Antioch planning commissioner under fire for controversial coronavirus post

Antioch Mayor Sean Wright called for a special Friday evening meeting of the City Council to consider removing Ken Turnage II from his seat on the city's Planning Commission.

In an agenda statement posted Thursday, Wright noted Turnage's recent social media post apparently endorsing the idea that the coronavirus pandemic will cull the herd or in other words cull the population.

Several council members called for his resignation at a meeting Tuesday night.

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."

Turnage, the commission's chairman, insisted 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.

During Tuesday evening's remote City Council meeting, three public comments called for his 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 Wright and other council members. Turnage can be removed by a majority vote of the city council.

Wright stated Thursday, "In the city of Antioch, the City Council is committed to maintaining public confidence and trust in our city government.

As public officials in one of the largest and most diverse cities in Contra Costa County, we are called to serve all residents of Antioch; whether young or old, rich or poor, healthy or unhealthy, housed or unhoused."

The City Council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on a Zoom video call. Public comments can be submitted here.