Friday, July 24, 2015

Kenner’s Dreaded 4-Headed Political Imbecillus Rears It’s Ugly Head

Like a Phoenix that continues rising from the ashes, Kenner’s Dreaded 4-Headed Political Imbecillus of Mayor Mike Yenni, Councilwoman-At-Large Maria DeFrancesch, District 4 Councilman Lenny Cline and JP Councilman Ben Zahn continue to provide great material for yours truly.

There are times when I honestly believe that the amount of eggs used to produce these 4 clowns is more than their combined IQs.

While St. Bernard Parish struggles to determine the cause of the brain-eating amoeba infiltrating their water supply, I'm wondering why no one is asking Veolia to test the water at 1801 Williams Blvd.

As for Little Ben Zahn, well, he's still walking in circles down the Yellow Brick Road trying to figure out if he asks the Wizard whether to give him the gift of height or a brain.

Sorry Ben, the Wiz says you can't have either.

Or good looks and a personality so I guess you're really out of luck.

To the surprise of no one, these 4 also share the same political consultant – Greg Buisson. Yes, he helped them all get elected/appointed but c’mon, you should also service your clients when it’s not election time or, in the case of these 4, keep them away from microphones.

Unless, of course, you don’t mind me writing about them on a regular basis.


Yes, Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni is the King of the Kenner Political Imbeciles.

I know you're shocked...

While his past ignominies (attempting to double property taxes, tripling sewerage fees, taking on the largest debt in Kenner’s history without voter approval, among other things) certainly qualify Yenni for the continued top spot, what he said this week adds more distance between him and his equally contemptuous challengers.

At the annual State of the City Address, which used to occur in December but was moved last year to just before the election (imagine that, right?) and was moved again to be closer to another election (why are we not surprised?), Yenni claimed that Kenner is “one of America’s great success stories”.


Now, before you jump down my throat please know that I’ve lived in Kenner for 14 years. Despite opportunities to move to other cities (although, according to Greg Buisson, I’ve lived in every American city already), I choose to live in Kenner. Despite its lack of Million Dollar Bike Paths to Nowhere, the horrible inconvenience of trying to dodge traffic while trying to cross the street at Williams and Vets, and the fact that retail businesses continue to leave Kenner like our money has the plague, I like living here.

So, how can a city with over ½ of its net worth tied up in long-term debt for generations as the Mayor attempts to push through even more debt to pay off his political contributors; with a mall that looks like a ghost town on most days; with a nearly vacant shopping center across from the mall (yeah, I know, there’s a new home store, so make sure you shop Kenner First as you give your money to a Texas Retailer right Mikey?); with more commercial blight than the whole of Jefferson Parish; and a Mayor who couldn’t even serve 1 year of his 4-year term before he decided that he deserved a promotion, be a “great success story”?

And, if it is a “great success story”, why aren’t we giving back the 2033 Plan Debt that Yenni incurred without your approval?

We don’t need it right? We’re already a “great success story”!

Even The Times-Picayune pointed out in the first paragraph that Yenni’s speech was “thin on examples of that (Yenni’s “ambitious”) agenda.

There are times when I actually believe the folks at The T-P laugh almost as hard as I do when they hear Mikey’s bs.

Yenni also addressed Kenner’s windfall of $9.3 Million from the BP oil spill settlement.

"Imagine how those funds will be put to good use as we reshape Kenner for generations to come," Yenni said. He gave no hint of his administration's plans for the money.

Of course he didn’t – he hasn’t spoken to his political contributors yet to divvy up the booty.

Ben Myers also pointed out yet another example of why Yenni leads the Imbecile Parade:

"Laketown will revolutionize the way we use Lake Pontchartrain," Yenni said.

Can you please explain to me how a mix of retail, restaurants, lodging and residences, will “revolutionize the way we use Lake Pontrchartrain”? Don’t most folks use the Lake to fish, boat or some other recreational use? Didn’t Kenner just spend millions to rebuild the pier so folks could fish?

Who writes this stuff for Yenni? Yes, you guessed it – Greg Buisson.

