Do You Live in Vero Beach, FL? Was This Letter from Mayor Zudans Appropriate?


Free Getty Image / September 6, 2019

On September 3, 2019 the San Francisco city government formally labelled the pro-gun lobbyist National Rifle Association (NRA) a “domestic terrorist organization”.

The condemnation of the most powerful gun-ownership advocacy group in the US was unanimously passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

On September 6 Mayor Zudans fired back as Mayor of Vero Beach with a letter to the San Fransisco Board of Supervisors on City of Vero Beach Office of the Mayor stationary.


Here are the Mayor’s opening paragraphs:

September 6, 2019

San Francisco Board of Supervisors:

San Francisco’s reputation has quickly collapsed from one of my favorite beacons of culture to a sanctuary for criminals, addicts, and homeless encampments. Your stifling big brother government is your downfall. Your most recent action stinks like the steaming excrement on your streets.

As a lifetime NRA member, concealed carry permit holder, and Mayor of Vero Beach, Florida I feel compelled to respond to your resolution deeming the Nation Rifle Association a “domestic terrorist organization.”

First of all, we are all expected to agree to disagree.

But how about beginning your letter with a reason for writing rather than hurling an insult about “excrement.”

If you are beginning correspondence with someone about something or asking for information, begin by providing a reason for writing.

And since Mayor Zudans’ disagrees with their position there is the concept of:

with all due respect

  1. (formal,idiomaticA phrase used before disagreeing with someone, usually considered polite.

It seems that you are, with all due respect, wrong in this particular


Further excerpts from Mayor Zudan’s letter:

Americans consider your resolution to be part of the same garbage pile that San Francisco has become under your malfeasance.

You are the true enemy of liberty by enabling addiction, homelessness, and harboring illegal violent criminals. Instead of calling Americans terrorists, look in the mirror and get your own house in order first.


Val Zudans

Mayor, City of Vero Beach, Florida

Now do you suppose the San Fransisco Board of Supervisors will read the letter and look up Vero Beach?

Vero Beach is a small Florida city, consisting of 13.1 square miles with a population currently estimated a 15,220.  Vero Beach has Atlantic-facing beaches on a barrier island across the Indian River Lagoon. South Beach Park offers wide sands and volleyball courts. Downtown’s South Beach Park chronicles the local citrus industry. On the outskirts, McKee Botanical Garden has tropical plants and water lily–filled streams. To the north, Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge shelters brown pelicans.


Mayor Zudans’ letter raises questions:

Was Mayor Zudans writing on behalf of himself as a citizen, or himself as the Mayor? Was he writing on behalf of the Vero Beach City Council?  If not, did he advise the City Council he was writing the letter?  Obviously not, or it would been more respectful and professional.

More importantly, though unlikely, could it be construed that he was writing on behalf of Vero Beach?


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11 thoughts on “Do You Live in Vero Beach, FL? Was This Letter from Mayor Zudans Appropriate?

  1. I’m actually offended at his word choice. Where are the checks on what goes out of the Mayor’s office? His offensive slams on San Francisco are not representative of our sweet city.

  2. The first part of this letter could have been written by President Trump, whose spiritual imprint makes it especially distasteful. I believe that if we are to have any national dialog based on reason, it must also be colored by civility. This was certainly not the case with Mayor Zudans’ letter. Vero Beach is better than that.

  3. If you signed these “editorials” people would be clear on who is their author.

    You wrote:

    “First of all, we are all expected to agree to disagree.”

    Not sure that is true or even what point you’re trying to make. Perhaps there should be, but there is no such tacit “agreement” among all people. That is one of the problems today. Hyped-up emotions based on fiction have jerked around a large segment of our population who believe without scratching the surface of the allegations. When the fictional subterfuge is exposed, people start to tune out, embarrassed that they’ve been taken for a fool. But there is no agreement “to disagree.”


    “But how about beginning your letter with a reason for writing rather than hurling a insult about ‘excrement.'”

    Let’s assume that grammatical faux pas (“a insult”) is a typo.

    When I read his letter, it was my understanding that Zudans’ opening paragraph was background. It truthfully states facts. Until recently, San Francisco had been considered by many to be the most beautiful city in our nation.

    It isn’t time that created the mess in San Francisco. It isn’t the NRA either. It is a city whose policies have made San Francisco a “sanctuary for criminals, addicts, and homeless encampments.”

    I suspect most people view San Francisco’s anti-NRA action as just another political “feel-good” measure by politicians trying to deflect attention from the mess their policies are causing.

    Consider that same Board of Supervisors recently took another inept action. From the August 11, 2019, San Francisco Chronicle:

    [ The words “felon,” “offender,” “convict,” “addict” and “juvenile delinquent” would be part of the past in official San Francisco parlance under new “person first” language guidelines adopted by the Board of Supervisors. ]

    The Supervisors might as well be chanting incantations to deal with the massive problems of their own creation!

