(WMC-TV) – A reception thrown during a trip by embattled Southaven Mayor Greg Davis to the Gulf Coast is being questioned tonight. The party was supposed to promote tourism.
The city of Southaven knows how to throw a party. It was Tuesday night with food, music and an open bar at Beau Rivage in Biloxi. On the guest list local elected officials from towns across Mississippi.
"Nobody has this kind of money to throw away on partying," stated Southaven resident Linda Temple,
The reception was part of the annual Mississippi Municipal League Conference. It's an event the city funds every year, but in light of Southaven's ongoing spending scandal, Temple says it was in poor taste.
"There were a lot of municipalities that held receptions but they went in together as a group 4 or 5 of them," Temple said.
Temple's big concern is the cost. The fun came in at around $80,000. Some Southaven businesses donated to the fund at a total of $48,500. The difference has come out of the city's tourism fund. The idea is that the event would promote Southaven.
"Tourism doesn't come out of property tax it comes from food and restaurants. They only contribute if they eat out or stay in motel," stated Mayor Pro tem Loraine Cady.
Cady says the city needed to continue the tradition of throwing the party especially because of the scandal.
"The city felt it should put forth when they went down because there is always so much talk and questions," Cady explained.
The vote to hold the reception was split, with three aldermen voting yes. Alderman Greg Guy abstained from voting. Mayor Greg Davis was the tie breaking vote for the reception. Only Davis and Alderman William Brooks attended the reception. Davis could not be reached for comment.