While I could go on all day about Yenni and his ace strategist Greggo, let’s move on to Imbecile #2, who also happens to be a client of Buisson (in fact, according to his campaign reports he’s still paying off the win bonus from his victory over me in 2011, and still charging almost every meal he eats to his campaign contributors), the one and only man who sued me twice (and lost both times)


Just as Kenner received a nice chunk of BP money (and will squander it on graft and projects that won’t do anything meaningful for Kenner), Jefferson Parish got a massive amount from the BP oil spill settlement - $53 Million! Of course, that’s before attorney’s get their cut.

And how is JP spending this windfall? Coastal restoration? Additional storm protection? Our portion of Pump to the River funding? Money to combat erosion at Grand Isle?

Of course not.

The unlicensed florist, Ben Zahn, wants to use a chunk of the one-time money to give 5% raises to Parish employees. Of course, Zahn doesn’t know how much the raises will cost, or how the parish will pay for the increased salaries next year, or the year after, or any year, but why let simple math get in the way, right Ben?

Repeat after me – Non-recurring (one-time) money should NEVER be used for recurring (every year) expenses (like salaries).

According to Little Ben and the aformentioned Ben Myers on,

The BP money is not "dedicated to coastal restoration, but in fact sales tax reimbursements." Jefferson Parish residents are therefore "entitled to have their infrastructure and capital improvement needs addressed, and our employees given a raise," Zahn said.

Maybe it isn’t “dedicated” but it should be.

Should JP employees get pay raises? Of course, if there’s money available.

But, not THIS money.

5 years after the BP oil spill, Grand Isle’s beaches (which, of course, isn’t in Zahn’s District), still have tar balls that wash up on shore.

But hey, if there’s any money left after the pay raises, Zahn wants it to go to the District Councilmen for projects. Let the Councilman who represents Grand Isle use his money for the beaches while Zahn and others pump their cuts into more projects that benefit…wait for it…their political contributors.

Hey, it takes money to get elected. And, of course, you have to pay Greggo and the Buissonettes.

Moving on to Imbecile #3…


If it weren’t for the Zahn BP comments, Kenner District 4 Councilman Lenny Cline might be nipping at Mike Yenni’s heels.


Of course Lenny, if you keep opening your mouth at Council meetings and to reporters, you just might surpass your hero Mikey.

In discussing a proposal for a new apartment complex at the site of the old movie theater in The Esplanade mall’s parking area, Cline said,

"I don't have any negative or positive thoughts on the project until I see all the evidence," Cline said. "I want to know what's going there and why, and what quality of units will be there."

So, you’re telling us that there’s a major residential project being proposed for your District and you “Want to know what’s going on there and why”?

Talk about being on the ball, doing your homework and representing your District! 

Yeah, and a couple of weeks back when I wrote “Will Someone Please Poke Lenny Cline and Wake Him Up?” one reader actually called me to say that perhaps I was a little hard on poor Lenny.

Now, before you get all excited Lenny and wet your pants, that person WASN’T a resident of District 4.

He was also sadly mistaken.

 As I’ve said repeatedly Lenny, I will stop shooting when you stop giving me the bullets.

So for being so completely ignorant of laws, rules, how to rank proposals and not knowing what’s going on with a major project that has already made it all the way to the Planning Commission (which has a member appointed by Lenny), Councilman Cline continues his streak of appearances.

Which brings us to the #4 Kenner Political Imbecile, and also a client of Greg Buisson,


While the Kenner City Council was discussing a new retail development at Joe Yenni and Williams, Councilwoman-at-Large and Kenner’s Slumlord-In-Chief DeFrancesch questioned whether the developer had discussed his plans with the residents of the nearby Beachview Heights neighborhood.

The developer, Jody Grass, mentioned that he was expecting direction from the Council.

A clearly agitated Mike Yenni jumped in saying that District 3 Councilman Keith Reynaud had discussed the project at a Beachview Heights Civic Association meeting.

How Yenni knew that off the top of his feeble brain, is shocking.

Did you hear that? That was the sound of my mind being blown!

Not putting it past Reynaud or saying that he didn’t advise the Civic Association, just wondering how Yenni knew and was quicker to pipe up than Reynaud himself.

As usual, DeFrancesch tried to backpedal for fear of upsetting the Yenni but not before Reynaud complained of “personal attacks”.