    In addition to being blindingly stupid, attacking the NRA and banning well-established criminal terminology is not only immature, it reveals a dangerous inability to comprehend the consequences of their own inaction. The last thing the city of San Francisco needs is more ill-conceived words from their governing body. They need intelligent action.

    And yes, a consequence of San Francisco’s “policies” actually is producing a health-threatening mountain of “steaming excrement” in the city.

    So who are those responsible for the policies that have ruined San Francisco?

    Consider that every member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is a Democrat.

    In fact, every mayor of San Francisco for the past 55 years has been a Democrat.

    What other urban areas are well-known for problems with crime, drug problems, homeless in tent cities, gun violence, and urban areas characterized by squalor, poverty, poor schools, and a dependent population who consistently deliver Democrat pluralities at election time?

    Baltimore, Maryland: Run by Democrats for the past 52 years.

    Detroit, Michigan: Run by Democrats for the past 57 years. Note that 100 years ago, Detroit was considered the “Paris of America”… think about that for a moment.

    Washington, DC: Run by Democrats for the past 58 years.

    Newark, New Jersey: Run by Democrats for the past 66 years.

    Chicago, Illinois: Run by Democrats for the past 88 years.

    These urban areas are known for political graft and corruption as well as having danger zones, high crime, serious illegal drug problems, poverty, poor schools and a high dependency on welfare.

    They have also been reliable “voter plantations” for Democrats. That is the real reason the poor enclaves in those voter plantations are kept in poverty with poor schools and low job opportunities while illegal drugs remain freely available. The politicians running those cities know when they have a good scheme going for them. After more than half a century to combat drugs, crime, and squalor, what have they accomplished? More drugs, crime and squalor!

    They weren’t caused by the NRA.

    And they weren’t caused by guns.

    They were caused by grossly incompetent Democrat politicians running their cities into the ground.

    Perhaps the most direct solution would be to ban Democrats from political office in those cities. Then we could see a revitalization similar to what President Trump has done four our nation. Record employment, record low unemployment for Blacks and Hispanics. Real income growth for everyone. Lower taxes for everyone (despite lies by Democrat politicians who want to renew overregulation and raise taxes).

    It is clear that Mayor Zudans wrote his letter to San Francisco’s governing body because he is as outraged as many decent Americans are at the brazen stupidity of San Francisco politicians’ declaration that the NRA (an organization committed to protecting 2nd amendment rights and the proper instruction of the use and storage of firearms) is a “domestic terrorist organization.” An action, by the way, that is beyond the authority of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

    Clearly, the Supervisor’s recent actions are politically-motivated and entirely divorced from rationality and lacking any legitimate basis. They are symbolic in nature, symbolizing the totally ineffective capacity of Democrat politicians to deal with the messes they’ve create on a massive scale over the past five or more decades of politically-motivated governance.

    Should Zudans have written his letter to the San Fransisco Board of Supervisors on “Office of the Mayor” stationary? Did he at any time, state, infer, or imply that he was writing on behalf of anyone other than himself? If this article reproduced his entire letter, then no, he did not. Would it have been better had he not used the Mayor’s stationary? Yes. But a reasonable view is that he wanted to make it quite clear that, as a mayor, he was disturbed by the inappropriate actions of San Francisco’s governing body, including its mayor.

    Since an objective reading of the content of his letter reveals he did not indicate he was representing anyone other than himself and like-minded “Americans” who are equally appalled by the action of the San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors, it is hard to sustain a complaint that he did anything beyond a small lapse in best judgement for using the Mayor’s stationary.

    Which is the more compelling issue of concern?

    1. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ unsupportable actions banning the use of well-established criminal terminology and declaring the NRA a “domestic terror organization” while doing absolutely nothing about the increasing squalor and health danger from its growing homeless population?


    2. Mayor Zudans’ use of the Mayor’s stationary to convey his personal contempt for the inappropriate action taken by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors?

    If you believe the latter is the worse offense, then you are a part of the problem. Because real problems are never resolved by political posturing while avoiding any serious effort to get at the root causes of massive problems confronting these Democrat-controlled urban cities.

    Why would any rational person want to turn this country’s helm over to such people?

    But, not to worry… we’ll just agree to disagree.

    Bob Webster

  4. Mr. Webster;

    With all due respect, you missed our point. The post was not about the NRA or Republicans or Democrats or Detroit or Baltimore or drugs or Donald Trump. It was about decorum and civility.

    City of Mayors Code of Ethics:
    Article 11
    Mayors shall use their influence to promote co-operation and good will between cities, nationally and internationally.

    • Mr. Hardy:

      You really should sign your editorials.

