Council President A No-Show At City Hall
Dayton Griffith has been a South Charleston stalwart for decades. First as a city council member, then during a second go-round, serving as council president. He's represented the 5th Ward and the city with countless hours of public service. However, in the past year and a half, Griffith has been a rare visitor to council chambers at city hall. From information provided by the city, during Griffith's current term starting in 2011, he attended 21 of 24 city council meetings. In 2012, he was at two-thirds of the scheduled council gatherings. But since 2013, he's only been to three of 36 city council meetings, and none in 2014. Griffith still receives his $10,000 a year annual salary. "He's fallen ill and that has led him to missing council meetings," Mayor Frank Mullens of South Charleston said. "For folks out there to assume because he's unable to attend council meetings that he's not engaged in city government are incorrect. He gets his agenda. He calls my staff on a regular basis. He's up-to-date with what goes on, what's on the agenda." Mullens says he has not heard one complaint about Griffith's absence from city council meetings. He says there's much more to the office than just going to city hall twice a month. "Can he do his job?" Mullens asked. "I think he is doing his job. I think a good barometer for that is the constituents themselves, who he works for. I have not, sitting here as mayor, I have not had one single phone call, complaint about councilman Griffith not being responsive to his constituents.Again, I think that's his number one job." Even with Griffith dealing with health issues, Mayor Mullens says he doesn't think the council president should step down from office. "I think that Dayton has earned the right to finish out the rest of this term with respect and dignity that he deserves for his 30-plus years service to this city," Mullens said. "I think he's earned that, I think he deserves that." Mullens said Griffith has indicated to him that he will not run for re-election next year. Eyewitness News reached out to Griffith to talk about his absences. However, our call was not returned.