(Southaven, MS) For the first time in 16 years, a new mayor is in charge in Southaven.
Darren Musselwhite took the oath of office today, marking a new era in the city.
“I’m excited. I’m ready to get busy,” said Musselwhite.
Musselwhite tells News Channel 3 he wants to continue moving the city in the same direction and focus on growing the parks and recreation department.
“We have issues on the table now that have to be address and those things will be addressed first,” said Musselwhite.
Musselwhite says one of the first things he will do is take a look at the city’s books to see how finances are shaping up.
“Southaven is ready for this, so it’s time to move forward,” said Musselwhite.
Musselwhite’s oath of office also marks the end of the Greg Davis political era.
Southaven has over doubled in size since the former mayor was first elected, making it one of the largest cities in Mississippi.
Davis says this is because of a low crime rate, great housing market and infrastructure they’ve built like Southaven Towne Center.
“Locating that shopping center here gave us the financial means to do what we’ve done over the past 16 years,” said Davis.
Davis says another highlight is his work growing the parks and recreation department, creating a model for the rest of the country.
He says he’s leaving the city better than he found it.
“We didn’t have much in the way of industry now we do. We’ve got a good cross-section of business so hopefully if the economy changes it will carry us through as it has the past two years,” said Davis.
Davis leaves office under a cloud of suspicion.
Right now he is fighting a civil case over accusations he misspent more than $100,000 of the city’s money.
He says today is bittersweet and he will relax the rest of the summer and consider what to do next.
As he relaxes he will get $86,000 a year in retirement from his days as mayor.