      By way of response to your comment:

      1. It is certainly pertinent to examine the foundation for Zudans’ letter. Only then can the content of the letter be discussed intelligently.

      2. Zudans should have used his own stationary as the use of the stationary reserved for the Office of the Mayor could convey a wrong impression.

      3. Zudans clearly did not write the letter in his official capacity as Mayor and he made that quite clear with:

      “As a lifetime NRA member, concealed carry permit holder, and Mayor of Vero Beach, Florida I feel compelled to respond to your resolution… ”

      A rational reader would read the quoted statement and immediately know that the letter was not an official letter from the Office of the Mayor, nor did it represent the people of Vero Beach or the Office of Mayor any more than it represented the NRA, or NRA members, or all concealed carry permit holders.

      With all due respect, you appear to have made a most selective reading of his letter to suit your desire to write your editorial opinion. But your expressed views are not well-founded.

      Perhaps we can agree to the following:

      1. Zudans was representing his personal views.

      2. Zudans was neither representing the views of the people of Vero Beach, nor the office of the Mayor of Vero Beach, nor the NRA, nor NRA members, nor Florida concealed carry permit holders. This should be obvious from the letter’s content.

      3. Zudans used poor judgement by writing the letter on the Mayor’s stationary.

      4. Zudans has every right to convey to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors the fact that, in addition to being an NRA member and a concealed carry permit holder in the state of Florida, he is also Mayor of Vero Beach. That fact does not convey the approval of the governing council of Vero Beach nor the people of Vero Beach. If Zudans jay-walked in Chicago, would that reflect poorly on the people of Vero Beach? Really?

      I seriously doubt any member of the SF Board of Supervisors would bother to concern themselves with Vero Beach. They are too busy passing nonsensical resolutions that will do absolutely nothing to help those who are defacing their city because of the failure of the governing body to intelligently address their problem.

      In that regard, it is questionable whether the phrase “In all due respect” is deserved or appropriate when commenting on the politically-motivated actions of the SF Board of Supervisors.

      Perhaps a blunt dosage of truth might compel at least one of those “Supervisors” to contemplate their role in the mess that is overtaking San Francisco and threatening catastrophic health consequences that will observe no walls around gated enclaves nor political position nor financial status.

      Zudans’ sentiments and outrage are justified. His use of Office of the Mayor stationary isn’t.

      Bob Webster

  5. Zudans is an overstepping idiot. His letter is hilarious and sad. Regardless of your political leanings, this is a bad joke made worse by national scrutiny. He was an embarrassment when elected, and an even greater one now.

    I hope this town can elect a better candidate next time, hopefully someone with decorum and rationality who brings a fair, even hand to the town. Though with the shenanigans of our local elections I’m not holding my breath.

    • What is an embarrasment of monumental proportions are cities like S.F. whose governing bodies are more concerned with being sanctuaries for criminals, providing a haven for homeless who are free to defile the city while creating a health crisis, passing meaningless resolutions declaring an organization dedicated to defending our Constitution’s 2nd Amendment a “terrorist” organization so they can hassle anyone associated with the NRA, and passing idiotic language changes to soften the terms used to describe criminals and juvenile delinquents.

      Zudans made a mistake in judgement when he used official stationary for his letter. Had he not, there would be no issue with him at all. He isn’t running for re-election.

      Name-calling is always a substitute for intelligent debate. I note the vituperative name-calling you use. Was that really necessary? It reflects poorly on you, not Zudans.

  6. Lame stunt by a Lame Duck to get his 15 minutes of fame.

    This latest hair-brained stunt peaks volumes of this man’s disdain for his colleagues on Council and constituents in general. He has no business instructing far-away cities how to manage their affairs when we have a large and growing list of problems Council has failed to address right here at home.

    Bob Webster: people might read your posts if they were less verbose and to the point. All but the most recent arrivals know that Vero Communique is Tom Hardy. While I have been the object of negatuve Communique editorials, I still read this publication and appreciate its willingness to publish alternate points of view.

  7. Mayor Zudans’ letter raises questions:Polkwa

    Was Mayor Zudans writing on behalf of himself as a citizen, or himself as the Mayor? Was he writing on behalf of the Vero Beach City Council? If not, did he advise the City Council he was writing the letter? Obviously not, or it would been more respectful and professional.

    More importantly, though unlikely, could it be construed that he was writing on behalf of Vero Beach

    • It could be construed he was writing on behalf of Vero Beach by anyone who didn’t read what he wrote with a modicum of care. Why? Because in addition to stating he was VB Mayor, he noted that he was a member of the NRA and he noted that he held a CWP from the State of Florida.

      Would any rational person believe he was speaking for the NRA or all Florida CWP holders?

      I don’t think so.

      However, to be fair, his use of the Mayor’s stationary was a poor decision and could mislead those who knew that, including the recipients. An unfortunate choice.

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