SOUTHAVEN, MS (abc24.com) – “The mayor should resign; there are no morals, no character.”
That’s how Wayne Fratello addressed a standing room only crowd at the Tuesday, February 7, 2012 meeting of Southaven’s Board of Aldermen.
It was the first meeting back for embattled mayor Greg Davis after a lengthy medical leave.
Davis is under fire for alleged misuse of city money. The Mississippi State Auditor said that at one point Davis owed $170,000.
Much of that has been paid back, but a substantial sum remains and Southaven residents are getting restless.
That’s why there was an overflow crowd in a separate room at city hall, watching on a video feed.
Many might say Davis showed courage running the meeting, but many questions were asked by citizens and very few were answered.
“Are you going to acknowledge the hurt you are causing the city?” asked Oriana Hill.
At that point Southaven’s city attorney said he advised the mayor not to answer some specific questions because of a pending FBI investigation. That left people frustrated.
“Mayor Davis is not going to address any issues tonight, that’s quite obvious,” Fratello said.
And when the video feed to the overflow room broke down, there were a lot of angry people.
Chants of, “We can’t hear, we can’t hear, we can’t hear!” filled the lobby of city hall.
“As soon as the opening prayer happened, the video feed went off,” said Lee Blair, “amazing how that happened.”
When order was restored, this was a common refrain:
“It seems every week and every day something surfaces about this mayor,” Mike Smith said, "please don’t discover anything else. We are the laughing stock of the nation.”
Tony Garner, the chairman of the group “Concerned Citizens for Southaven,” was disappointed by what happened.
“At times it was a cluster,” Garner told abc24.com, “all the aldermen were trying to watch their backs. I was definitely disappointed, I thought there would be a lot more done tonight.”
“It still keeps gathering momentum,” said Hill, “that I feel citizens believe it is time for Mayor Davis to step down.”
“I’m very disappointed in every one of you,” said David Turner, the last person to speak.
Concerned Citizens for Southaven will hold another public meeting Feb. 16 at the Southaven Library to further discuss the Mayor Greg Davis situation.
Southaven’s aldermen did form a committee to look into all future financial dealings concerning the city.