An Official’s Removal Is Sought After He Throws Cat During Zoom Meeting

Ana

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The city Planning Commission meeting in Vallejo, Calif., last week followed the same humdrum pattern of so many municipal meetings: There was the Pledge of Allegiance and a roll call, followed by various reports.

The commission, like many other businesses and government agencies observing social distancing and stay-at-home rules during the coronavirus pandemic, met on April 20 via a Zoom videoconference.

That posed the usual challenges: Commissioners with microphones muted when they were trying to be heard, some of them appearing half offscreen at times or talking over one another.

But things took an unexpected turn about 2 hours and 24 minutes into the session after one of the commissioners, Chris Platzer, was asked if he had any comments after reviewing a project application.

“Yes, if I’m allowed to make them,” he said, just after a cat could be heard loudly meowing offscreen, according to a video of the meeting.
“Yes, this is the section where you can, Commissioner Platzer,” the commission’s chairman said.

The cat meowed loudly again. “OK, first, I’d like to introduce my cat,” Mr. Platzer said, lifting it close to the camera and then, with two hands, tossing it off screen.
The cat squeaked as it was being thrown, and a thud could be heard.

One commissioner on the videoconference put his hands to his forehead and covered his eyes in response.

The meeting concluded 26 minutes later, but that was hardly the end of it.

Bob Sampayan, the mayor of Vallejo, which is about 30 miles north of San Francisco, and Robert McConnell, a City Council member and the liaison to the commission, have asked for the council to consider Mr. Platzer’s immediate removal at a meeting on Tuesday, a city spokeswoman, Christina Lee, said on Monday.
Mr. Platzer, who could not be reached on Monday, was appointed to the volunteer position in August 2016 and his term was set to expire in June.

“I did not conduct myself in the Zoom meeting in a manner befitting of a planning commissioner and apologize for any harm I may have inflicted,” he wrote in the email, The Times-Herald reported. “I serve at the pleasure of the council and no longer have that trust and backing.”

He added, “We are all living in uncertain times and I certainly, like many of you, am adjusting to a new normalcy.”

 
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