Kenner City Councilman Dominick Impastato was about two weeks away from taking over the role of interim mayor from a colleague.
But he announced this week that he will pass on the opportunity, saying it would be better for the city’s residents and employees if fellow Councilman Mike Sigur stays in the job he has held since January until Kenner picks its next elected mayor this fall.
“Councilman Sigur and our city’s administrative team have already adjusted to working with each other,” Impastato said in a statement. “There’s no reason to change that partnership.”
Mike Yenni resigned as mayor in January to become Jefferson Parish president. Under Kenner’s city charter, when such vacancies occur, the council chairman handles mayoral duties until the public can choose a new mayor at a special election.
As Yenni’s departure date neared, council members voted to have Sigur serve as their chairman and interim mayor for the first half of 2016, with Impastato as vice chairman. Impastato then was to take over July 1, serving as acting mayor until the person who wins the right to succeed Yenni on a permanent basis is sworn in. The primary is scheduled for Nov. 8, with a Dec. 10 runoff if necessary.
Impastato’s decision means Sigur will remain in his dual roles until a new elected mayor is seated, at which point Impastato will begin a six-month stint as council chairman.
Impastato said his decision was made easier knowing that “some of the largest drainage improvements, commercial developments and economic development projects” his district has seen in years will be getting underway in the coming months.
“Those ... will require substantial commitment,” said Impastato, who is in his first term representing District 5, largely in the northwestern part of Kenner.
Sigur praised Impastato’s willingness to sacrifice being able to put “acting mayor” on his political résumé for the sake of ensuring continuity atop the city’s government.
“Dominick is a man of high integrity,” said Sigur, who is in his first term as the council representative for District 2, just east of Louis Armstrong International Airport.
Neither Sigur nor Impastato is expected to be a candidate in the special mayoral election.