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Angry residents in Auburn, about 33 miles northeast of Sacramento, confronted Mayor William Kirby during a city council meeting conducted by video because of coronavirus concerns, FOX 40 of Sacramento reported.
Kirby appeared remorseful as he addressed the council and residents, the report said.
“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,” Kirby said, admitted to the council that some of his recent posts were misguided.
In one of the posts, the mayor — who is also a physician — shared a photo of a Ku Klux Klan hood, with the caption, “Good news for Trump supporters is that most of them already have masks,” the report said. The post was later taken down.
“Good news for Trump supporters is that most of them already have masks.”
— Social media message allegedly posted by town’s mayor
Kirby blamed Trump for his frustration, explaining that as a doctor he now puts his life on the line because of a lack of proper gear and testing capabilities.
“This president has put us all at risk,” Kirby said.
The council also heard voicemails about Kirby left by city residents and fellow council members, FOX 40 reported.
“These comments are hateful, degrading, bigoted and more consistent with the mentality of a 15-year-old,” one voicemail said.
“These comments are hateful, degrading, bigoted and more consistent with the mentality of a 15-year-old.”
— Resident opposing mayor’s social media posts
“It is extremely disappointing and I believe that he should be removed,” another message said.
Others supported the mayor.
“I just wanted to call in support of Dr. Kirby,” another voicemail said. “I completely, 100 percent, agree with his assessment of the president.”
White supremacist-affiliated protesters gathered in Virginia in 2007, touching off international outrage. (Associated Press)
“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,” City Councilwoman Cheryl Maki said.
“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 at the next council meeting on April 27, the report said.