DeFrancesch claimed that "We don't do personal attacks here ... sorry that's not acceptable."

No, the Council reserves the personal attacks for private citizens like yours truly, right Lenny?

It’s all good though because I have several things that Mike Yenni and his “Consensus Team” don’t including:

1). Intelligence

2). An IQ significantly above 30 (or whatever number they give you just for signing your name).

3). The ability to speak and write the English language

4). A sharp wit.

5). A blog that ties everything together and allows me to entertain you, and myself, on a regular basis.

But really, what are you laughing at? Many of you voted for these folks.

Fortunately, many more of you didn't. But, that's another post. 

Happy Friday peeps!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Kenner Getting $9.3m From BP; Pigs Lining Up At Yenni’s Trough

I don't trust the government
I don't trust myself
What's a boy gonna do? 
  - - - The Editors "A Ton of Love"

During the last mayoral campaign, Drew Broach from hosted a mayoral debate. One of the questions was, “What would you do if Kenner had a revenue windfall?”

Mr. Broach described a hypothetical $20m windfall.

It is probably a surprise to no one that I said, that if I were elected I would use the money for infrastructure and to cut Kenner’s debt by accelerating payments.

It is also no surprise that Mike Yenni said he would spend it.

Well Kenner, that hypothetical windfall is upon us in the form of $9.3m in BP blood money.

And, Mike Yenni and his “Consensus Team” are already concocting ways to spend it.

In fact, at the last Council meeting, Councilwoman-At-Large, and Kenner’s Slumlord-In-Chief, Maria DeFrancesch thanked the attorney who negotiated the settlement and looked gleeful at the prospect of  “all the wonderful projects it would pay for.”

Excuse me? Doesn’t Kenner have enough projects (and no, not YOUR kind of projects Maria) like Rivertown, Laketown, the 2033 Plan, et al?

Mike Yenni took on the largest debt in Kenner’s history without voter approval (and is borrowing more, again without voter approval) for a mishmash of projects including an almost $1m bike path to nowhere, and we need more projects?

Kenner can’t even complete the ones Yenni has planned and the people of Kenner have had no accounting of which projects are being funded and by how much, what the status of the projects are, and when they will be completed. 

And yet, Kenner's Police Department has not increased manpower; Kenner's Fire Department is woefully underfunded and undermanned and the national standard of 4-men-on-a-truck is still a pipedream for Kenner (as is a Class 1 Fire Rating, despite the imbecilic mumblings of Chief John Hellmers);  the City is privatizing playgrounds (yeah, that will bring in young families); and sewerage still backs up into the homes of Kenner residents whenever there's a heavy rain - but we do have the largest debt load in Kenner's history! 

Way to go Mikey!

Since none of the 2033 projects were vetted or approved by the people of Kenner, it’s no surprise that we don’t know what the status is either right? Or how much regional, state and federal funding has been acquired and what is happening with the money that was budgeted for those projects funded by other revenue sources.

We also don’t know why those other revenue sources weren’t tapped BEFORE borrowing money, accruing additional interest, and tying up a chunk of Kenner’s sales tax revenue through 2033.

Yeah, and I cost the City $2m. Go back to sleep Councilman Cline. Someone will nudge you the next time you’re required to rate contractors.  

Now, I’m not one to look the proverbial gift horse in the also proverbial mouth, but, with Kenner attempting to borrow another $15m for sewerage projects (some of which are not necessary), why not apply the BP money to those projects and borrow less money?  

Or, as I suggested in the debate, apply it to the 2033 debt?

Those are rhetorical questions. Because you’re reading this, unless your name is Cline,DeFranchesh, Sigur or Yenni (who probably has someone read it to him. I know, I should use smaller words), I’m making the assumption that you are reasonably intelligent and you already know the answer:

Contracts for Political Contributors.

No folks, that sound you hear is not an air raid siren - it's the sound of Mike Yenni's pigs, I mean Campaign Contributors,  cuing up at the pay for play taxpayer trough at 1801 Williams Blvd. 

Oink. Oink.

While I do enjoy a good Pulled Pork sandwich from time to time, these pigs at City Hall seem particularly fat and probably wouldn't even make good Cracklin material.

