Just 10 months after being elected to his first term as mayor of Box Elder, Bill Griffiths is feeling the heat from two city councilors who are questioning his fitness to lead.

After meeting Tuesday night in a closed-door session with the mayor, Council President Mark Coatney and Vice President Terry Wenrick asked Griffiths to resign at the council meeting although they wouldn't say why at the time.

On Wednesday, Coatney discussed some of his concerns about the mayor.

"We've been misinformed as a council quite a bit. We don't feel the mayor is doing the job he should be doing. I think he's gotten in over his head," he said.

Griffiths said Wednesday that he doesn't know why the council president wants him to step down.

"I have no comment on why because I don't know why. I have no comment at all because nothing was ever said of where or why or when," he said. "I don't know where he's getting his information."

Coatney said getting information from the mayor is one of his concerns, especially when it comes to city council meetings.

"He would put stuff on the agenda without our knowledge and then have us in a public meeting wanting us to make a decision right then and there," Coatney said. "We can't take the city and just put it out on a limb and hope it works."

Coatney also said he had concerns about Griffiths' decisions to fire the city's finance officer and police chief soon after he was elected in June and attempts by Griffiths to make decisions without council approval.

Griffiths denied putting items on meeting agendas at the last minute.

"Not that I know of. I don't do the agenda. My finance officer does the agenda," Griffiths said.

Coatney said the mayor has shown no indication that he will resign even though his leadership skills have been challenged.

"He did not resign Tuesday night. He said he was not going to resign. So we just see where it goes from here," Coatney said.

Contact Aaron Orlowski at 484-7069 or aaron.orlowski@rapidcityjournal.com


(7) comments

It matters
It matters

This goes way beyond the firing of the finance officer and the police chief. Do not simplify this and say it's because they are jealous. There is so much wrong doing being done by Griffiths- hiring of new employees without prior council approval, raising salaries without the approval of the council, the lack of decorum during council meetings to name only a few. He is the mayor of Box Elder but he is not the King of Box Elder. He must go through the council for approval on all matters that have to do with the way the city is spending our money and he must follow their directives! As a former council member, Griffiths should know this.
Saying that Mr-. Coatney and Mr. Wenrick are jealous is whitewashing the real issues.


I think it's good that council members are concerned about how the mayor is conducting business. Current city employees seem to walk into a council meeting and walk out with a promotion (and I assume a raise). Where is the money for these promotions coming from? Where are these open positions, that people are being promoted into, being posted?
How the town is being run is, or should be, the concern of all council members and every residents. Salaries and bills are paid with money from Box Elder residents, therefore every dollar spent and every decision made IS the business of residents.
Is the town an equal opportunity employer? If so, I believe promotional and employment opportunities need to be posted for perspective employees to view.
In the article it stated the president of the council said that the council doesn't know what is going on. The answers to the questions asked to the mayor sound like he isn't sure what is going on. He said he doesn't make the agenda. If he doesn't know what's on the agenda prior to the meeting, how can he lead the meeting? Shouldn't he approve the agenda prior to the meeting? Doesn't the council receive a packet prior to the meetings to know what will be addressed at the meetings? Can any city employee walk in on any given council meeting and receive a promotion without a new job description approved by the council? Curious things are going on in the town. Glad someone is asking questions. Now if only the questions can be answered.

Joe Mama
Joe Mama

How can a Box Elder water bill even be late? I thought it was figured into the lot rent....


Gee, I wonder if its anything like why he was forced to retire from active duty Air Force and forced out of civil service - can you say sexual harassment?


If some of the constiuents of Box Elder who elected this "fascinating" mayor actually attending just one of the council meetings they'd be embarrased by his lack of knowlege, behavior, and leadership. The issues go far beyond a Police Chief and Finance Officer. Let's talk money - the spending taking place without council approval, raises given and not shared with council or the constituents, and collection of past due water bills neglected for over three months because of laziness. Step outside your door, attend a meeting and see how your mayor is managing the city...or letting the city manage him.


Jealousy has nothing to do with it! If you have ever attended a Council meeting, you would know what they are talking about.


Sounds like Mr.Coatney and Mr. Wenrick are a little jealous. Still a little mad over the fact that their blessings were not sought after in matters that are not their concern. Terminations of the finance officer and the Police Chief are not your business. They serve under the mayor...The same way the President doesn't have to explain to you why he has choosen new cabinet members...And how dare you ask him to resign because you disagree with him...We elected him!!! Not you! If you don't like it leave...Your positions will easily be filled...

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.