Auburn mayor resigns after posting controversial comments on Facebook

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AUBURN, Calif. (KTXL) – Auburn’s mayor announced plans to step down Monday after outrage erupted over his recent social media posts regarding the president’s supporters.

The Auburn community weighed in on Mayor William Kirby’s controversial comments on Facebook during a virtual city council meeting Monday.

Monday’s Auburn City Council meeting was conducted using Zoom and broadcast live on YouTube.

After the pledge, Mayor Kirby opened with a statement.

“I spent 40 years dedicating my life to serving the community of Auburn as a physician and through my volunteer efforts. Am I perfect? No. We’re all a little flawed,” said Kirby.

He admitted to the council that some of his recent Facebook posts were over the top.

One of those posts was a shared photo of a Ku Klux Klan hood, with the caption, “Good news for Trump supporters is that most of them already have masks.”

The post was later taken down.

Kirby explained to the council the source of his frustration as a doctor is that he puts his life on the line against an enemy he can’t see without the proper gear and testing capabilities.

“This president has put us all at risk,” Kirby said at the City Council meeting.

He concluded his statement by saying he will resign as mayor.

That is something many people called for in the dozens of citizen emails that were shared on-screen during the public comment period that followed the mayor’s opening statement.

Some citizen voicemails were played as well.

“These comments are hateful, degrading, bigoted and more consistent with the mentality of a 15-year-old,” one voicemail said.

“It is extremely disappointing and I believe that he should be removed,” another person said via voicemail.

“I just wanted to call in support of Dr. Kirby,” another voicemail said. “I completely, 100% agree with his assessment of the president.”

A few council members also weighed in.

“And this is how I feel: I abhor the things that he has said and done and I did not hear an apology from him tonight,” said City Councilwoman Cheryl Maki.

“We need to be focused right now and our staff needs to be focused on the response to COVID and the recovery of COVID,” said Councilman Daniel Berlant.

Kirby said he will step down as mayor at the next council meeting, nominating Berlant to take his place.

That’s something he said he always intended to do before his term expires in November.

Councilwoman Maki called for more immediate action.

“I think it would be appropriate if you would hand the gavel over to Vice Mayor Spokely this evening and let him run the meeting,” she said.

“No,” responded Kirby.

The next meeting of the Auburn City Council is scheduled for April 27 and will likely again be conducted online.

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