Following Sunday's news that embattled mayor of Piedmont, Jeff Wieler, was voluntarily stepping down from the largely ceremonial position of mayor but would remain on the city council for the remainder of his term, Wieler announced Wednesday that he would be removing himself from the council as well. The action stems from a public outcry surrounding some Facebook posts Wieler had posted seeming to espouse some bigoted and/or misinformed opinions including "Black Lives Matter encourages cop killing," ''Democrats are the plantation slave masters of today," and "Transgenders [sic] are mentally ill."
As CBS 5 reports, Wieler sent the station an email Wednesday evening saying in part,
It would be unfair to the city and a personal betrayal of my principles and past efforts if I allowed this circus to continue distracting residents, the council, and city staff.
I also don’t need any more obscene hate mail or veiled threats of violence. I apologize for helping create this situation.
Wieler initially stepped down from the role of Mayor a position appointed by the council from amongst councilmembers which is not an elected position and does not come with any special duties beyond leading council meetings on Sunday ahead of a special council meeting Monday that was likely going to result in a vote of no confidence for him. Vice Mayor Bob McBain has now assumed the role of Acting Mayor, and he tells the Chronicle, "I’ve known Jeff a long time, but I still thought this was really important to do for the city."
Wieler said in a separate statement to the Chronicle, "Frankly, I’m tired of being a problem for the city. When you spend a quarter of a century trying to help make a great city even greater and you see that you’re causing damage, it’s time. I felt that this has gone on long enough."
In some statements over the weekend, Wieler acknowledged that Piedmont's population had shifted in a more liberal direction since he moved there over 20 years ago, and he added, "We have a president who has coarsened the national dialogue and made many people feel insulted. No matter what you think of his policies and programs, this is a reality that I and many other Republicans are coming to acknowledge."