Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Mike Yenni, Kenner’s “Name-Caller-In-Chief”, Lashes Out Again

I’ve written in the past about Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni’s name-calling towards me. Even, which despite repeated editorials slamming Yenni endorsed his candidacy not once but twice, took a swipe at Yenni’s pettiness.

I've always laughed off Yenni’s name-calling ("Self-proclaimed vigilante" is my personal fave) and viewed it as a sign of immaturity and insecurity. I mean, after all, the guy has led a sheltered life. How many 30-somethings are there in the world who have never held a job in the real world or had the spark of an idea and wanted to start a business? And that’s not even bringing up the whole name-changing deal.

Yeah, not all of my businesses have been successful but, at least I’ve tried. And, my parents had an acrimonious divorce but I never changed my name to disavow my father.

Yenni has always shown a pattern of personally attacking his enemies and those who disagreed with him. He can’t debate and win on the issues. It’s always his way or, well, you know the rest.

He has systematically gone after private citizens who worked to defeat his proposal to double Kenner’s property taxes and Kenner City Councilmembers who dared to question or vote against him.

Rather than stop acting like a 4-year-old playground bully and grow up, Yenni continues to resort to doing what he does best, name-calling.

In a article that discusses a proposed new law to force the Mayor to disclose all legal financial settlements with the Kenner City Council, rather than debate the merits of the issue, Yenni slithers back to the gutter in his attempt to stave off another attempt at making Kenner’s City Government more transparent and holding himself accountable.

Discussing an old case, Yenni claims that Kenner District 2 Councilman Joe Stagni, a Chiropractor in real life, is not qualified to offer his opinion on legal matters.

"(Former City Attorney) Keith Conley is an attorney. Joe is a chiropractor," Yenni said. "I believe the legal minds we hire -- that are approved by the council -- are the ones that should make the decisions, based on their knowledge of the legal system."

I’m sorry Mayor Yenni but I’ll take the opinion of a Doctor over someone who has never held a non-appointed or elected job or owned a business in his life especially when that Doctor-Councilman is probably the hardest working and most studied member of the Council.

Rather than discuss the facts of the ordinance and that the Council doesn’t want to advise the City Attorney or provide him with legal advice, Yenni would rather take a personal shot at an outgoing Councilman.

The proposed ordinance that Yenni is fighting calls for the City Council to be advised of proposed settlements and to make the Council aware of where the money to pay the settlement is coming from, not offer legal advice.

Only in Yenni’s mind can notifying the elected governing authority, the Kenner City Council, about anything, let alone a Federal lawsuit, be a bad thing.

In fact, Yenni actually believes that outgoing District 5 Councilman Kent Denapolis was out of line in even proposing an ordinance discussing transparency without Mayor Yenni’s prior approval.

"I think Mr. Denapolis should have had the courtesy to contact my office before he even introduced something like this," Yenni said. "Because last time I checked he is a furniture salesman."

Excuse me?

Did Mayor Yenni just say that Councilmen need to discuss proposed laws with him BEFORE they introduce them? Does Yenni have to give his stamp of approval before a law can move forward? 

Is this what Kenner residents have to look forward to for the next four years with Yenni and his “Consensus Team” (DeFranchesch, Conley, Cline, Impastato and Sigur) on the City Council?

I’m sorry but I want a City Council that will represent the people of Kenner and not simply be a rubber stamp for an autocratic 4-year-old schoolyard bully dressed in a Seersucker suit, who has ZERO real world experience. I want a Council that will debate with and hold the Mayor accountable.

It makes little difference to me what Councilman Denapolis does for a living or the other Councilmembers for that matter. They were elected by the people of Kenner, the same as the Mayor, and they approve the City budget. They should know what they are paying for instead of it being hidden and swept under the rug by Mayor Yenni.

How many other lawsuits have been filed by citizens and lost by the City of Kenner? How many tax dollars have been paid out in lawsuits that might have embarrassed Yenni or members of his Administration?

And, if a member of Yenni’s Administration is sued and loses, especially in a case where it is determined that he lied to a member of the public, why is that person still employed? Doesn't the City of Kenner have an employee handbook that addresses "embarrassing the City" or "lying to the people who pay your salary"?

How many other times has Kenner Fire Chief John Hellmers been sued and how much has it cost the people of Kenner?

Why doesn’t the City Council have a right to know that?

And, why don’t the people of Kenner know?