Kenner City Attorney Mike Power may be in line for a promotion when Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni takes over as Jefferson Parish president in January.
During the past two weeks, Power and Yenni have met with all of the Parish Council members beginning new terms next year to discuss the possibility of Power replacing Jefferson Parish Attorney Deborah Foshee, several council members said Monday.
The Parish Council must vote on whether to accept Power in the job whenever he is formally nominated by Yenni, who was elected in October to succeed outgoing Parish President John Young. The earliest that vote could happen is Jan. 6, which is the date of Yenni’s inauguration and the first time the Parish Council is scheduled to meet next year.
Neither Power, Foshee nor Yenni would comment on the situation Monday. But council members Paul Johnston, Cynthia Lee-Sheng and Ricky Templet all said they have favorable views of Power.
“I’m very comfortable with him,” Lee-Sheng said, adding that his involvement in Kenner’s government should translate well to serving as the chief legal adviser to both the Parish Council and the administration. “He has the technical expertise, and I think he’d do well in that regard.”
Templet said, “I haven’t spoken with all of my colleagues on the issue, but our meeting went quite well, and hopefully we can move forward.”
Power received his law degree from Loyola University and was admitted to the state bar in 1973. His former law firm, Ansardi, Maxwell and Power, was considered Kenner’s de facto city attorney for about two decades through the early 2000s, before the position formally existed.
Two years after Kenner decided to hire an attorney full-time, Power’s firm dissolved and he went into semi-retirement. But then Kenner City Attorney Louis Gruntz suddenly died on Aug. 29, 2014. At Yenni’s request, the City Council voted to hire Power for the job.
Yenni at the time said he nominated Power because of the experience he had accumulated working with the municipal charter Kenner adopted in 1974.
Foshee has been Jefferson Parish’s attorney since 2010. She was deeply involved with negotiating an almost $600 million deal to lease the parish’s public hospital in Marrero to a private operator and recently has been engaged in efforts to get the popular ride-hailing service Uber to comply with parish ordinances governing commercial drivers.
Before coming to Jefferson, Foshee was Covington’s city attorney for almost six years.