Thursday, June 18, 2015

Yenni Seeking More Debt Without Voter Approval

Not content with the massive debt Kenner already has for its sewerage system, or the huge debt from his poorly concocted 2033 Plan, which was the largest single issuance of debt in Kenner’s history with little to show for it except interest payments, Kener Mayor Mike Yenni is proposing to add more debt for Kenner’s sewerage system.

Unlike the 2033 Plan, this debt will be sold directly to the state DEQ and the proposal specifies the projects involved. The debt will carry a .95% interest rate.

It is unknown if the Becknell Law Firm, which handled the 2033 Plan debt sale and litigation, will be involved. Interim City Attorney Mike Power, who is “Interim” because he doesn’t reside in Kenner and Yenni continues to violate the spirit and will of the people of Kenner, is still listed “Of Counsel” at the Becknell Firm.

It is also unknown if Power retains a relationship with the law firm, which would clearly be a conflict although if you’re a Friend of Mike’s, there are no conflicts.

It is also unknown why the City continues to needs to add even more debt for sewerage projects.

Since Yenni has been Mayor, the City of Kenner has tripled sewerage fees and received tens of millions in multiple low-interest DEQ loans to repair its aging sewerage system.

It is also unclear why the City needs the debt when it has received millions in State, Federal and Regional dollars to fund aspects of the 2033 Plan that the debt sale was to include. It would seem fiscally responsible to shift those funds to this project.

But, “fiscally responsible” is just campaign rhetoric for Mike Yenni written by his insipid political consultant.

And, once again, the City of Kenner is taking on a large debt, financed by sales tax revenue (when the City’s sales tax base is dwindling), without a vote of the people.

But it’s more no-bid contracts for Yenni’s friends and contributors as he squeezes them for even larger contributions to fund his Parish President campaign.

So, in summary, we have

1). Potential conflicts of interest

2). No clear rationale for the debt

3). A missed opportunity to move money from the 2033 Plan

4). An unclear accounting of sewerage funding since Yenni’s tripling of sewerage fees

5). More no-bid contracts for Friends of Mike

There are all valid questions that should be posed by the Kenner City Council. However, since no one on the Council not named Gregory Carroll has the intestinal fortitude to demand answers, they will go unanswered.

Since this Council, again minus Carroll, can’t begin to fathom the concept of actually representing the people they were elected/appointed to represent, Kenner will continue down this leadership abyss.

While the projects are specified in the proposal, there is some limited accountability there thankfully.

But, remember who we’re talking about…

Just as “fiscally responsible” does not remotely describe Mike Yenni, “accountability” both to the voters he was elected to represent and for spending wisely are not in Yenni’s vocabulary.  

So, Yenni is  not the “Fiscally Responsible” Candidate and not the “Accountability” Candidate.

And, despite his best efforts, he is clearly not the “Family Values” Candidate either.

But, we have time for that…