Former Southaven mayor a candidate for tourism job in Sardis

SARDIS, MS (WMC) - Panola County has big plans for the town of Sardis, Mississippi.

And the man who would like to make that happen is Greg Davis, former Mayor of Southaven.

"The more I look into it the more I research it the more excited I believe because there is so much there to offer," Davis said.

He doesn't have the position yet, but he is one of four candidates who has applied for the newly-created job of tourism and economic project manager.

Davis is considered by many to be a kind of economic development Svengali after the enormous growth that happened in Southaven when he was mayor.

"There's a lot going on in Sardis is right now," Panola Partnership CEO Joe Azar said.

Azar said whoever gets the job will have a lot to work with, including a new shooting range that will be put in in October by the state of Mississippi and Winchester.

There are plans for a zip line at the marina on Sardis Lake.

"If the zip line is successful, that same company will follow up with a water park," Azar said.

That's not the only big plan, either.

"I'd like to approach the Manning's about a restaurant," Azar said.

Yes, those Manning's of sports fame.

There is a plan to spruce up downtown Sardis and bring more attention to places like TriBecca Allie. The cafe got second place nationally in the American Pizza Championship in Orlando, Florida.

Azar knows about Davis' past, his successes, and his indictment for embezzlement and fraud while mayor. Davis was eventually acquitted on those charges.

Davis also had to pay back money after he was found guilty of using city funds to pay for trips and meals.

"As far as his personal life goes, I don't think that's any of our businesses as long as he does a fine job, that's what you look for in a candidate," Azar said.

Davis was also considered for a job as city planner for Horn Lake, but that did not materialize.

A vote on who will get the job to oversee the evolution of Sardis could come this week.

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