Clay Town Council members accept mayor's resignation after Facebook post

Clay Town Council accepts Beverly Whaling's resignation Tuesday in the wake of a controversial Facebook post. (WCHS/WVAH)

Flanked by members of the media and audience members, Clay Town Council members Tuesday quickly accepted the resignation of the town's mayor over a controversial Facebook post.

“This kind of racism and intolerance is not what this community is about,” one council member said. “I’d like to apologize to anyone who was offended, most certainly the first lady. That is all I have to say.”

Council members accepted the resignation of Beverly Whaling as mayor. She turned in her resignation Tuesday after coming under fire for her comment on a controversial Facebook post regarding first lady Michelle Obama over the weekend.

"I, Beverly Whaling, will be resigning as mayor of the town of Clay, effective immediately," Whaling said in a statement.

Whaling came under national attention after she agreed with a statement made by Clay County Development Corp. Director Pamela Ramsey Taylor, who made a Facebook post about first lady Michelle Obama.

Taylor's post said, "It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified first lady in the White House. I'm tired of seeing a ape in heels."

Whaling commented on the post saying "Just made my day Pam," in the post's comment section.

The posts have attracted media attention nationwide. A petition for the two to be terminated has nearly 159,000 signatures.

Both women apologized publicly on Facebook. Taylor has since deleted her Facebook page and said Tuesday night that she is now on leave from her position.

Whaling previously issued the following statement about the incident:

"I would like to apologize for any unintentional harm caused by my comment," Whaling said in the statement. "My comment was not intended to be racist at all. I was referring to my day being made for the change in the White House! I am truly sorry for any hard feeling this may have caused! Those who know me, know that I am not in any way racist! Again, I would like to apologize for this getting out of hand!"

At Tuesday’s meeting, the council quickly took care of routine business and then read Whaling’s resignation letter and accepted her resignation.

Several members of the audience praised the council members for their action.

“I think you all have done the right thing,” one area resident said. “There’s no place for hate in West Virginia.”

Council members said they would quickly appoint someone to fill Whaling’s seat. They said she still had three years remaining in her term of office.

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