Mayor's Report

May 22


Posted on May 22, 2020 at 4:59 PM by Darren Musselwhite

When I was elected Mayor of Southaven in 2013, and again in 2017, I swore to faithfully support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Mississippi and obey the laws thereof.  I have upheld this oath everyday I’ve been in office and will continue to until my last day.

When this crisis began in mid-March, no one knew the degree of risk that we faced which made it constitutionally-sound to implement temporary restrictions on personal liberties.  As upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court multiple times, government has the Constitutional right to restrain personal liberties temporarily during emergencies “under the pressure of great dangers” to protect “the safety of the general public”.  However, I must be straightforward in saying that I have serious concerns with liberties being restrained for this length of time, considering the real data we have now.*  This virus is dangerous to some, but does not threaten “the safety of the general public”.  99.98% of Mississippians have survived this pandemic to date.  I also have concerns about the discriminatory nature of government allowing some businesses and organizations to assemble and do business, but not others.  Again, as Mayor, I swore to support the laws of the State of Mississippi and support the Constitution of the United States.  When these two conflict, I’m in a situation that I never thought would become reality and must support the Constitution of the United States.

As the Chief Executive of the City of Southaven, I will enforce all state laws until they conflict with the Constitution of the United States.

Executive Orders #1487 and #1488 were issued today by Governor Reeves which extend the “Safer-at-Home” Order until Monday, June 1, 2020 at 8:00 AM.  Both Orders may be read in their entirety for all details, but the most notable changes are as follows:

SCHOOLS MAY OPEN WEIGHT ROOMS AND TRAINING FACILITIES may re-open with detailed hygiene, social distancing, and health-screening requirements.

OUTDOOR PLACES OF AMUSEMENT AND RECREATION may re-open with detailed hygiene, social distancing, and health-screening requirements with the number of customers being limited to 50% of the park’s maximum occupancy.

It remains extremely important that our citizens with underlying health conditions that place them at a higher risk use all precautions and safeguarding measures to protect themselves.  All citizens should continue to respect the dangers of COVID-19 as they resume their lives in a smart and safe way.

Most sincerely and respectfully,

Mayor Darren Musselwhite

*The Statistics…

Desoto County Fatalities per Capita = .003 of 1% (6/185,000)
Shelby County, TN Fatalities per Capita = .009 of 1% (88/937,000)
State of Mississippi Fatalities per Capita = .02 of 1% (596/2,976,000)

Executive Order 1488 Extended Safer at Home
Executive Order 1487
May 08


Posted on May 8, 2020 at 4:50 PM by Melitta Duncan

Today, Governor Reeves announced that he is extending his “Safer-at-Home” Order until Monday, May 25, 2020 at 8:00 AM with Executive Order 1480 which will be the official source of all details.  He asked all Mississippians to continue to take this virus seriously as we still face health risks.  He acknowledged that we are now facing serious economic damages and must continue with a phased re-opening.

ALL FROM HIS LAST ORDER REMAINS UNCHANGED except the following changes that will be effective immediately, today, May 8, 2020:

SALONS and BARBER SHOPS (which interpreted by Southaven will also include tattoo parlors) may open with strict hygiene, health screening, and social distancing measures, including requiring only one patron per employee/server at a time; all patrons 6-feet apart; no indoor waiting area; mandatory facial coverings of the mouth and nose by both server and patron as well as gloves by server.

GYMS (which interpreted by Southaven will also include dance/gymnastics/martial arts studios and all other indoor athletic training facilities) may open with an occupancy limitation of 30% capacity and strict hygiene, health screening, and social distancing measures.


As stated previously, all other remains unchanged which limits all other indoor gatherings to 10 persons or less and outdoor gatherings to 20 persons or less.

I have requested clarification from the Governor’s Office regarding physical, “in-person” church services, but have not received any update and this new order has not changed anything.  His initial order, which is still in effect, says:

“Religious entities, including religious and faith-based facilities, entities and groups, and religious gatherings are essential provided that they adhere to the CDC and the Mississippi Department of Health recommendations and guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

The Mississippi Department of Health continues to state that “in-person” church services are not safe and that social distancing and limiting gatherings to 10 people or less is critical.

It’s my goal to give clarity to our churches and all citizens, but I’ve not been provided with any other details other than this information.  I will continue to reach out to the Governor’s Office and provide updates as they are given to me.

As I’ve stated repetitively, our data does not warrant continuing to restrain our economy and lives and I will continue pressing for a broader re-opening and return to full recovery.          

You have made tremendous sacrifices and showed your toughness and resilience.  We are on the brink of a great recovery!  Let’s continue to be smart while we claim our lives back!

It’s time!

With the most concern and respect,

Mayor Darren Musselwhite

May 07


Posted on May 7, 2020 at 2:05 PM by Melitta Duncan

Congratulations!  I know this is not how you always envisioned your last weeks in school and I’m sorry this has happened, but I hope I can encourage you today.

Life is full of disappointments, but they all pale to the victories, happiness, and successes that lie ahead.

This will not be the worst thing that ever happens to you, but life is not about what happens to you, but instead, how you respond to what happens to you.

The pages of life do not turn smoothly like a storybook, but the pen to write your story is always in your hand and the future’s pages are always as white as snow.

Look how far you’ve come and never forget the confidence you’ve built or the lessons you’ve learned, but listen to me, you’ve only just begun.

Wishing you all the best,

Mayor Darren Musselwhite

#youwillriseabove  #youveonlyjustbegun