Former Southaven mayor Greg Davis late Wednesday afternoon informed city officials in Horn Lake that he did not want to be considered for the Horn Lake city planner’s position.
Davis’ announcement in an email to Mayor Allen Latimer and a statement also posted on his Facebook page comes a day after the Board of Aldermen Tuesday night considered in executive session, but chose to defer until its March 20 meeting any decision about hiring him as city planner.
“I feel certain that by working as a team in Horn Lake we could have brought the same economic stability and attractiveness of Southaven to Horn Lake,” Davis wrote in his announcement. “It is only fair that the residents west of Interstate 55 are allowed to benefit from the same type of environment we have witnessed on the east.”
Davis’ decision leaves the position open, as it has been since Keith Briley left for a similar position with the City of Hernando.
The Davis hiring proposal was one of three items to be discussed in executive session and when the aldermen came out after a long meeting behind closed doors, it was Alderman Charlie Roberts who moved the plan be tabled to the March 20 meeting.
That motion was approved on a 4-3 vote with aldermen Tommy Bledsoe, Tim Smith and John E. Jones Jr. voting against the motion to table. Roberts, LaShonda Johnson, Chigger White and new Alderman Michael Guice were in support of tabling the matter.
However, with Mayor Allen Latimer and a number of the aldermen opposed to adding him to City Hall, Davis informed them Wednesday afternoon that he would not like to be further considered for the job.
Roberts had floated the plan to hire Davis, who served Southaven as mayor for 16 years before he was voted out by current Mayor Darren Musselwhite in the middle of legal trouble, facing charges of fraud and embezzlement.
Davis was vindicated and found not guilty on the charges in a retrial ordered by the Mississippi Court of Appeals held last June. He was originally convicted in 2014 but the verdict was appealed by his attorney, claiming the DeSoto County location of the trial and pretrial publicity made it impossible for a fair hearing.
Tuesday's meeting had several people in attendance and, while many were dead set against having Davis work for their city, several also noted the stagnant state of Horn Lake's growth and felt Davis could improve that.
Davis also stated in Wednesday’s announcement he felt support for him was there.
“Countless colleagues, friends, business owners and constituents from voiced their support and encouragement in my application for city planner throughout the entire process,” Davis said.
Even with his past, Davis is considered among the reasons Southaven saw extensive expansion during his tenure in office as leader of Horn Lake's neighbor. Supporters, such as Roberts, want to tap into that expertise.
A new city planner would assist in the planning of the west side of Horn Lake, where the Circle G Ranch project slowly, but steadily, continues to move forward. The honeymoon cottage and ranch of music legend Elvis Presley is expected to jumpstart growth in that part of DeSoto County when it opens.
In other action at Tuesday night's Board of Aldermen meeting in Horn Lake, Dave Young of the South Branch Lions Club received permission to add April 22 to the weekend usage of Latimer Lakes Park for what's being termed an International Steak Cooking Competition and Cornhole Event. The Lions have already received approval to use the park on the day before, April 21.
City Clerk Jim Robinson asked and received approval for the City to engage in a new contract for credit card services with BancCard systems and to end the agreement with First Data, saving about $14,000 annually in service fees.
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