A disruption occurred during the Centralia City Council meeting on Tuesday night after someone participating in the meeting through Zoom video conferencing technology acted in an inappropriate manner. The participant’s actions included inappropriate language, misuse of certain features on the Zoom platform and the drawing of images they shared over video. As a result, the council took a break from its meeting as the Zoom video stream was ended and then restarted with new participant protocols.
“These kinds of things are very disruptive for those watching the meeting … especially for people who are watching on channel 3,” Centralia Mayor Kelly Smith Johnston told The Chronicle on Wednesday.
During the break, Mayor Pro Tem Cameron McGee told The Chronicle city officials thought whoever was causing the disruption was acting purposefully.
As the disruption occurred, City Clerk Deena Bilodeau went into a backroom and was soon joined by Centralia Police Chief Stacy Denham. A few minutes later, Bilodeau opened the door to the backroom and motioned for Smith Johnston to join them. After some time, the three returned and the council meeting resumed.
According to Bilodeau, Tuesday’s meeting was only the second during which the City Council utilized Zoom’s video conferencing technology. She also said the city was looking into the matter and could release a statement at a later date.