Ever wonder why EVERYTHING in Kenner must be initiated NOW – it's in the event that the people of Jefferson Parish get the wool pulled over their eyes like their Kenner brethren and Yenni is elected Parish President.Of course, projects won’t be finished on Yenni's watch but every last peso will be borrowed, budgeted, committed and, essentially, spent, NOW.

The people of Kenner don’t know where the 1st dollar of the 2033 Plan has gone (except for debt service), we’re borrowing more money for more unnecessary sewerage projects (a building to house generators? Really?), and we’re getting $9.3m dropped in our laps.

Is that money going into the “Rainy Day Fund”? Being used to pay down debt?

Of course not.

At the mayoral debate, Drew Broach asked a hypothetical question that happened to become factual.

Here’s some hypothetical questions: What happens to Kenner’s sales tax revenue if The Esplanade closes and Wal-Mart decides to move from West Esplanade to a new Metairie location? What if Ronnie Lamarque and Best Chevrolet determine that the grass might be greener in Metairie? What if nothing ever materializes regarding Laketown other than a drawing of a giant ferris wheel that was scammed from a London photograph?  What if Rivertown continues to languish? What if the airport flyover ramps at Loyola hurt Loyola Avenue and other area businesses (as I predicted could happen)? What if, God forbid, there’s another Katrina or other devastating disaster?

Now, I don't want go all doom and gloom on you and rain on your Saturday but, what if ALL of those things happen?

Those things, and more, could happen before the debt is paid from the  2033 Plan and the proposed additional sewerage bonds.

Why is Mike Yenni tying the hands of future mayors, councils, and the people of Kenner in his manic search for more contracts for his friends?Why borrow and spend and borrow more without your approval?

And, if you’re reading this, why are you letting them and why aren’t you outraged and calling his office and telling his “Consensus Team” to stop spending money they don’t have? 

 Mike Yenni - 468-7206
***Maria DeFrancesch (At Large) - 468-7247
***Keith Conley (At Large) - 468-7252
Gregory Carroll (District 1) - 468-7253
***Mike Sigur (2) - 468-7248
***Keith Reynaud (3) - 468-7249
***Lenny Cline (4) - 468-7251 (Note: If you talk to Lenny, please speak slowly and use small words)
***Dominick Impastato (5) - 468-7250

*** - A member of Yenni's "Consensus Team" (Now you know why I like and respect Councilman Carroll).

I know. I know. You wanted Cell numbers. Maybe next time.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Lenny Cline Swings For The Fences And (No Surprise) Misses - Badly

When I was a teenager and into my 20s, there was a Major League Baseball player named Dave Kingman. He stood 6’6” and was nicknamed “King Kong” Kingman and “Sky King” for his towering home runs.

The problem with Kingman was, he either hit a home run or he struck out. There was no middle ground. In fact, when he retired he was 4th all-time in strikeouts.

During his career, Kingman hit 442 home runs but he struck out 1,816 times.

Even the casual baseball fan knows that Home Runs = Good but Strikeouts = Bad.

A few weeks back, I wrote about Kenner District 4 Councilman Lenny Cline and his struggles with ordinances and resolutions.

In that post, I wrote:

If you need proof that having a piece of paper hanging on your wall and a law degree is not a sign of intelligent life, you need only look at Kenner District 4 Councilman Lenny Cline.

I followed that post with another opus about Lenny and his foibles, this time regarding the audit contract that was the subject of some controversy and a “Special” Council meeting,

Still don’t know, other than Keith Reynaud walking out, what was so “Special” about the meeting.

In any event, it seems that, after a year on the Council, poor Lenny didn’t know how to properly score applying firms.

I guess Lenny would rather live in the ignorant bliss of his own world than ask a Councilmember for assistance.

I wonder how he is at driving directions.

Why I bet Lenny needs to have someone program the GPS to find his way to the Council Chambers.

I don’t know if Lenny got tired of my pointing out his foibles or if someone pointed at him and laughed as he was trying to make his way through the self-checkout at Wal-Mart, or if someone urinated on his Wheaties while his back was turned, but, for whatever reason, at last night’s Kenner City Council meeting Lenny decided to step up to the plate and take a few swings at me.

