The ex-California mayor who called President Donald Trump a racist and compared supporters of the president to the Ku Klux Klan has been killed.
Former Auburn, California Mayor Dr. Bill Kirby was killed in a plane crash on Saturday, ABC News reported.
He died in a plane he was piloting on Saturday morning when his plane crashed into the ground near the Auburn Municipal Airport.
There was another passenger in the plane with him who suffered minor injuries and was transported to nearby hospital.
“Our family is devastated by this tragic news,” a statement from the family made by Sacramento political consultant Jeff Raimundo.
“Bill devoted decades of enthusiastic and loving support to his family, his patients and the Auburn community he loved so much. We will miss him immensely but take comfort in knowing he died while flying – one of the other loves of his life,” he said.
It was last week when Mayor Kirby made a post on his Facebook page in which he compared President Trump supporters to members of the KKK and said that they had their masks.
“Good news for Trump supporters is that most of them already have masks,” he said on Facebook with a photo of KKK members.
On Monday, during a virtual city council meeting on Zoom, the mayor announced his plans to resign and admitted that some of his Facebook posts have gone too far.
“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,” he said, Fox 40 reported.
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.
“These comments are hateful, degrading, bigoted and more consistent with the mentality of a 15-year-old,” a voicemail from one concerned citizen said.
“It is extremely disappointing and I believe that he should be removed,” another of his constituents said in another voicemail.
“I just wanted to call in support of Dr. Kirby,” another citizen said. “I completely, 100% agree with his assessment of the president.”
But it was not only the citizens who were furious. Even some of the members of the city council weighed in during the meeting.
“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,” City Councilman Daniel Berlant said.
Berlant was tapped to be the next mayor and will be selected at the next city council meeting when they mayor officially resigns.
The mayor said he had always intended to do that before his term expires, but Councilman Maki demanded more immediate action than waiting for the next meeting.
“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,” the councilwoman said.
But the mayor declined by saying “no” and continued with his plan to resign in the next meeting.