SURFSIDE, FLA. (WSVN) - A Surfside commissioner is blasting the behavior of the town’s mayor, claiming his racist views were on display during a testy exchange with her during a commission meeting.

Speaking with 7News on Thursday afternoon, Surfside Commissioner Nelly Velasquez did not mince words about her feelings toward Mayor Shlomo Danzinger.

“It’s clear [his behavior is] because I am a Latin woman, and he is a misogynist that tries to embarrass us,” she said.

Velasquez gripe is the way that she says she was treated by Danzinger on Wednesday, when commissioners and the mayor were discussing term limits.

“What they’re looking for is, every two years, they get a new boss, new direction. It’s not easy to run a town like this. It’s not working,” said Danzinger.

Seconds later, the mayor, who had the floor, asked Velasquez to refrain from interrupting.

“Commissioner, please stop interrupting,” he said.

After a brief pause, Danzinger said, “OK, does anybody know how to speak Spanish to tell her this? Because I said it like four times.”

The mayor’s remark was met with gasps and groans from people in attendance.

Danzinger pounded his gavel.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I need you to please not interrupt the process here,” he said.

The mayor’s comment, Velasquez said, was unacceptable.

“Totally uncalled for,” she said.

Velasquez argues that Danzinger was questioning her fluency.

“I speak English perfectly well, as you can clearly see that,” she said. “There’s no need for racism.”

A 7News crew caught up with Danzinger and asked him to share his account of the back-and-forth between him and Velasquez.

When asked whether he regrets his remark, the mayor replied, “What I had was a commissioner that was disrupting the meeting and the process of government. I repeated myself and the rules over and over again, repeatedly, and she kept disrupting the meeting.”

When 7News suggested to him that he was aware Velasquez spoke English, Danzinger replied, “Apparently not.”

“I was born here in the United States — high school, college, everything,” said Velasquez.

When pointing out to him that his comments came across as rude to Velasquez and others in attendance, Danzinger replied, “Let’s be very clear: I didn’t say it to others. I had a commissioner who was not adhering to clear direction, so perhaps it was a language barrier.”

When it is suggested that Velasquez found his words offensive, Danzinger replied, “You’re going to have to ask that commissioner who speaks ‘perfect English’ in that case to explain why she can’t follow clear direction, then.”

The commission meeting continued, but there was another tense exchange between Danzinger and Velasquez. The commissioner defended herself after the mayor took exception to her no longer being a property owner in Surfside, where she says she now rents a home.

“What is it? Because I’m Hispanic?” she said.

Danzinger has already filed paperwork to run for mayor again in 2024.

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