In between confusing “definition” with “deposition” multiple times (isn’t the guy an Attorney?), Councilman Cline repeated the tired and factually incorrect Yenni/Buisson Propaganda that my lawsuit to force the City to have a voter referendum before taking on the largest debt in Kenner’s history cost the city $2 Million dollars.

That line has been debunked so many times I can recite the inaccuracies in my sleep.

To rehash for those new readers, as anyone who paid attention knows, the timeline and the math for the Yenni/Buisson Propaganda doesn’t work. It is not possible, since before the bonds could be sold they needed to be approved by the Council and the lawsuit and the appeal period weren’t finished when the Council voted to approve, lawsuit challenging the sale cost the City of Kenner…wait for it…NOTHING. 


Cline continued with his pitch for the new sewerage debt showing that he has a keen grasp of Common Core Math (and the obvious) when he declared:

“The interest rate is .95%. .95% is less than 1 percent.”

Whoa…calm down there Lenny. You’re getting ahead of yourself and you’re confusing us with the 
highfalutin Math.


Then, for the cherry on top of the Lenny Cline Sundae (extra nuts on top please), Lenny decided to call me out again by name.

“I hope we don’t have any further citizens blocking our way like Mr. Bennetti.”  

So, Lenny Cline decides that it’s ok to call out a private citizen at a public, televised Council meeting for exercising his constitutional and state given rights.

How did this guy pass the bar with such a pathetic grasp of the Constitution and our legal process?

And, calling out a private citizen, well, that’s just in poor taste especially when you weren’t even an embryo in the Yenni/Buisson machine when the lawsuit was filed and, even if you were on the Council, you probably wouldn’t have understood the lawsuit anyway.

Too much legalese. 

So for calling out a private citizen at a public Council meeting, that’s


Now, to be fair, I’m sure that Councilman Cline scanned the Council Chambers to ensure that I wasn’t in the room when he called me out.

I mean, why would he call me out if I was actually there. I might blow on him too hard and knock him over, perhaps even mess up his Lou Reed/Phil Spector hair style. Lenny, you don't need to look like a rock star or eccentric, murdering record producer. Claude the Barber cuts my hair and does just fine. 

Besides, if Councilman Cline really wanted a piece of me, he could just ask his boy Mayor Yenni. I'm sure one of his assistants still has my cell number, several councilmembers do too Lenny, and it hasn't changed in 14 years. 

I’m also certain that, given the way he was holding a paper while attempting to read (I told you not to multi-task Lenny) that someone (probably the aforementioned ace Yenni Political Strategist Greg Buisson) wrote it for me.

Since Cline is a member of Yenni’s “Consensus Team”, he is used to taking orders and being told what to say.

Did I mention that, earlier in the meeting when the Council was discussing removing the residency requirement for taxi drivers, that in Cline’s comments he said he was against removing the residency requirement and then voted in favor of removing it? 

Perhaps that Common Core Math fried his brain. Yeah, Lenny, little ole me cost the big, bad City of Kenner $2 Million. What planet are you from? 


Oh wait a second. Lenny’s already on the bench sitting next to Dave Kingman.

NOTE TO LENNY: You’ve been around long enough to know who I am. If not, I’m sure Buisson or someone has told you that if you’re going to come after me, you better bring it

The only thing you brought last night Lenny, was more fodder for me and more ignorant, inane comments from you. 

You proved once again that you are the Kenner Council’s Village Idiot.

Next time, slip Buisson a few bucks like the political whore that he is and have him write some better material. I hear he’s a cheap date so $10 should do the trick.

Otherwise, take that weak garbage back home with you before I tell my realtor to look for a home in Chateau. 

Maybe I can get a free house like Mike.

On second thought, probably not. I’m not in anyone’s pocket.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Reynaud Grows A Spine - Finally

It’s been a tumultuous few years in the relationship between Kenner District 3 Councilman Keith Reynaud and myself.

But, I need to give him props for doing the right thing and growing a pair…although it took awhile.

