(WMC-TV) - The new mayor of Southaven will not continue a party tradition in Biloxi.
Mayor Darren Musselwhite and the board of aldermen will still go to the conference on the coast next week, but the city will not be throwing a multi-thousand dollar party – instead the trip will focus on educational training for those in politics for the first time.
"We're going down there to learn our jobs as Aldermen, not to host a party," said Shirley Beshears, Alderwoman Ward 2.
In years past, the city and chamber helped foot the bill for the receptions. Newly elected leaders, like Musselwhite, ran platforms on making changes when it came to spending.
"We feel like it's our role to show the people of Southaven that we're going to be good stewards of the city's money, and we just didn't feel like the party was necessary. We can promote Southaven without doing that – we're [all] for business," said Musselwhite.
Alderman George Payne is one of two alderman that served on the previous board.
"I just didn't think it was a good idea last year. I voted against doing it, and I didn't attend the party," said Payne.
Payne said hosting a reception can be a good networking and promotional tool, but did not feel it was in the city's best interest this year. Residents were happy to hear the new leaders' plan to go to the coast for workshops that will help them learn their new roles.
"I think it's a good investment to participate in those types of meetings, but to sponsor that kind of party that they were having that was tens of thousands of dollars could better be focused," said resident Ben Moore.
Mayor Musselwhite and Alderwoman Beshears say one highlight of next week's trip will be a main street workshop where they plan to focus on revitalizing State Line Road, which is one of the main roads in town.
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