Congratulations to Auburn mayor Bill Kirby for making Dawgs Blog infamous list of Dipshiot of the day. a well earned honor.
A string of recent Facebook posts and comments by Auburn Mayor Bill Kirby criticizing the White House’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and other subjects came to a head Thursday night. The posts included profanities and heated exchanges with members of the community.
Kirby angered community members when his recent public Facebook post suggested supporters of President Donald Trump were akin to members of the Ku Klux Klan.
After a screenshot of Kirby’s meme was shared in a Facebook group, people began a deep dive on Kirby’s personal Facebook post history and uncovered a number of other questionable posts. Many residents of Auburn are now questioning Kirby’s position as mayor, debating his immediate removal from office or voting him out of office in November. A Facebook page, “William kirby, mayor of Auburn California fan club” was created Thursday with screenshots of Kirby’s posts. A second private group page, “Remove Mayor William Kirby – Wishing Death on His Constituents,” was created Friday.
One repost from April 5 pictured a person wearing a KKK white hood with the caption, “Good news for Trump supporters is that most of them already have masks,” to which Kirby commented, “True.” That post has since been taken down.
Meanwhile, Kirby, in an interview with the Auburn Journal on Friday morning, admitted to re-posting some items but said the posts have nothing to do with his job as mayor.
“(Facebook) is not a city site. It’s a personal site,” Kirby said. “This has nothing to do with my job. I reposted it. I think (Trump) is a racist, absolutely.”
Kimberly Hall, who is from Auburn and now lives in Rocklin, responded to the KKK post, “So inappropriate of a mayor to post, embarrassing he is representing Auburn!”
Commented Betsy Bender of Auburn, “He is an embarrassment to this community.”
Kirby said many commenters are not Auburn residents.
“They’re from all over the country,” he said. “You look at all those emails, and see where they come from, and very few of them are citizens (of Auburn). I look at them, I read them, but you gotta understand, it’s all over.”
Councilmember Cheryl Maki said Friday she fielded contacts from people regarding the situation until 2 a.m., and it continued in the morning as there were several emails and voicemails to the City Council. Maki said there were “so many private messages on my Facebook account I haven’t had a chance to respond to anybody.”
“It’s unfortunate our mayor is spending his time posting hate speech on Facebook when there are so many more important things at this time,” she said. “We talked to him (in the past). He promised not to do it anymore, and he continues to post hate speech. It’s divisive, unnecessary, and it’s harmful to our community.”
Kirby, who is a urologist, also commented to a re-post of a story in The Atlantic under the headline, “The President is Trapped” and including a subhead reading, “Trump is utterly unsuited to deal with this crisis.”
Kirby commented: “That right wing corona virus denier Boris Johnson just got hospitalized. Guess which 2 should be next!!!! And god bless all those evangelicals going to church in large groups…. There is no cure for stupid…. But they all vote for Trump anyway so it is ok….”
Kirby, while speaking with the Journal, noted he’s not a Democrat. “No, I’ve always been a fiscal conservative that believes in equality for everybody,” he said. “It’s my personal opinion. They’re entitled to their personal opinion.”
Kirby said the United States is at a crossroads, adding, “We’re in the worst position we’ve ever been in.”
City Council members, reached by the Auburn Journal, confirmed they have received calls and emails from residents concerned about Kirby’s posts.
“Of course, everybody has the freedom to post what they want to post; it’s our constitutional right,” Vice Mayor Matt Spokely said. “In critical times like we’re in with the COVID-19, it is best we all calm down with the hyperbole on the internet. He has a right to post what he wants as a private citizen, but he is the mayor of Auburn.”
Council member Sandy Amara said she was not sure if there were any conduct requirements for council members.
“I personally try to follow professional conduct, use my conscience and do the best I can,” Amara said.
Said council member Daniel Berlant, “Free speech is an important tenant of our society, but I don’t condone any type of hate speech. I don’t know the full context of the statements, so can’t speculate. We are in the middle of a global pandemic and can’t afford to lose attention on the issues facing our community. The city must stay focused right now on the health of our residents, assist our small business owners and ensure city services continue to be provided.”
City Attorney Gary Bell said he could not provide a comment and questions should be referred to City Manager Bob Richardson. However, the Journal did not receive a response from Richardson’s office before publication.
Maki said she also received calls from concerned former council members. Maki noted current council members have no control over Kirby’s actions.
“He’s an elected official, as we are. We can censor him, which is nothing,” she said. “We can ask him to step down, but it’s up to him whether he will or not. And he won’t.
“He needs to make a public apology for what he’s done. Referring to one side as KKK is unacceptable. It’s hateful and wrong.”
DAWG SAYS: THE RESIDENTS ARE OUTRAGED BUT WHO VOTED HIM IN? THESE IDIOTS THAT KEEP GETTING VOTED IN ARE THE FAULT OF THE VOTERS PLAIN AND SIMPLE. NOW LIVE WITH IT CLOWNS LIKE THIS ARE NOT GOING TO STEP DOWN AND BEING AN ELECTED POSITION, THE ONLY OTHER WAY IS RECALL. THE SOLUTION IS VOTE MORE INTELLIGENTLY FROM THE START. BTW AS A MAYOR THERE IS NO SEPARATION FROM MAKING IGNORANT FACEBOOK POSTS SHOWING TRUE HATE IN HIS SOUL AND HIS JOB AS MAYOR, A PUBLIC OFFICIAL PLAIN AND SIMPLE.