SOUTHAVEN, MS (abc24.com) - The trouble is far from over at Southaven City Hall.
The Board of Aldermen meeting on Tuesday night, December 20th, was the first time many Southaven citizens had the chance to meet face to face with Mayor Greg Davis and city aldermen since more of the mayor's questionable spending habits were made public.
Davis is being investigated by the state auditor, who claims he misspent $170,000 of city money. A crowd of residents packed the meeting Tuesday night, but they were ignored.
Number five on the board's agenda was where citizens were supposed to have their say. The problem? It never happened.
The crowd sat in anticipation as Mayor Davis called the meeting to order, delivered the invocation and led the pledge of allegiance. Everything went according to the itemized schedule, until it was time for citizens to speak.
"You saw what happened," said a frustrated Kim Moore.
The public meeting lasted less than ten minutes. The politicians then went behind closed doors.
Moore left unhappy, unable to question city leaders directly.
"I'm just unhappy with the way our taxes dollars have been spent," she said. "The checks and balances, they don't seem to be checking over. The aldermen haven't done their job. $400 bottles of wine at tax payer expenses? $100 tips, $1000 tips. It all seems to be okay with them."
"I would have been very disappointed if I would have took my time out of my daily routine to go up there and be heard and I wasn't given a chance to voice my opinion," said Dustin Clark, a Southaven resident.
Mayor Davis said no one signed up to talk, and citizens must call his office or their alderman the Friday before a board meeting to put their name on the list.
Aldermen called that a "gray area," saying the average citizen wouldn't know to sign up. They told abc24.com in the past, anyone present at an aldermen's meeting was given a chance to speak.
So what happened this time?
Aldermen didn't want to talk on camera, but said they didn't notice the citizen's agenda was left out.
"We're the people," said Connie Bowens. "We elect each year. We should be voices in our statements. Being overlooked? What is the purpose of voting? What is the purpose of even being a concerned citizen?"