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Controversial post leads to calls for Antioch commissioner's removal

Controversial post leads to calls for Antioch commissioner's removal

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This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). 

Antioch residents and some City Council members in Contra Costa County are calling for the removal of the chairman of the city’s Planning Commission, Ken Turnage II, for his controversial social media post supporting a “culling the herd” idea.

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Turnage, a local contractor, wrote in his personal Facebook account recently that “the World has been introduced to a new phrase Herd Immunity which is a good one. In my opinion we need to adapt a Herd Mentality. A herd gathers it ranks, it allows the sick, the old, the injured to meet its natural course in nature.”

He added, “then we have our other sectors such as our homeless and other people who just defile themselves by either choice or mental issues.

This would run rampant through them and yes i am sorry but this would fix what is a significant burden on our Society and resources that can be used.”

During Tuesday evening’s remote City Council meeting, three public comments called for Turnage’s resignation or removal. Councilmember Monica Wilson, called the comments disgusting, inappropriate and reckless while asking for his immediate resignation or removal. Similar reactions came from Mayor Sean Wright and other councilmembers. Wilson also asked the mayor to call a special meeting to deal with the controversy.

Turnage insisted on Wednesday that he has no intention of resigning or backing down from his comments. He also strongly objected to apparently being called racist saying his position was simply an issue of “ecological balance.” He said he was “baffled” by the reaction to what he called his personal opinion. He insisted that most people who saw his post expressed support.

Wilson said Wednesday that what Turnage is “endorsing is genocide.”

Councilmember Joy Motts noted that although Turnage represents the city because he’s in a public role, his opinions “are not representative of our shared values.”

She added, “Although he’s entitled to his opinions, there are consequences to social media comments.”

Turnage’s seat on the planning commission is an appointed one.

Wilson said she was waiting for clarification from the city attorney on the procedure required to remove a commissioner from office.

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