More on that in a second but first, the backstory:

Prior to his election, Councilman Reynaud and I had a socially friendly and a professional business relationship. He advertised his A/C business on V1.0, we had some mutual friends and I enjoyed the company of he and his wife.

In real life, Keith and his wife are genuinely nice folks, concerned about their community and their neighborhood, volunteering with many groups, and always ready to step up and help their neighbors in an emergency. 

 I like them. They are decent folks.

The reality is, I don’t dislike many folks, unless they are corrupt, ignorant, or self-serving. I don’t believe Keith Reynaud is any of these things. We just fundamentally disagree on politics.

And, of course, I don’t like his new friends.

In fact, I invited Keith to an early Citizens For a Better Kenner meeting. Contrary to urban myth, he was not there at the beginning, but not long after. During the build up to the election that demolished Mike Yenni’s plan to double property taxes, Keith and his wife did a tremendous amount of work and spent countless hours going door-to-door, contacting folks, putting up signs, etc. They worked extremely hard and for that, I am eternally grateful.

When I ran for JP Council against then-District 3 Councilman Ben Zahn, I didn’t ask Keith for his endorsement. In fact, I didn’t ask anyone for their endorsement. I did expect/hope however, that he would take an active role in the campaign. He did not, which was ok with me. He’s an adult and he had his reasons. 

In reality, I expected/hoped many would step up as they said they would. Some did, many more did little or disappeared. 

They say that if you want to learn who your real friends are, run for office.   

I have learned ---- twice. 

But despite Zahn's pitiful track record and the ties to Aaron Broussard, the KCVB, the fact that he was an unlicensed florist making a living off his disabled father's license, and an all around scumbag who sued me twice (and lost), Keith trusted Zahn.

As I’m sure you know, I trust Ben Zahn about as much as I could toss Zahn in a Zahn-Tossing, I mean, Dwarf-Tossing, contest.

When Reynaud ran for Zahn’s old District 3 seat, against a candidate supported by Zahn and Mike Yenni, many thought I would support and endorse Keith. In fact, many of my friends were disappointed and hurt that I didn’t do more to help Keith.

My lack of effort on Keith’s behalf had nothing to do with Ben Zahn, and everything to do with the fact that I was in the hospital. I did what I could but, for some, I could have done a lot more.

Perhaps Keith felt that way too. 

After Reynaud’s election, our relationship and his relationship with CFBK, changed. He became Mike Yenni’s boy. 

And that’s ok. 

If you're into that sort of thing...

Many folks when they are elected, forget who their real friends are and they get new “friends”.

Kind of like Political Facebook.

My girlfriend says that I have over 1,000 Facebook friends but only 3 real life friends.

Many days, I think she’s overestimating that number by at least 3.

But, like Jesse in the GEICO commercials, “I’m a loner and a loner needs to be alone.”

Besides, there’s only room for one in this Kamikaze cockpit.

 Since his election, Reynaud has repeatedly sided with Yenni on many issues including some that I am on the Polar opposite of (the 2033 Plan, adding more debt, expanding Kenner City Government, raises for incompetent city directors who should be unemployed by now, pay raises for Yenni and the Council, etc.).

The Keith Reynaud that was going door-to-door for CFBK would have been standing next to me on many, if not all, of those issues. 

Last year, Reynaud endorsed Mike Yenni (again over me – and again I didn’t seek his endorsement).

No surprise though since even before there was a “Consensus Team”, Reynaud was tugging at Yenni’s bootstraps.

For his loyalty, Reynaud was rewarded by Yenni and Zahn, who cleared the deck for him to get re-elected, or appointed, unopposed.

 But, let’s go back to the present.

At Thursday’s “Special” Council meeting, Councilman Reynaud made a short statement before the meeting began.

Essentially he said that the meeting was illegal and he wasn’t going to participate.

Finally, Keith Reynaud grew a pair.

Or a backbone.

Or something…

Is this a one-shot deal or will Reynaud return from the Dark Side.

“The Force is strong Keith, but the Yenni may be stronger…”

Time will tell if Reynaud returns to the light.

Until I see more proof however, I won’t hold my breath.

But, I will give him props for Thursday and be hopelessly hopeful that the Old Keith Reynaud returns.

Kenner needs the Old Keith.