Former Southaven mayor takes new job to boost tourism in Sardis

SARDIS, MS (WMC) - A familiar name in Southaven has a new job in a different part of North Mississippi.

Former Southaven Mayor Greg Davis will be guiding another North Mississippi city. Sardis just chose Davis for the newly created position of tourism and economic director.

His goal is to bring millions of dollars in investment to a sleepy town.

"Mr. Davis, we think he is going to be great for us," said Sardis Alderman Michael Price.

Price said the town of almost 2,000 people is excited about having someone who can guide Sardis into the future.

"I told them, I don't have a magic wand," Davis said. "It's not going to happen overnight."

Davis is credited with much of Southaven's explosive growth during his 16 years as mayor. Some of those years were spent fighting an indictment for fraud and embezzlement, which he was eventually acquitted for.

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

However, it is Davis' expertise in moving a city forward that Sardis wants.

"I think it's a good development, the fact that the city has put faith and trust in a tourism director and coordinator," said Sardis resident Dale Hart. "I think it shows a big step and we need that. And we have a lot to offer in Sardis."

Hart and his wife live in one of the historic homes in Sardis, one of the many attractions a lot of people don't know about yet.

Sardis is well-known for Sardis Lake and dam, but the city also owns 11,000 acres at the lake that can be developed.

Davis said he wants to work on Main Street. He hopes to get grants to redevelop the area and bring attention to it.

The Winchester gun range will open in October and Davis hopes to attract industry.

While Davis is working on all of that, he will be going to a hybrid law school that is part internet-based to become a defense attorney.

The bottom line is Davis hopes to bring new life to Sardis.

"What we need is fresh eyes," Davis said.

Davis said he will start his new job June 1.

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