies to our own city. As well as to “strengthen civil society…”
Mayor Zudans is riling up people by inserting political innuendo, defined by Wikipedia “as a insinuation or intimation about a person or thing, especially of a denigrating or a derogatory nature.”
Good heavens, the School Board, is the School Board, with too much on their plate to begin with, that doesn’t need a Mayor attempting to politically polarize their constituents and restrain progress.