MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – Embattled Southaven Mayor Greg Davis addressed citizen complaints Tuesday night about a reception thrown in Biloxi, and comments he made disparaging Memphis.
Tuesday night was the first meeting of the Southaven Board of Aldermen since the Mississippi Municipal League conference last week on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Residents were there ready to question an expensive reception the city hosted while there. This is the latest controversy following the mayor's spending scandal last year.
Residents wanted to know what came out of the Mississippi Municipal League conference in Biloxi and the reception the city threw attendees, a reception the city budgeted 80,000 dollars for, though the mayor has so far collected around 55 thousand dollars worth of donations from city businesses to cover the cost. Concerned Citizens of Southaven member Linda Temple believes this gives the illusion of impropriety.
"My concern was that once a contractor was on board with the city for our city or mayor to contact them for a donation for this reception, I think it's totally unethical," Temple said.
Mayor Greg Davis disagrees and says the businesses that donated were just glad to get their names on a brochure handed out at the reception. Additionally, Davis got heat last week from Memphis city leaders about negative public comments he made during the reception, telling attendees to visit Memphis but stay in Southaven because of Memphis' high crime rate.
"Not a one of them has said it wasn't true," Davis said. "So I'm not ashamed of stating facts. I'm sorry it hurts their feelings if it does, but I think that they know it's a problem. It wasn't being talked about, it's now being talked about, so they have to address the issue."
As for accusations he was intoxicated during the reception, Davis says this:
"No, I was up bright and early and stayed up and passed out the checks at the end of the night."
While the city budgeted 80 thousand dollars for the reception, the total cost hasn't been totaled yet. Davis says it's possible the 55 thousand dollars donated by businesses could actually cover the entire cost, meaning no money would come out of the tourism fund.