2 Kenner councilmen prepare to fill Yenni's shoes

Two Kenner councilmen prepare to out-going mayor's shoes

Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni becomes Jefferson Parish President on Wednesday, and that sets up an unusual political dynamic in Kenner city government.

Two Kenner Council members will share the mayoral duties in 2016.

"Well, it's by our charter acting mayor and I will be performing all the duties and responsibilities of the mayor," said Mike Sigur, the District 2 Kenner City Councilman who becomes interim mayor on Wednesday.

A special election to fill the mayor's position has been scheduled for November.

"We were not able to get the special election called for in March, so the next opportunity is in November. Now we could have called it sooner, but it would have cost the city like $250,000 to pay the state to put an election on, so I don't think the constituents would want that to happen," Sigur said.

He spent more than 30 years in the Kenner Police Department, at times serving in administrative positions, and Sigur believes he is up for the challenge of mayor.

"I welcomed it. Being retired gives me the free time to do it," he said.

He will keep his job of representing District 2, as well.

"They'll still get service the same as they have now, like they do now. I have to do both jobs," he said.

And as for his salary?  Will he get two paychecks?

"Nope. More work, no more pay, and probably more expenses because I'll have to absorb a good deal of the expenses that come with being the mayor on my own," he said.

Sigur will serve as interim mayor until July 1, then Councilman Dominick Impastato, who is council vice president, takes over. He said he is prepared to serve well beyond the fall election, just in case.

"Depending on the number of candidates there may very well be a runoff," Impastato said.

Having a Kenner councilman serve as interim mayor is not new. It has happened twice before when sitting mayors were elected during their terms to a parish-wide position, according to Sigur.

"Aaron Broussard and Louis Congemi," he said.

But having council members split the mayoral duties is unusual. Still, both Sigur and Impastato look forward to pushing forward with the improvement projects begun by Yenni.

"I'd like to see, do everything in my power if any to push the implementation of all of them citywide, so we can get that process going," Impastato said.

Yenni, along with other parish leaders including Sheriff Newell Normand and members of the parish council will be inaugurated at the Jefferson Performing Arts Center in Metairie.

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