Grandfalls City Controversy

By Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

Grandfalls city offices are back open, weeks after employees quit because of an argument with the city council, leaving City Hall empty.

But now, a council member has become the city administrator.

The past few months in Grandfalls have been filled with controversy. Back in May, city leaders walked out leaving this town with no employees. In just the past few weeks, things have begun to change.

"They're working a lot better than before," City Administrator Joe Gilbert, said.

City Hall is back up and running. Former City Councilman Joe Gilbert is the new city administrator.

"It leaves a big gap there if they all leave and nobody is in charge," Gilbert said. "When you have no employees, you more or less have to start all over again."

But even with a new administrator, the controversy hasn't stopped. Grandfalls neighbors declined to comment on camera, but one resident told us today, an "ego battle" has erupted between the City Administrator and Mayor. They report that the Mayor has even been locked out of the offices at City Hall.

"It was hectic in here to try to get all the meters read and to get your bills out and to try to have somebody in here to collect them," Gilbert said. "We had a lot of volunteers to come in and help us do that. Hopefully all the past is gone and we can look forward and try to do what we can here in the city to make it a better place to live."

When we spoke with Mayor Brandenburg back in June, she told us the arguments began over finances, and leaders not being able to work together as a team.

"It isn't completely resolved, but I think it's better," Gilbert said. "I think everybody is accepting their responsibilities a little more, and that's what we needed to do. We're going to go forward."

The City Administrator says, Grandfalls still has a ways to go. There's a new City Council meeting set for next Tuesday.